top of page

1970's & 1980's

RonGaylordRonyGil at State Fair early 70s.jpg

In 1975, KFBK made the switch from music and news to news and talk. Originally, much of the news was delivered nationally, through the station’s affiliation with the NBC Radio Network.  When NBC began cutting back on the hours of news broadcast, KFBK entered the talk radio world with talks shows including 'Talk of The Town'.  Within a few years, KFBK settled on the news and talk format still in use today, with news blocks in the morning and afternoon time periods, and talk show programming for the rest of the day.  

In the mid-1980’s, federal rules about ownership of multiple media outlets in the same market changed, forcing the McClatchy Company (as owners of The Sacramento Bee) to sell KFBK to the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company.  KFBK joined a family of legendary radio stations, including KDKA, the oldest licensed commercial radio station in the United States, and other ‘first stations’ and major market news talk stations WINS (New York), WBZ (Boston), KYW (Philadelphia), WMAQ (Chicago) and KFWB (Los Angeles).

Also in the 1980’s, KFBK’s talk show style evolved, with the hiring of a controversial talk host named Morton Downey, Jr.  Not yet nationally famous (as he later would be), his confrontational style created a large audience from his ‘love to hate him’ style of talk.  Downey was let go from the station in 1984, and replaced with a brand new, and a previously unknown radio host named Rush Limbaugh.

In March of 1972, KFBK launched the "Eye in the Sky" traffic reports incorporating air traffic reporters. The first airborne traffic reporter for KFBK was Bill Black. In 1980, USAF Colonel Bill Eveland was hired as 'Commander Bill' to provide airborne traffic reports during both the morning and afternoon commutes from Newsflight One. In the early 1990's, Joe Miano joined from another Sacramento radio station, for even more up-to-date traffic reports from Newsflight Two.

In October of 1984, the station debuted new talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who quickly achieved notoriety by declaring himself as ‘famous talk show host Rush Limbaugh’ in local endorsement advertising. Through his combination of humor and political commentary on air, he quickly became well-known around Northern California, and soon nation-wide." Less than four years later, Limbaugh was offered a nationally syndicated talk show program for 2 hours, with a special third hour for just KFBK to fill the rest of his prior three-hour time slot on the station.  Within a few months, the show expanded to three hours nationally, at the request of stations carrying the program.



Ferrell's Ice Cream parlor airplane crash


Roseville Railyards explosions


KFBK format changes to all news


Squeaky Fromme attempts to shoot President Ford in Capitol Park


The last Sacramento Solons game


Blecher-Freeman murders on Yolo Causeway


Harvey's Hotel Bombing in Lake Tahoe


A West Sacramento man is part of the 44 hostages released in Iran


B-52 crashes on takeoff from Mather AFB


The Sacramento Kings start their move from Kansas City


The 200-year flood almost overtops the American River levees


Sacramento Regional Transit launches the light rail system


Dorothea Puente mass murders


Candi Talarico kidnapping and safe recovery six weeks later


Cleveland Elementary School shooting that becomes known as the nation's first, and largest, mass school shooting until Columbine ten years later


Rancho Seco closure


Loma Prieta earthquake

KFBK Kerry Shearer-1 Queen Elizabeth Visit 1983March4.jpg
bottom of page