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The Birth of Top 40 Radio...

The term "Top 40" for a radio format first appeared in 1960.

At his radio station KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska. Todd Storz invented the format by using what he saw from the repetition of plays on the jukebox to develop his platform.

The format was commercially successful, and Storz and his father Robert, under the name of the Storz Broadcasting Company, subsequently acquired other stations to use the new Top 40.

The Top 40 became a survey of the popularity of 45 rpm singles and their airplay on the radio. Some nationally syndicated radio shows featured a countdown of the 40 highest ranked songs on a particular music or entertainment publication.

Although such publications often listed more than 40 charted hits, such as the Billboard Hot 100, time constraints allowed for the airing of only 40 songs, hence, the term "top 40" gradually became part of the vernacular associated with popular music. And it remains in play today.

   A N D  R E C E N T L Y  A D D E D:


Shana was born Margaret Reichl to German parents at Camp LeJeune Air Force Base in North Carolina.
She learned English by watching Saturday-morning cartoons on television and began in radio at student-run WIDR while studying communications at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. After graduating, she worked at KWBB in Wichita, calling herself simply "Margo." Program director Michael Spears gave her the new on-air name "Shana."
Shana is presenting KFRC's "original" 610 Battle of the Hits on May 3, 1975. [ LISTEN ] (4:08), and here she is again at KFRC on September 22, 1976. [ LISTEN ] (1:01:01)
In 1974, at age 21, she became the first female disc jockey on Top 40 KFRC in San Francisco, and in 1976, she became the first female DJ to hit the airwaves of Top 40 KHJ (930 AM) when programmer Charlie Van Dyke lured her to Southern California. She began in the 2-to-6am slot and eventually moved to late nights.
After KHJ she moved on to KEZY during its album-rock years, followed by a year at KROQ (106.7 FM). But it was at KLOS (95.5 FM) where she really made her mark.
She started at KLOS in 1980, and took over morning drive. Her face was on every bus billboard in town. It was a huge accomplishment at that time. She was funny, with her smoky voice and quick wit. Shana put on a great show - very irreverent, a touch rowdy, some rock ’n’ roll gossip and lots of laughs. She also knew her music and most of the artists behind it.
In 1984 she was paired with newsman Chuck Moshontz to replace Frazer Smith on the morning shift, one of the few times a woman hosted a morning show. The same “experiment” was happening at crosstown rival KMET where Cynthia Fox was paired with newsman Pat Kelley.
Shana is fondly remembered for her work and her sense of happiness and humor that permeated her shows at KLOS and later KLSX, where she stayed until 1995.
She was a writer and editor for Album Network Magazine, taught broadcasting classes at UCLA and Pasadena City College (even hosted a show on KPCC 89.3 FM in 1996 and 1997), worked as a talent coordinator for the syndicated radio program Rockline, did voiceover work and hosted fundraising events. Her last regular on-air shift locally was at KCBS-FM in 2005.
Shana died in her sleep at her home in Detroit on July 18, 2015. She was 62.
Some materials found on this page were originally published by the following: Bay Area Radio Museum, Internet Archive.
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...and In Rode the Disc Jockeys

“DJs” have had a key role in shaping radio listener's musical tastes since the 1950s. They reflected national and local musical trends, exposed audiences to new music, and in some cases produced records and managed artists. Many DJs became celebrities, actively engaged and influential in the national music scene.

DJs came into being as a result of changes in the radio industry after the advent of television in the 1950s. In the earlier years of radio broadcasting, programming featured mainly live entertainment such as dramas, comedy acts, and studio orchestras and singers. When television came into widespread use, the audience for this type of programming largely abandoned radio for the new medium. In response, radio stations began offering a new type of entertainment by having their announcers play records on the air.

Thus was born the “disc jockey” or “DJ.”