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Legendary Radio Station Gets New Morning Team

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11
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KVIL Radio in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is a legendary radio station. So for that reason I believe that anyone who has been given the honor and privilege to grace its airwaves deserves a little press!

For many years KVIL AM/FM was a beautiful music station. No HD Radio back in the 1960’s. I remember growing up and my mother had it on in the car. We didn’t have FM radio in her car so we listened to it on 1150AM. Under its license, it was only 1,000 watts, six antennas off of Royal Lane generating a highly directional signal east of Dallas with “lobe” patterns everywhere else, and had to sign off at dusk. Good station with horrible operating parameters. KVIL-FM was also on full time with 100,000 watts but its antenna at that time at a different location than where it is now. It wasn’t that high so it didn’t cover as much geography like it does today. But greatness was destined for this station.

In 1968, at the age of 14, I won a 2 hour Sunday night radio show on KVIL-FM. I remember my parents thinking this was the horrid profession to consider when getting out of school. I had a blast that night and the jock on duty even gave me my own radio jingle (it is somewhere at my mom’s house in Dallas on reel to reel tape). Little did this eighth grader from St. Mark’s School in Dallas know that history was about to be made.

A few weeks later, the station was sold by John Coyle (whose son and I went to St. Mark’s together) and Ron Chapman was hired for AM Drive. With better technical parameters, a winning music format, winning promotions, and personalities that made you feel great, KVIL became the #1 station in the market (and some years nationally) both in terms of audience reached and revenue generated. Chapman just had a good feel about what worked both programming wise and promotions. Some outstanding personalities went through KVIL were: Ken Barnett, Jack Schell, Mike Selden, Suzy Humphries, Valiere Smith, Jody Dean, Bill Gardner…the list goes on and on and I can’t even list them all here.  The promotions: the People’s Choice Awards (was originally a non-cash prize and then just became money), and the infamous Chapman promotion, “just send me $20”……THAT ONE was incredible because people sent money without even knowing what they were sending it for. That’s how much Ron Chapman was trusted. And last but not least, the car window sticker, “I Love (with a heart) KVIL”. Enough said.

Since Chapman left KVIL there has only been two other significant morning shows on the station that I can recall: Ken Barnett and Gene and Julie. But now we have a new one and folks, these two are great and you know them.

Beginning Monday, April 8 from 5:30am-10am, Tony Zazza and Julie Fisk will take over weekday mornings on 103.7 Lite FM (as KVIL is known today).  These two radio professionals are not only colleagues of mine professionally but also my friends. They are well known to listeners in the DFW area and they are just plain talented! Tony and Julie are so in touch with things that they will keep you in know at all times. I hope that you will tune in this coming Monday morning and that you like what you hear. I know you will.

See you next time.

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