KCR founder dies at age 69

by Adriana Millar, Staff Writer

The founder of San Diego State’s KCR College Radio station Jerry Zullo died recently, leaving behind a student organization that continues today. He was 69.

His death came amid major studio renovations for the station as it prepared to resume broadcasting for the fall 2015 semester this week.

Zullo, along with class of 1970 alumnus Jim Hancock and class of 1974 alumnus Ken Kramer, helped establish KCR in 1969.

“He’s kind of the father of KCR radio, if you were to coin a term for him,” Hancock said.

Zullo was known for his energy and sense of humor with on-air pranks on his radio program, “The Nobody Show.”

“It’s hard to describe his sense of humor, and his sense of fun about things, about people,” Kramer said. “He could tell a story and just completely wrap you.”

In addition to his work at KCR, Zullo worked as a news director at KPBS radio for 20 years and as a National Public Radio contributor.

“Even while he had this kind of crazy persona over on KCR … Jerry Zullo was a voice and a name that people who listened to NPR in the 1970s knew,” Kramer said.

Zullo is perhaps best known to Aztecs as the band announcer for the SDSU Marching Aztecs, a position he held for the past 43 years.

“I can’t even imagine the Aztecs taking the field without him announcing them,” Kramer said. “You saw the Aztecs on the field, and you heard his voice. Those two things are connected in my mind at Qualcomm.”

On Monday, KCR dedicated its first day of fall semester shows in memory of Zullo, KCR General Manager Matt Hoffman said.

Zullo’s mark on SDSU student broadcasting remains strong. The station received a record number of 74 applicants this semester.

KCR’s new studio, with equipment dated from iHeartMedia San Diego, begins operations this week.

Hoffman plans to increase the number of guests and on-air hosts this semester while revamping the station’s news division.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said iHeartMedia San Diego donated funds to KCR, which is incorrect. The company donated equipment to the college radio station.