Via Don Barrett’s laradio.com column, RadioDiscussions.com user KM Richards reports Ken Roberts, former Alternative KROQ-FM owner has passed at 72. “Roberts was the guy who rescued KROQ [now owned by CBS Radio] from the brink by getting it back on the air in 1976 when it had mere days left before it would lose its license for staying silent too long. He also owned MARS-FM [Indie/Electronic 103.1 simulcast] in the 1990s after selling KROQ to Infinity. In the day (early-mid eighties), KROQ was famous for starting the Modern Rock format across the country. It’s success led to similar formats in cities like Pittsburgh (WYDD-FM) and Detroit (WLBS-FM).
Roberts was pretty iconic to FM Radio in that he broke new music and new bands in a way that really caught on with listeners. The station’s imaging helped a lot too, coupled with the tie-in with local bands and venues. We need a Ken Roberts today for Indie Rock. RIP, Mr. Roberts.