WWW.REELRADIO.COM The Michael Hagerty Collection
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G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (16Khz STEREO)
PLAYCasey Kasem American Top 40 March 10 1973 (Hour 1) (51:00)

[Description by Michael Hagerty]

. . . AT40 is heard coast to coast and around the world on great radio stations like. . .

Audio Optimized by Orban Optimod PC!

Beginning Saturday March 8, 2003 at 9AM (PT), REELRADIO streamed all three hours of this American Top 40 program. This special webcast was repeated thirteen times over the weekend and ended at approximately 6:10PM on Sunday, March 9, 2003. Listeners were asked to vote for their favorite hour.

With a total of 61 votes, 52.46% voted for Hour 1 (#40-28), 34.43% voted for Hour 3 (#14-1), and Hour 2 (#27-15) came in third with 13.11% of the vote.
For a year, if you listened closely, there was a chance that Casey Kasem would say "KIBS in Bishop, California" as part of that list. This particular AT40 is the first ever to air on the station.

In February, 1973, a few weeks before my 17th birthday, general manager John Hemler, the man who'd given me my start in radio two years earlier, made me program director. Having heard AT40 on visits to Los Angeles (KRLA's signal didn't make it the 270 miles to Bishop, even at night), I thought it would be a great addition to the station.

So, I called Watermark and asked to talk to someone "about carrying the show". The receptionist put me straight through to Watermark co-founder (and former KFRC pd) Tom Rounds. Looking back on how green I was, I'm lucky she didn't transfer me to his partner, Ron Jacobs.

I asked how much it would cost to carry the show. Rounds said it was based on market size. Well, Bishop's market size is probably identical to its population...3,500. So the rate was rock bottom: $25 a week. Now, that may sound like a bargain, and it is. Especially for a show like AT40 and a talent like Casey Kasem. But KIBS was literally "dollar a holler" radio... one minute of airtime on weekend evenings, where AT40 was
going to air, was one dollar. That meant selling 25 spots a week to break even. And, as the gm told me when I came to him with all this exciting news, it meant me selling 25 spots a week without causing existing station sponsors to simply shift their more lucrative ($4-$10) spots into AT 40 for a buck a shot.

We managed. I think I sold 30, thanks to believers like local record store owner Wayne Clement (who, when his dad owned KIBS a decade earlier, had been the station's first teenage DJ), and George Hitchborn, who owned the local Foster's Freeze drive-in. The others came and went, and I spent my spare time (between my senior year of high school and programming the station) keeping those slots filled so we'd never drop below break-even.

51 weeks after this show aired, I was packing my bags for KSLY, San Luis Obispo. Hemler had bailed before me, and the new GM let me know on the way out the door that AT40 wasn't worth the work of selling it for a measly five bucks a month profit. Maybe not. But it was an experience I'm glad I had... and I thank REELRADIO for letting me share the beginning with you.


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