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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Reno's Bruce Van Dyke, Known For Adventurous Programming, Dies At 69. – Inside Radio

Bruce Van Dyke, a constant on the Reno radio dial since 1978, died Sept. 16 after a brief illness. He was 69. “Bruce Van Dyke became a Reno radio icon by breaking the status quo on the airwaves,” wrote Brett McGinness in an obit for The Reno Gazette Journal.
Van Dyke’s radio travelogue brought him from Fresno to Reno in 1978 to KGLR, an adventurous rocker known for going deep on albums and playing longer tracks from prog rock bands. “Nobody had much of an idea what they were doing,” Van Dyke told the newspaper in 1992. “We were just music fans who wanted to do shows we could listen to.”
It wasn’t long before KGLR switched calls to KOZZ and tightened up its playlist as the 80as arrived. Van Dyke continued to build his rapport with Reno radio listeners on a succession of stations, including KOH and KWNZ, where he anchored “Bruce Van Dyke and the Morning Crew.”
A four-year detour to stations in Texas and Colorado followed, starting in 1986. Van Dyke retuned to Reno in 1990, where he played James Brown’s “Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” at 6am as the inaugural track to launch adult alternative “101.7 The X” KTHX. Its slogan: “From Frank (Zappa) to Frank (Sinatra).” Corporate brass didn’t quite get the musically diverse “X,” which changed frequencies several times in the 1990s but remained on the air, thanks to a loyal audience who engaged in letter writing campaigns when owners pulled the plug. The RGJ called its audience “small but zealous.”
Van Dyke stayed with “The X” until 2005, before semi-retiring, only to return on the non-commercial end of the FM dial to help launch KXNV (89.1) with Steve Funk. By 2017, the station left the airwaves but continued as an internet-only stream.
“Every other venture that Van Dyke undertook in Reno was about connecting with people,” McGinness writes, including emceeing local events, writing a regular print column and co-owning a restaurant. “But his immeasurable impression on local broadcasting will be his legacy.”
Read the full obituary HERE.

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