The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel
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Thread: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

  1. #1
    Bob_Hudson
    Guest

    The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Looking at the recent news about Clear Channel firing three KOGO newscasters, led me to some Google searches for Airwatch, Clear Channel's traffic reporting arm.

    For those who may not know it, Airwatch was started in San Diego by Steve Springer, a former KSDO reporter who, along with Monica Zech, was one of San Diego's first traffic reporters, working for the Auto Club.

    Springer worked the typical traffic reporters split shift and started hanging out in middays at the old KGB studios on Engineer Road, purportedly to help gather some news for AM 1360 which had just switched from KGB-AM to KCCN, all news.

    It was during this time that Steve, working with KGB GM Jim Price, came up with the idea for Airwatch. As I understand they got some other San Diegans, including a couple of radio GM's, to invest in it so they could acquire the aircraft (I think they ended up with a helicopter and one fixed wing, both of them probably leased). Airwatch eventually expanded to Los Angeles as well as San Diego.

    Well when Jacor came to town in 1997 and started buying up everything in site, they snapped up Airwatch for $16 million in cash. Steve became a multi-millionaire from that deal and needless to say, no longer had to bother with radio announcing to pay the bills.

    Until today the last I'd about Steve Springer was a rumor that he had bought a big yacht right after the sale and sailed off into the sunset.

    Today, I ran across two newspaper articles that ran last fall - Sept. 2007 - reporting on the sale of a downtown San Diego condo for $7.5 million! The seller, they reported, was Airwatch founder Steve Springer. The San Diego Union said he sold because he was "moving to a home in the Dominican Republic."

    I think he and Jack Vincent are the only two guys to ever actually retire from radio in San Diego.

  2. #2
    doublecashkgb
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Bob here's some I could think of:

    Gabriel Wisdom (kind of a scumbag) retired from radio rich.

    Scotty Day (KCBQ-KOGO) RIP was very wealthy. He invested heavily in the stock market.

    Harry Martin (I think he did pretty well)

    Dex Allen (another scumbag) a multi-millionaire and a former bad DJ at KCBQ

    I'm sure there are more..

  3. #3

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Laurence Gross retired (and passed away) wealthy.

    dr

    Since 1980.

  4. #4
    doublecashkgb
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    That's right Laurence and his family put KSON and I believe Channel 8 on the air in the 50's. Nice guy,
    and good talk show host.

  5. #5
    jimmythebassett
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Don't forget Fred Lewis who is pushing up daisies. Rumour he taught Al K. Raye the news biz.

  6. #6
    Bob_Hudson
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmythebassett
    Don't forget Fred Lewis who is pushing up daisies. Rumour he taught Al K. Raye the news biz.
    If Fred had money, I don't think he got it from radio, a least not from being on the air and he never really retired.

    Gabe Wisdom - who has not retired - made his money as a financial adviser, although his radio connections helped him get some air time as a stock market reporter which is always great free advertising.

    Laurence Gross came to San Diego radio following a stint as a radio talk show host in Denver. The Mckinnon family put KSON on the air. Laurence's father Jack O. Gross did put KFMB-TV on the air in 1949 and sold it in 1953. I would think the sale of a San Diego TV station in 1953 would not have generated any sort of wealth. I always got the impression that Laurence, as with Fred Lewis, was one of those people who dressed for success, but really never made any big money in broadcasting - Laurence may have gotten some of daddy's money but that's not the same.

  7. #7

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    don't forget about Bob Hudson too. Yeah, you may not be rich, but you must be content. After all, a boatload of money can not buy that!
    ~+++++++++++++<br />Chris ~ SDRadio<br />Twitter: SDRadio / http://SDRadio.net<br />&quot;See YOU on the radio!&quot;

  8. #8
    Bob_Hudson
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Quote Originally Posted by Media Hack Chris | SDR
    don't forget about Bob Hudson too. Yeah, you may not be rich, but you must be content. After all, a boatload of money can not buy that!
    Hey, I found out that when I turn 65 I will be able to get something like $500 a month from the AFTRA pension fund!

    I will be living la vida loca when that bounty starts arriving in my mailbox every month and may even buy a Big Mac!

  9. #9
    doublecashkgb
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Bob, I don't give a damn if they made their money directly from a radio gig, they had money. Laurence Gross was very wealthy & didn't need to work. Fred Lewis-I know he owned a home in La Jolla & if he was wealthy likely made his money in outside ventures not a radio station, That's the point, Gabriel Wisdom likely never made more than what 40-50 K in radio and he's worth millions.

  10. #10
    136kgb
    Guest

    Re: The San Diegan who beat Jacor and Clear Channel

    Just so you guys know the former owner and original licensee of KFMB channel 8 was Jack Gross not Lawrence.

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