Infobox Radio station
name = KSJO

city = San Jose, California
area =
branding = La Preciosa
slogan =
airdate = 1947
frequency = 92.3 FM MHz HD Radio
format = Mexican Oldies
power =
erp = 32,000 watts
haat = 142 meters
class = B
callsign_meaning = K San JOse
former_callsigns =
owner = Aloha Station Trust, LLC
webcast = [http://bayareasp.lapreciosa.com/cc-common/streaming_new/ Listen Live]
website = [http://bayareasp.lapreciosa.com/ bayareasp.lapreciosa.com]
affiliations =
sister_stations = KCNL, KUFX

KSJO (92.3 FM) is a radio station in San Jose, California. It is owned by Clear Channel Communications and airs a Mexican Oldies format.


KSJO is the second-oldest radio call sign assigned in San Jose, California, initially applied to both an AM station (KLIV) and an FM station. The FM station began in 1947 and became the only radio station in the United States with an all-female staff playing jazz music.

Prior to 1968, KSJO was owned by SRD Broadcasting, consisting of Scott Elrod of San Francisco; Don was Don Bekins of Bekins Van Lines and R was Richard "Dick" Garvin. As freeform rock was growing in popularity, with Tom Donahue's KMPX in nearby San Francisco becoming a national trendsetter, KSJO dropped jazz, starting in the evening only with Mark Williams and Jim Hilsabeck. After a few months Elrod and team brought in Bob Sobelman, a radio veteran, to GM the station and Larry Mitchell a top L.A. program director took over the helm. "The Light from Below" was one of the early slogans but did not live long ("below the San Francisco Bay"), the format was pure free-form progressive rock. The previous simple female-sex-symbol logo morphed into a red-white-and-blue logo and bumper sticker designed by Diane Roberts in Los Gatos, and the announcing staff was all-male for many years Brief stint program directors included Bill Slator and Dick Kimball but for 5 plus years Douglas (Droese) was the program director remaining so until the Sterling buy out in 1974. The station was later sold to Sterling Recreation Organization (SRO) of Seattle, Washington.

For much of its history, KSJO was locked in a bitter rivalry with KOME, which also flipped to rock in 1968. At one point, in the early 1970s, KSJO briefly flipped to a country music format, before returning to rock. By the end of the decade, KOME had surpassed KSJO in the ratings.

The rock war heated up when stations in San Francisco started changing to the format. KSAN was the main San Francisco competitor throughout the 1970s, and more stations arrived. In the mid to late 1970s KSJO, was know for its outrageous morning talk show, the 'White and Wright' report. Advertising Director Perry White (Hartline) partnered with Program Director Don Wright to make morning news fun for the 'rocker' audience. At one point, in late 1982, four different stations in San Francisco alone were programming the format, in addition to KSJO and KOME.

However, in 1982 KSJO 92.3FM started to dominate the Rock Radio scene in San Jose (and with respectable ratings to the north in San Francisco and to the south in Monterey/Santa Cruz). Program Director Larry 'Baby Lee Roy' Hansen assembled a strong group of air personalities including Trevor Ley and Jim Taylor (mornings), Ken Anthony (afternoons), Nicki Stevens (evenings) and Jim Seagull (overnights). Combined with strong marketing and a guerrilla street presence from promotions director Bob Jenkins and assistant Rodney Whitaker, KSJO dominated as 'The Bay Area's Home for Rock & Roll' for most of the 1980s.

KSJO is credited with airing the first-ever AIDS radiothon in 1987, raising $25,000 for a San Jose AIDS hospice. Considering their reputation as a macho rock station, this was a complete departure for a day, but audience response was upbeat and KSJO promoted a candid dialogue about HIV/AIDS with their 18-34 audience, the most sexually active group in the U.S. Program Director Ken Anthony and morning personality Paul 'Lobster' Wells organized the event with mid day host Zeb Norris, afternoon personality Laurie Roberts, promo director Bob Jenkins and assistants Martyn Wright and Mike Russell. Several rock stars donated their time and merchandise to help raise funds, including Neil Young, Ronnie Montrose, Mark Andes of Heart, Neal Schon of Journey, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Jimmie Vaughan of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

By 1994, KOME had flipped to modern rock and KSJO was the stand-alone AOR station in the South Bay. Also, many of the San Francisco rock stations had long changed to different formats as well. KSJO rode a wave of popularity during the decade due primarily to the appeal of morning personalities Lamont and Tonelli. By 1998, KSJO's signal was simulcast on three other separate stations (located near 92.3 on the dial) around the San Francisco Bay Area: 92.7 KXJO in Alameda/Oakland, 92.7 KMJO in Marina and 92.1 KFJO in Walnut Creek.

As the new millennium arrived, KSJO's fortunes started to slide. Lamont and Tonelli were signed away by KSAN-FM in late 2002, and KXJO was sold to a separate entity that same year, flipping to a CHR format. KSJO's ratings started to slide as the demographics of the Bay Area changed. An increasingly large local Hispanic population and the rise of Hip Hop helped to chip away at the heritage rock station. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/11/14/PKG009LLIT1.DTL&hw=kome&sn=046&sc=306] Radio veteran Dave Wohlman was named PD in 2004 and began the task of re-inventing the rock legend with a new staff, sound and direction.

KSJO's owner, Clear Channel, had instituted an ambitious initiative to introduce more Spanish-language programming into various markets across the country. When the Walnut Creek simulcast station, KFJO, became KABL in 2004, many speculated that KSJO would soon drop rock for a Spanish-language format. The end came unannounced at 7PM on October 28, 2004, when KSJO, after 35 years as a rock station, played its last song, "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo, and immediately launched a new Mexican oldies format as "La Preciosa". Longtime listeners were angered at the sudden loss of the Bay Area's last remaining active rock station.

The "La Preciosa" identity is also used by a few other Clear Channel Spanish-language, Mexican music stations.

On August 4, 2008, Clear Channel placed the station's assets into an entity called the Aloha Station Trust in order to sell off the station. This was due to Clear Channel being above the FCC-allowed ownership limits. These limits were imposed when Clear Channel was officially taken private by Bain Capital Partners on July 30, 2008.

Ratings history vs. KOME and KSAN

Arbitron average share, total age 12-plus, 06:00 - midnite, seven days: Apr/May 78 Jul/Aug 78 Oct/Nov 78 Jan/Feb 79 Apr/May 79
* Santa Clara county only: KSJO 2.6 --- 2.4 3.2 4.0 KOME 2.7 --- 2.8 4.4 5.2 KSAN 1.3 --- 0.7 0.7 0.7
* San Francisco nine-county, including Santa Clara county: KSJO 0.8 1.8 1.0 1.1 1.2 KOME 0.8 0.9 0.8 1.6 1.9 KSAN 1.9 2.1 1.8 1.9 1.8

It appears that KSJO 's dominance in South Bay area rock began to fade against KOME in Jan / Feb 1979. Although KSJO came close to beating KSAN in Jul / Aug 1978 nine-county, KOME actually did so in Apr / May 1979.

External links

* [http://www.ksjo.com/ KSJO website]
* [http://bctv.butte.edu/scott/ksjo.html Late 1980s rock KSJO staff photo]
* [http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/10.06.04/ksjo-0441.html 06-12 Oct 2004 San Jose "Metro": "Mandatory Mariachi"]
* [http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2004/11/call_sign_ksjo.php# 30 Oct 2004 Contra Costa "Times": Clear Channel shuts down rock at KSJO]
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/11/07/BAGVH9NIAI1.DTL 07 Nov 2004 San Francisco "Chronicle": "KSJO's switch to Latin oldies..."]

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