by Richard Senate
The station had its studio on South California Street, broadcasting on Channel 16. It began transmitting on December 14th, 1968 and lasted only nine months. The whole thing was the brainchild of Hollywood talent scout Julian F. Myers, who lived in the Ventura Keys. It took him two years to get the paperwork done and build the transmission tower on Red Mountain. He rented an old paint store at 133 South California street and set it up with two studios.
He named his station Kalifornia Koast of Gold (KKOG). Unfortunately, it provided a weak, grainy signal on channel 16. It was black and white as most other stations were transitioning to color. In many ways it was a throw back to the 1950s and all shows were broadcast live. Mr. Myers hosted many of the shows himself. It had dance groups perform, local bands, with a kid’s program host by actor Gary Dyer reading stories but now showing cartoons.
Local Ventura High school history teacher Alfonso Mara did a news show, and Spanish teacher Frank Maaggpinto did a Spanish Language show called “Si Sixteen.” Many church shows filled the airwaves on Sunday along with panel groups discussing local issues. In many ways it resembles cable six programming today. With low viewership, backers walked out after only six weeks. More and more of the staff went unpaid with many continuing to work as unpaid volunteers. They had a hard time filling its 65 hours of programming each week. The owner tried to sell the station but there were no takers and at last, after his home was foreclosed upon and they were unable to pay the rent on the store building, it closed its doors for good.
A dream, perhaps ahead of the times. Mr. Myers left the station with only ten dollars in his pocket. Why did it fail? Poor programming and a lack of local support. Perhaps the day will come when Ventura will have its own commercial station. Let them learn the lessons from KKOG and the 1968-9 run of Julian Myers television dream.
We now have local CAPS TV.