For over two decades, KFIV was the dominant AM rock station for the greater Modesto area, but like many things, listener habits change. Beginning this week, the once powerhouse outlet changed it's format to country and is now known as KZUN. The announcement was made by Charles Banta, president of Community Pacific Broadcasting Corp. The firm owns 10 stations from Alaska to Monterey, nine of which are country.
Banta stated that: "We have an expertise in that format and we've felt for a long time that Modesto is a fine country music market." He added that it was a matter of economics and changing trends. KFIV was the dominant rock Ĺn roll station through- out the '60s and '70s, when it was owned by Robert Fenton. Banta said that the young rock audience has shifted to the FM band, where better-quality stereo sound can be heard.
In recent ARB ratings, KFIV-AM's audience share had slipped to a 2.4 figure, as compared to its KFIV-FM sister station with a 12 percent share. The station, known as Rock-102, will retain its rock format. At first, Pacific Broadcasting was reluctant to change formats, since other stations in the Modesto market are already programming country.
KFIV Changes To KZUN & Country Music
But, according to Banta, a survey indicated that the area could support one more. Station operations manager Rick Meyers said that the current change took some three months to implement, including building a new music library, designing a new logo and jingles, the training of disc jockeys and FCC approval for the call letter change.
Meyers said that, so far, the new format has been widely accepted, thanks in part to format changes of other stations; KQKK in Manteca when from country to rock, and KCEY in Turlock switched from country to adult contemporary. So now, KFIV is KZUNůModesto's "Country Cousin."
Ed Nickus, KZUN music director checks the music play list.
Reba Mc Entire and Ed Nickus in recent photo.
The Oak Ridge boys (back row) with the winners of a KMIX-FM contest and Ed Nickus with the KMIX hat on.