Fort Dodge, Iowa is an unrated market. A town of barely 30,000 people. But what a great place for a young jock to learn how to do nighttime CHR! People in this area are extremely receptive to live, local, fun radio. The fact that I could be heard in over 30 counties didn’t hurt either!
Fort Dodge was one of my first radio gigs. I started across town at Z94 KKEZ after being hired by the legendary Jim Davis of KIOA fame to do nights there. Six months later, Jim left for a larger market. His replacement gave me my pink slip with my paycheck and marched me to the door. He didn’t appreciate the fact that I aired phoners at night. Actual quote: “We don’t do that here, we’re not a talk station.” This man also told our midday gal who had been with the station for 5 years that “women don’t belong on the air.”
After the new PD fired me, I went to talk to the people who were building a new radio station across town. KRIT-FM in Clarion had recently been purchased by Linder Radio of Mankato, MN. A flashing 600 foot tower had been erected near Badger, IA and power had been increased to 100,000 watts. Now, they were in the process of physically moving the station into Fort Dodge. In typical cocky arrogance of a 22-year-old male, I walked into the General Manager’s office and told him he should hire me for nights because I could do it better than anyone else. He did! A few weeks later, Super 97 was on and I was doing 7-Midnight, live from downtown Fort Dodge. I was very young and VERY “raw” on the air. But I was given complete freedom and had a ton of fun with “my people”, as you will hear.
As for the previously-mentioned PD who fired me, he was himself fired by KKEZ management shortly thereafter. His termination occured on the same day that I started at KRIT. Karma is a wonderful thing, my radio friends!