If one combines the KGB AM and FM ratings, KPRI came in third. But Jack Lane, KPRI's general manager, stresses that KPRI is an FM station and that its listeners have maintained a consistent loyalty. he spent a lot of time defending his past reputation as a muckracker, "When I started at KPRI I was Sales Director. I saw rate-cutting and price prostitution and wanted to do something about it. People around here weren't used to that sort of thing and reacted to it strongly." Mr. Lane also defended the station against the accusation of bad taste, "We started some ads for KPRI, one in admittedly bad taste that said, 'Don't take sloppy seconds,' but it was in better taste than KGB's 'no shit' ad. We had our reasons. KDEO had been distributing literature with old ARB ratings, completely misrepresenting the figures. Okay, so our ads got negative response, but it served a purpose in getting us a mailing list of dissenters, people who cared."
In one breath, Mr. Lane seemed to say KPRI was changing. "We're finally getting out of being the hippy dope-smoking station," but in the next breath seemed to sing the praises of the "movement": "We were the first station to open up the counterculture to the public via broadcasting. You could say that we were San Diego youth's first lover, and because we were first, we're the most remembered. That's the phenomenon KPRI has become."
KCBQ, long known as the bubble-gum station of San Diego made no concession in light of the new ARB figures, "We're still Number One." Jack McCoy, KCBQ's program director claimed. But Mr. McCoy, KCBQ's program director claimed. But Mr. McCoy said he didn't know why everyone made the 18 to 34 male so important, "we want to appeal to everyone from 12 to 49." He did let the fact slide that "usually we're ahead by two or three to one — not this time, of course — but we're still Number One, we're still Number One!"
Although not interviewed personally about the San Diego ARBs, Marshall McLuhan seemed to be talking about them when he prophesied, "Radio is provided with its cloak of invisibility, like any other medium. It comes to us ostensibly with person-to-person directness that is private and intimate, while in more urgent fact, it is really a subliminal echo chamber of magical power to touch remote and forgotten chords." Somehow the indirectness and the invisibility that surrounds the ARBs make it difficult to see through to the truth. Especially with the charges of distorted samplings. However, the more one looks at the figures and listens to the rationalization of them, the question becomes where does the indirectness and invisibility lie in the figures and their validity or int eh postmortem explanation.