Those with a clearer memory of those days, feel free to correct me, but here is what I remember, without doing any research.
At the time that KTW switched to Top 40:
- KAYO had abandoned the format for Country
- KOL had abandoned the format for "Music from the Mudflats" Middle of the Road
- Leaving KJR the "only game in town"
- in the suburbs, KTAC Tacoma was probably not Top 40 yet, KRKO Everett probably was, and KPUG Bellingham very likely was
That must have made the decision "pretty obvious" to management, but I still find it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind would believe that you can run a successful Top 40 station in a major market without being on the air in the evening, even if you did get early evenings in the summer because of late sunset times. Signing back on at 10 or 11pm after most of your audience has gone to bed just isn't a recipe for success, especially when you sign off at 4:30 pm in December.
All that said, I'm with sky on this one: they sounded amazingly great.