SportsRadio 1340 The Fan: Goodbye, Farewell And Thank You.
In November of 1996 we were either really smart, really crazy, really dumb or really ambitious. It turns it we were all of the above.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the launch of only the 4th all-sports radio station in Texas in 1996 when we put KKAM-AM 1340 on the air. We had no idea what would happen, but what happened was pretty cool.
KKAM was a combination of many things. The buyout of KFYO/Z102 brought me and Don Williams into the family there, among some other great radio people. As the ownership change was going on, we didn’t know if our show would survive or if the new ownership group would even want us. They had a pretty decent show at the time hosted by some guy name Jack Dale. . .
We had battled Jack and Steve Dale head to head in evening drive for a couple of years. We held our own in the ratings and in revenue, but you never know with an ownership change what will happen. Combined with the crazy world of telecommunications in 1996 with de-regulation… I figured I was moving to Dallas, Denver or Phoenix. I had resume tapes out in each market and was trying to decide where to go.
Instead, General Manager Scott Parsons asked me if I’d like to be a part of an all-sports station.
That was crazy talk in 1996.
Aside from The Ticket in Dallas it was hard to imagine a station working like that.
But Parsons had a plan.
Jack and Steve Dale in the mornings. The Williams and Hyatt Show in afternoon drive. We’d add in some quality network programming plus Texas Tech and High School Sports and it would work. That’s what he said.
He was right.
We did more local sports from the get-go than any station from Dallas to Denver. For a while we did more than anyone from Dallas to Phoenix.
After we added the noon show we were off and running.
The late-90s saw KKAM come to dominate the ratings when it came to men 25-54 and particularly with “high incomes”, the most desired demographics out there.
We prided ourselves on getting the best talent in the market and growing them. That became evident when guys like “Spastic” Erich Darlrymple, Shaun Lenrose and JP Horne left KKAM in 1999 headed to Dallas and The Ticket to entertain the folks there.
Mark Finkner would slide down from Plainview, team up with Jim G. and make paper football cool again. . .
Others would come through and grow as great radio personalities in the market.
Clint Shields. Brett Peveteaux AKA “The Goateed Wonder”. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ryan “3rd Degree” Burns. Chad Hasty. Casey Cowan. Too many to count came through and became great media personalities both in Lubbock and beyond.
Aside from the pride I take in working with and nurturing great people, I take great pride that we created a station that served Lubbock and West Texas like no other before or since.
We entertained, we were honest, we were factual but we were never beholden to any special interest group, school or backers.
Fans could always count on SportsRadio 1340 The Fan to give them the Truth, no matter how painful it might be regarding their favorite teams and schools. You might not always like it, but I think folks grew to respect what we did and how we did it. That has become more and more rare in local sports media these days . . .
I can remember sitting in Scott Parson’s office in the fall of 1996.
I didn’t know what to expect and was waiting for him to tell me that he appreciated all that Don and I had done at KFYO but that they were going a different direction.
I had a flight booked to Denver the next week.
I’m glad I got to cancel that flight.
The 22+years that KKAM existed as an all-sports station in Lubbock is a rarity. It doesn’t happen much like that anymore and it’s a testament to one Robert Snyder that it not only survived, but thrived as long as it did.
No one did more to shepherd KKAM the past decade-plus than Robert Snyder.
He made it personal.
In a good way. . .
He knew what had gone into the station before and he was dedicated to making it work. He did. He was creative and more. He fought hard and he fought well. And because of that, he gets to see KKAM transition from an all-sports format to a brand-new News-Talk-Sports-Money format that is just as exciting for me to be a part of in a new launch as KKAM was in 1996.
Thank you, Robert for letting me be a part of a great station again.
I was lucky enough to be there on day one in 1996.
I’m even more fortunate enough to be a part of the new Talk1340 on Friday, January 4th 2019.
We’ll see y’all Friday morning at 11 AM for Ryan Hyatt’s Raiderland Show . I hope you take a minute or two to listen.
You can go home again.