Tuesday, October 22, 2019

R.I.P. Bruce Walton, NFL Player, Radio Station Owner

Bruce Walton
Bruce Walton, a former NFL player who introduced “lites out” jazz to San Diego’s airwaves, died Friday after years of failing health.

He was 68, according to the Union-Tribune.

Walton and his brother, Bill, are the only siblings to have appeared in a Super Bowl and the NBA Finals. Bruce played with the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X. Bill led the Portland Trail Blazers to a championship in 1977, and played for the triumphant Boston Celtics in 1986.

Walton carved out a successful career as a radio broadcaster. He is credited with pioneering the “lites out” smooth jazz format in 1982, when he was general manager of KIFM. That station’s mellow rock format had struggled to find an audience, but its switch to jazz proved popular with broad range of audiences — African-American and white, younger and older listeners.

In 1996, Walton’s company sold Smooth Jazz 98.1 KIFM to the Jefferson Pilot group for $28.75 million.

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