|Broadcast area||Stockton, California|
|Slogan||Lite Rock. Less Talk (General)
Christmas Music Station (Nov. - Dec.)
|First air date||December 1946 (AM 1280)
1968 (99.3 FM, as KJAX)
Christmas music (Nov. - Dec.)
|Former callsigns||KJAX (1968-1989)|
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||KATM, KDJK/KHKK, KESP, KHOP, KWIN/KWNN|
KJOY is an FM radio station serving the Stockton area with its lite rock format. It broadcasts on the FM frequency 99.3 MHz and is under ownership of Cumulus Media. Its studios and transmitter are located separately in Stockton.
KJOY 99.3 signed on the air as KJAX in 1968 with an Instrumental Easy Listening Music format also known as Elevator Music and Beautiful Music. It was known as Cloud 99. It was originally owned by Joseph Gamble Stations Inc. and was the FM sister station to KJOY 1280 AM. In October 1989, both stations flip flopped their call letters with KJOY going to the FM station's dial position and KJAX replacing the KJOY call letters at 1280 on the AM dial. Today, KJAX-1280 is KWSX.
As mentioned above, KJOY was originally an AM station at 1280. The KJOY story goes back to December 1946 when founding company Valley Broadcasting Company (VBC) was granted a construction permit to put a new AM station on the air in Stockton at 1280 with 1,000 watts, directional to the west at night. This new AM would sign on in the Spring of 1947 with the call sign KXOB, co-owned with KXOA in Sacramento and KXOC in Chico. VBC partners were: Lincoln Dellar, Executive Director (90%), and Morton Sidley (10%). KXOB's offices and studios were originally at 2013 Pacific Avenue in Stockton with the transmitter site at Beyer Lane and East Harding Way northeast of Stockton. In the Fall of 1950, studio facilities would be moved to the Beyer Lane transmitter site, presumably as a cost-cutting measure.
April 1952 would see KXOB's first change in ownership as radio and newspaper executive Clem John Randau would buy KXOB from Lincoln Dellar for $200,000. The FCC would approve the transaction on July 10, 1952. Clem and Beatrice Randau would own 55% of KXOB with other principals Sherrill Corwin, Ralph Stolkin, and Edward G. Burke, Jr., doing business as Hotel Stockton Broadcasting. Mr. Randau also owned minority stock in New York radio station WNEW. Randau would also be the man who would move 1280 to its heritage, legendary storefront location at the northeast corner of El Dorado Street and Weber Avenue--The Hotel Stockton. The station would occupy this highly visible, landmark address within sight of the head of the Stockton Channel for over 40 years.
Randau's ownership of KXOB wouldn't last long, however. On September 9, 1953, the FCC approved the sale of KXOB to 36-year-old Joseph Gamble, in whose family the station would remain into the 1990s. Gamble's brother-in-law and former newspaper reporter, Ort J. Lofthus, then-Sales Manager of KCMJ, Palm Springs, another of Gamble's stations, would be brought to Stockton to head KXOB as General Manager.
Sometime between the Fall of 1953 and the Fall of 1956 (probably late '53 or 1954), KXOB's call letters would be changed to KJOY, with the company's DBA ("doing business as") changing, in turn, to "KJOY, Inc." This DBA wouldn't last long, either: on October 30, 1956, the DBA would become "Joseph Gamble Stations, Inc."
On November 29, 1963, tragedy would befall KJOY and the Gamble family: owner Joseph would suffer a fatal heart attack at KJOY's Hotel Stockton offices. GM Ort Lofthus is elected president of Joseph Gamble Stations (KJOY, Stockton; KJAY, Sacramento; and KLAN, Lemoore). Mr. Gamble was 46.
In February 1968, Joseph Gamble Stations would request the KJAX call letters for KJOY's new FM sister station at 99.3 MHz. This would be the 2nd time Gamble Stations would have this call sign: the first being 1150 KJAX in Santa Rosa in 1958. When Gamble Stations sold the 1150 license in 1963, the new owners changed the call letters to KPLS.
In KJOY's early years, some notable personalities included such names as Mort Cooper, Jim Tracewell, Ken Wayne, Ron Reynolds, Ted Payne, Denny Kirwan and Rick Cimino, with Spencer Tyler and Jerry Simpson in the KJOY News Department. Then, gracing the KJOY microphone in the early and mid 60s would be names such as Terry Rose, Ken Minyard and Mac MacGregor, then later still, Don Imus (1969), Mike Wynn, Roy Williams, Dave Bowling, David Allan Kraham, Al "the Roadrunner" Heathman, Pat Kelley, Bill Bishofberger, Johnny Milford, John Willyard, Chrys Fasoli, Sheilah Bowman, Bill Daniels, Steve Young, Jerry Fuentes, Steve Blum as News Director, Bob Tilden, Scott Thomas, Terry Nelson, and many more, far too numerous to name here.
Former KJOYer Bill Bishofberger, with the help of former KJOY sales staffer Joe Field, former KJOY jocks Johnny Milford and Jerry Fuentes and former traffic staffer Nadine Livesey, has put together a terrific KJOY tribute page, complete with pictures, old jingles, staff names, and so much more at the link below.
- Bill Bishofberger's KJOY tribute website
- 99.3 KJOY's Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KJOY
- Radio-Locator information on KJOY
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KJOY