I’ve just finished reading a book about KFAT that chronicles the eclectic station’s history. I joined the station in 1981, when things were a little more subdued compared to its early years. It sounds like the beginnings of the station were a lot like the Wild, Wild, West–where anarchy prevailed and discipline was shunned. Listeners would visit the disc jockeys at the station and share their illegal substances with them while they were on the air. Commercials would run based on the DJ’s whim.
By the time I worked there, Harvey Levin owned the station. His task was to rein in the disc jockeys so that the station could sell ads while still maintaining the creativity. Harvey was a savvy businessman, and he promoted me to traffic manager after a few months. I worked there in the afternoons, scheduling the commercials on the daily logs and running reports on when commercials ran. Sadly, Harvey died of brain cancer in 1981, and I had to leave KFAT in 1982 to help care for my ailing dad, who died of lung cancer in 1983.
It was a tumultuous time in my life, to say the least. Looking back, I can see there were many highs and lows going on during the same time for me, and how starting out my career in such a creative environment would absolutely shape my perceptions of any conventional job to be “boring as Hell.” Maybe it would have been better to have started my career in an accounting firm?