| I think it was back in 1971 that
Broadcasting Magazine had a two and a half page article about a new TV
station that was going on the air in Ventura, California. Now most people
probably didn't give this article much notice,. Most comments about this
article was, "Yeah, right." to "Ah, those crazy Californians!"
Since I was always interested in the type of local programming stations put on the air I read the article to see what this proposed station was going to do.
I was always looking for the TV section of newspapers to look at the programming of that yonder city. Back in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, stations didn't fill all their airtime with first run syndicated programming or off network series (reruns). Stations had plenty of talented people to host local programming. There were local variety shows, local public affairs programs, and kiddie shows where the host did live segments in between cartoons and 3 Stooges comedies. (In Indianapolis, a half-hour Mickey Mouse Club show filled a full hour with a local host doing live inserts.)
So, it was noted in this article that an entrepreneur was going to put a UHF station on the air in Ventura California with nothing but local programming.
Nothing but locally produced programming? Even in the early seventies there was plenty of off network programming, and first run programming to buy, but because Ventura was close to Los Angeles (at least L.A.'s VHF stations got their signals into the city) this station would have to be unique.
Since the early days of television there was lots of local programming, but it was only part of a broadcast day with movies and other films to add variety. As more filmed product became available stations would add that to their schedule, but still keeping their local, live programming. Of course, there wasn't that much programming to begin with...a broadcast day might consist of as little as six hours, or as much as 18 hours, but never 24 hours of programming.
But this entrepreneur was sure this idea would work and convinced many investors (including a well known movie and TV star) to put money into his enterprise. It would be all local programming...talk, music, and news. Even the newscasts would be written in such a way as to explain what the national news meant to the local population.
The station chose the call letters KKOG because the letters stood for "Kalifornia's Koast of Gold." The station would make its money from programs and commercials that would be sold for a rate comparable to a local AM radio station. (They even showed such a rate card in the article.) The station was sure to succeed.
A year or so later the UHF station on channel 16 was down to its last dollar and a smaller article in the same magazine explained that the owner would run a "Station for sale" ad if he wasn't so broke. The grand experiment had failed. Channel 16 ceased to exist except in the memories of the people who had a chance to make it big.