"Greetings from Memphis!
While reading your blog, it occurred to me there was no mention of how KAAY was almost saved a second time. I’m not sure if anyone knows but the three people involved.
In 1985, I was assistant Chief Engineer at WRVR Memphis, a Viacom station. As 24 year old radio geek, I didn’t have much patience for the Adult Contemporary format or the suit culture of Viacom. So, after a bit of searching, I was hired as Chief for a new station in Little Rock, KZOU or Zoo98. I started in April of 1986. I was also in charge of Zoo’s sister station, KOKY, at that time on 1250. I have always had a soft spot for AM directionl arrays and the legendary stations, so I spent a lot of time with Felix McDonald at KAAY.
Sometime in 1987 or thereabouts, KAAY went up for sale again. I met Felix out at the transmitter site, took a lot of pictures, and put together a proposal for KZOU / KOKY GM Hal Smith. My idea was to either simulcast KZOU, move KOKY over to 1090 (at that time Power 92 did not exist and KOKY was pulling respectable numbers), or make it a vintage oldies station.
By this time Dick Oppenheimer had sold KZOU / KOKY to Encore Communications, headed by former Metromedia exec George Duncan. Hal arranged for me to talk with Duncan the next time he was in town, which was only a few days away.
The short of the story is it…almost…I think...happened. The selling price was 1.5 million at the time. Although George Duncan was interested and I think made a few inquires, the selling price was the show stopper. I didn’t know it at the time, but KZOU / KOKY was carrying the Encore group, and financial troubles for the company were looming. I would like to think if Encore had been financially solid, it might have actually happened.
I still have that proposal around here somewhere, and if I can find it I’ll scan it for you. It was, of course, done on a typewriter and copy machine.
KZOU / KOKY 1986-1989
WMC AM/FM Memphis 1990-1994
WMC-TV Memphis 1994-1997"
Thanks for writing in, Tom! We're looking forward to the scanned documents...we're very interested in the hidden history of KAAY! Please keep in touch...
...and, for anyone who reads this blog, no matter how trivial you may think something may be regarding KAAY, PLEASE send it on in for us to share with others...it MAY be a link to something they've been searching for, for years!
Again, thanks Tom!
Bud S. (firstname.lastname@example.org)