Their corporate Program Director was based in San Diego for some weird reason as corporate offices were in Seattle. The did get rid of the group PD and hired Bruce Johnson as President of Radio Affairs. He had just left KFRC in San Francisco and wanted a change. Well, a change he got. He once told me he went from a chauffer driven limousine to a Volkswagon tour bus. AM stations were dropping like flies at this time and KASH was at 1600 on the am dial and we had a terrible signal problem.
I came back to Modesto after a Summer promoting concerts for Rock'n Chair Productions and working on their Mountain Aire Show at Angels Camp. I actually worked every show from Angels Camp from 74-87.
I spent 3 years in Programming from '76-79 taking KTRB from all talk to a country format. One book a year we had, but we were number 1 after 3 books in the market. I left in a huff right after the book and the station never had a #1 book again. I then went to KOSO (KO93) I stayed at KO93 from Nov. 79-June of 85 doing afternoons and public affairs and promotions.
Summer of 85 saw me going to KMIX another country format. For three years I was afternoon drive and Promotion Director.
After that, I returned to KTRB for the final time as Program Director. After that year, I started fulltime with Modesto City Schools in Supervision and retired from there in March of 2005, after nearly 15 years.
During the school time, I also worked at area stations as a fill-in when they were looking for a fulltime person. I would come in and work a set number of weeks for them while they did a national search and I would train the new person as well. They knew I was not interested in the gig, so it was an easy job for me and no headaches from 3rd string announcers. I did this for a Merced station for a year, KMIX for over 6 months and for the new kid on the block in the early 90s, KATM (Cat Country 103).
I did Saturday mornings 5:30-10 a.m. and was pulling in a 40+ share the entire 4 years I was there. I also filled in when available at nights and still worked for the schools.
During this time and till 2004, I was working with a local concert promoter, doing my own concerts and traveling the country when available handling merchandise for blues phenom The Tommy Castro Band. My wife still helps them at times.
I am retired now and my hobby is buying, selling and trading original Mountain Aire Memorabilia from handbills to posters, unused tickets, foldable programs and much more. I have hundreds of original posters from the Modesto "Says No to Drug Abuse" shows that ran Griffith Week at Modesto Junior College which are for sale as well as hundreds of other area posters and handbills. Many of these have local station sponsorships listed on them.
Ken Tinkle (Kenny Roberts)
KO93 air check by Kenny Roberts in 1984
(Courtesy of Floyd Perry Jr. )
Biography of Radio Career
I started my professional career in 1971 at KFIV-AM. I worked 12 hours each Sunday, from 6 a.m.-12 noon and again from 6 p.m. -12 midnight and the weekly sign off. Four hours of each shift was taped and I got 2 hours each shift live to do my rookie thing. I remained at KFIV doing all shifts and left there in March of '75 doing afternoons as well as Music Director and Public Affairs Director.
I took for the "Big Time" job at SRO (Sterling Recreation Org.). They wanted me for evenings and as Music Director. As many new gigs go, many do not work out the way they were promised. This was one of them. I was a straight forward Music Director who was very interested in breaking music in Eugene, Oregon.