Sunday, June 24, 2012
KOFY TV20; A Bay Area TV Classic; And don't forget Dance Party; Sunday Relic
Jim Gabbert, local FM radio pioneer and broadcast impresario, had some spare change back in the early 1980's. After selling K-101 Radio, he bought Channel 20, then a neanderthal UHF station that was largely foreign language that hardly anybody watched. The price tag was roughly $5 million. Gabbert would later sell the station for almost $200 million. Not a bad investment.
TV 20 under Gabbert consisted of dog ID's; (a joke: the frugal Gabbert was notoriously keen on budget, hence: why did Gabbert use dogs for station? So he wouldn't have to pay 'em.) He also hosted late-night movies, mega contests, and the bonanza of all local shows: Dance Party. The program was an instant hit. Sort of a local "American Bandstand", complete with funky regulars-- Gabbert doing his best Dick Clark impression with a local cast of characters that caught San Francisco TV nirvana. It was by far the most popular local TV show and with it, came a ton of buzz and interest.
I'm betting a frenzy of you who watched the show would love to see its re-birth. Maybe a onetime reunion with, yes, Gabbert doing a live Saturday night program complete with a few of the regulars. KOFY is now corporate, (aren't they all?), but here's thinking a few logical suits might hoist the mike over to Gabbert for a one-timer. I think the ratings would be huge.
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