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History of radio stations

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  • History of radio stations

    The Hawaii Radio & Television Guide is a great resource, with listings of radio stations for each island, complete with website links, contact icons, and format descriptions. The Hawaii Radio & Television Guide would be even better if each radio station in the listings had a link for the history of the radio station.

    One station that I am interested in is KQNG AM 570 on Kauai. The station once had a solid gold format under the monicker "KONG Gold." KQNG AM 570 would simulcast KQNG FM 93.5 part of the time and feature the country music top 40 countdown every Saturday afternoon. KQNG AM 570 is a news/talk station today.

    Another Kauai station with an interesting history is KUAI AM 720. The station used to sign off at midnight Monday through Saturday and at 11:00 pm on Sunday. Today the station is on the air 24/7. KUAI AM 720 also once had a really eclectic mix of music and would feature "The Jazz Cruise" every Sunday morning. Today the station only features a mix of adult contemporary, country, island, and traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music.

    Both of the stations I mentioned above are owned by Visionary Related Entertainment. Does anyone know the former owners of KQNG AM 570 and KUAI AM 720?

  • #2
    Re: History of radio stations

    '79 KUAI Jock...

    that's pretty much my launch into radio you're asking about... I got in right after high school... back when KUAI 720AM Ele'ele was the powerhouse station on Kauai... Back then, the owner (or majority owner anyway) was the morning drive jock, Bill Dahle.

    He finally threw in the towel some five? eight? years back... I don't know- time's going so fast these days... sold it to Visionary I guess...
    by that time KUAI was 3rd or 4th and losing ground quickly... AM was falling to the wayside... FM's ruled... and KUAI fell hard.

    The last time I visited Kauai, I stopped in to say hello and ran into the hard reality of current radio practice. KUAI the once powerhouse, ruler of the roost, gorilla of Kauai- was reduced to 1 rather average, oldish, computer terminal with a little mackie board to input voice tracks... and that's it!

    From a thriving business, that employed four full time jocks, a news director, four weekend part-timers (myself included) not to mention the PD/MD/OM and the guys and gals in sales/traffic/management... another six or seven folks... at least...down to two or three trackers... working for hourly!

    Man that hurt

    For a real thrill head on over and look at the website... it hasn't been touched in years... and has become nothing more than a location to show off Regie Deroos's paintings... He's the evening DJ that taught me all about radio and got me a job as a nightclub DJ too-

    great guy... but man! KUAI's just limping along- and I guess making Visionary lots of coin- must be- there ain't no expense... except electricity and the part-timers...

    As far as KQNG AM is concerned... that story originates as KTOH, then KIVM, KIPO (I believe) before landing as KQNG AM... I was there for the KIVM switch to KIPO, switch to KQNG...

    and as you probably know- an interloper recently resurrected the KTOH calls- (K-Territory Of Hawaii) and as a former Kauai guy- I have to smile that some (very old) mom & pop stores I knew of, still had the original KTOH wall clock, ownership gave to it's original advertisers... some... what 50 years back?...

    anywho- there's a start for you

    Thankful to still be in radio--- '79 KUAI Jock


    • #3
      Re: History of radio stations

      Before Reggie worked on Kauai, he worked in Hilo on radio station KPUA 970 on the AM dial.

      I remember visiting the old KIVM studios in Lihue back in 1973 to visit former KPUA night time jock J.K. The studio was near the airport in a then cane field.

      KIVM was at 1350 on the AM dial, and I think that is where KTOH was originally located too. Don't know when they moved to 570.

      Back in the 70s, KUAI was very much like KPUA in Hilo and KMVI 550 on Maui. They had a variety of programming with Hawaiian music, some country, mixed music and top 40 stuff in the night.

      Of course in the olden days there were no FMs on the neighbor islands and Kauai only had 2 AMs... KUAI and KTOH (later KIVM). Hilo had only 3 AMs... KIPA at 1110 (later moved to 620 am), KHLO 850 AM (earlier was KIMO.... can't remember if this was originally KHBC) and KPUA 970 (later 670 am). Maui had only 2 AMs... KMVI 550 AM and KNUI at 13something AM (later moved to 900 AM).....

      As I recall the first FM on a neighbor island was KAOI 95.1 which signed on in Maui around 1974.
      Last edited by mel; March 27, 2007, 02:08 AM.
      I'm still here. Are you?


      • #4
        Re: History of radio stations

        JK's still on Kauai- doing a TV bit these days... last I heard. And yep- KIVM was on the airport road- little beaten down old shack it was... pretty pathetic. When I joined KIVM it had moved to a new industrial park in Lihue... on the second floor of a little warehouse kinda thing... and it was right above a bar that had live music once in a while... and tasty chicken wing pupus... I saw Moe Keale perform down there... ahhhh- good times- good times


        • #5
          Re: History of radio stations

          Bob Sigall, a.k.a. Creative-1 here at HT, has a great section in his book, the Companies We Keep, covering the history of both radio and tv history in Hawaii.

          PM him on where to get the book. A must-have for anyone interested in the history of business in Hawaii. Most excellent and highly recommended.
          sigpic The Tasty Island


          • #6
            Re: History of radio stations

            I did some contract engineering work for KUAI in the mid 70s. The owners name was John Short.
            I did the initial engineering study to add an FM station to their group.