Radio silence

Buyouts, format changes mean less rock in Chico; Sierra Nevada wants to marry you at Oktoberfest

Remember a couple of years ago, when 101.7 FM switched formats to conservative talk radio? It was a very sad day indeed, one that forced me to unprogram the station from my car presets. Then it did a 180 and became The Edge, which quickly earned back a preset spot. Then, this past April, it switched things up yet again. Now it’s Hot Hits—“Top 40 for adults, without rap or hard rock.” Where’s the fun in that? (Full disclosure: the program director, Chris Singleton, is a friend of mine. Sorry, dude—preset redeleted.)

As if that wasn’t enough bad news, I woke up last Tuesday to a Facebook announcement from my other radio buddy, Brent Gallagher (aka Wheezal Dogg), saying Wednesday (July 31) would be his last day on the air. His station, 93.9 The Hippo, had been bought by Deer Creek Broadcasting and gutted. What’s worse? They’ve given up mainstream rock for conservative talk radio!

Long story short: Bustos Media Group had bought KFMF 93.9, KZAP 96.7 Classic Hits (Paradise) and a third station a few months prior. On Aug. 1, it traded the first two to Deer Creek in exchange for KHHZ 97.7, aka Radio Mexico, out of Gridley. Sadly, 93.9 is now simulcasting KPAY (1290 AM), which features Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc. Come September, 1290 will transition to KPAY Sports. KZAP reportedly will take on some of the rock that The Hippo used to play.

I talked to Wheezal Dogg, who’s been on radio on and off for 17 years, about the changes. To say he’s bummed would be an understatement. Though he’d recorded a final show, it never aired—on July 31, the station went quiet. Dino Corbin, general manager/partner at Deer Creek, tells me it was a technical issue, that equipment was being moved that day. As for Wheez, he says: “Thanks to all my fans and friends for letting me rock the airwaves the way it was supposed to.”

ZROCK and Thunder, please don’t give me a reason to pay for a Pandora account or Amazon Music. I don’t think I could handle it.

Calling all engaged couples Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is offering a free wedding to an already-engaged, beer-loving couple who want to get married at Oktoberfest. Apparently the very first Oktoberfest in Munich was also a royal wedding, so SN is celebrating that history.

Time is of the essence! Upload a short video explaining why you should be chosen by today (Aug. 8) to The lucky couple will get 50 tickets to the event (Sept. 27), plus food, decorations, cake, live music and, of course, beer. Cheers to that!

There’s still time Anyone who experienced financial loss due to the Camp Fire still can request help through the Small Business Association—but not for long. The deadline for applying for low-interest loans is Aug. 12. For more info on eligibility and how to apply, go to or call 800-659-2955.