Radio Legend Ron Jacobs Passes
March 8, 2016 at 12:45 PM (PT)
Legendary 93/KHJ PD RON JACOBS has passed away today (MARCH 8th) at his home in PEARL CITY, HAWAII at the age of 78. Death has presumably been attributed to natural causes; no memorial plans are available at this time.
Born in HONOLULU on SEPTEMBER 3rd, 1937, JACOBS received his first license to broadcast on CHRISTMAS EVE, 1953, turning pro as an all-night DJ at HONOLULU’s KHON Radio. In 1957, he segued to HENRY J. KAISER’s new KHVH Radio. A year later, he landed his first PD gig at KPOA and a year after that, launched and programmed K-POI -– HAWAII’s first Top 40 outlet.
In 1962, JACOBS was promoted to VP/Programming at the COLGREENE CORPORATION, which included KMEN/SAN BERNARDINO and KMAK/FRESNO, the latter where JACOBS would team with radio consultant BILL DRAKE to program RKO GENERAL’s KHJ/LOS ANGELES. Within six months, the DRAKE-JACOBS’ “BOSS RADIO” format was #1, garnering national recognition for creating pop radio’s most influential sound of the 1960s.
After four years atop the L.A. radio ratings, JACOBS left KHJ to co-found and become VP of WATERMARK, INC. He collaborated with TOM ROUNDS and veteran LA deejay CASEY KASEM to create American Top 40, which became the most widely syndicated radio program in history. Also at WATERMARK, JACOBS also produced the award-winning ELVIS PRESLEY STORY, as well as a 13-album record series saluting pop radio pioneers, entitled CRUISIN': A History of Rock 'n' Roll Radio.
JACOBS would later program KGB-A/F/SAN DIEGO and venture further into concert promotion before returning to HONOLULU radio to do PD/mornings at KKUA as “Whodaguy Ron Jacobs.” In 1980, JACOBS launched KDEO as HAWAII's only full-time Country music station.
After three decades in broadcasting, JACOBS wrote his first book, "Backdoor Waikiki," which was published in 1986. For seven years he was a contributing editor to both HONOLULU and HAWAII magazines.
On FEBRUARY 9th, 1998, joined KCCN-A as host of the morning-drive show. A year later, the station changed to an all-Sports format and JACOBS left the airwaves.