KNDE was once the original KXOA-AM that had aired since 1945. In December 1970, KXOA-AM was sold to a group of investors associated with Progressive Rock-formatted KSJO-FM in San Jose. On January 8 1971 at 12:01 AM, the new owners flipped the format to Progressive Rock. They changed the call letters to KNDE, and tagged the station as "Radio Kandie 1470". ventually, the station’s nickname became "Rock Kandie 147" to reflect its rock-based approach. The format continued through early 1973, but began moving towards a full-blown Top 40 approach. By the summer of 1973, the station had indeed become Top 40, complete with fast-talking announcers and teen pop singles. Oddly, the station initially kept the "Rock Kandie" nickname, despite the fact it was a Top 40 station. As time progressed, the station began calling itself simply "Kandie" and then KNDE.
From a ratings perspective, the format shift was successful. By late 1974, KNDE began to overtake KROY as a Top 40 leader. One of KNDE’s features was playing more hits per hour than KROY. In late 1976 KNDE dominance began to falter. To compensate, in 1977 KNDE hired Marc Driscoll(WNBC) as program director who subsequently hired an entire new air-staff with the exception of KNDE afternoon drive person Chuck Hale formerly of KROY and KYNO in Fresno, CA and whom Driscoll gave the moniker, "Chucker". While retaining Hale, Driscoll brought aboard Jeff Hunter(KSTN)for AM drive, Stevie Jet (KYA) for middays, Chucker in PM drive and Billy (Batman) Manders (KAFY)in the evenings. Weekends on KNDE had "Super" Dave Cooper and "Young" Dave Young. KNDE also began utilizing technology that speeded up the tempo of songs without altering their pitch (pitch shifting). However, a keen listener could notice a slight change in the tempo of the song. A similar approach was taken at Top 40 giants like KIMN, Denver, Colorado and KLIV, San Jose.
Additionally, KNDE provided live broadcasts from the California Exposition and State Fair in the mid to late 1970s, beating KROY at the remote broadcasting technology game and in a hot air ballon race that pitted Chucker broadcasting live via a 2-way remote in the KNDE/Wendy's winning balloon against Tony Cox in the KROY/Dr.Pepper balloon.
Unfortunately for KNDE success was elusive. Marc Driscoll soon departed for New York and KROY continued the AM Top 40 ratings lead into 1978. Chuck (Chucker) Hale joined KROY in early 1978 for his second stint with the station eventually becoming program director. Additionally, the FM signals in the area began carving out a niche against many of the AM music giants around this time. The owners of KNDE were looking for a buyer to take over the station. In September 1978, they found a buyer (Brown Broadcasting) who would bring back their old call letters of KXOA.
Brown Broadcasting owned KGB AM and FM in San Diego. They also owned KXOA (107.9) in Sacramento. In San Diego, KGB-FM (101.1) was known as "The Rockin’ Home" and featured mainstream Album Rock programming, while KGB-AM (1360) featured Soft Rock, and was known as "The Mellow Home", similar to KXOA in Sacramento. Brown Broadcasting purchased KNDE with the intention of placing the "Rocking Home" in Sacramento on AM while keeping the FM (KXOA-FM; K-108) as the "Mellow Home". Basically, the Sacramento format situation would be reversed from their San Diego operations.
On September 28, 1978, Brown Broadcasting flipped KNDE from Top 40 to Album Oriented Rock. They also changed the call letters back to KXOA, and named the station "AM 14, The Rockin’ Home"., thus KNDE's broadcast came to an end.