Herbert Earl Jepko Sr.

Herbert Earl Jepko Sr.

Chino Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
Death 31 Mar 1995 (aged 64)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot Olympus Section, Lot 120 -4-W
Memorial ID 6953556 · View Source
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Radio Broadcast Personality. Born in Chino Valley, Arizona, his adoptive parents divorced when he was four years old, and he stayed with his adopted father until he was about eight years old, when illness forced the father into hospitalization. By about the age of sixteen, Herb's dad reclaimed him from foster care, and they again lived together until Herb was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. In the army, Jepko worked as Chief of Radio-Television Operations for the 4th Army. He produced 18 radio shows and one television show weekly. He also wrote and produced two full-length motion pictures before returning to civilian life in 1954. As a civilian, Jepko held several radio jobs in sales and sales management, until he eventually became Promotions Director for Los Angeles radio station KFI. While in Los Angeles, he met and married Patsy Little Brown, to be his wife of more than 40 years. They eventually moved to Patsy's hometown of Salt Lake City, where Jepko took a job as a jazz disk jockey at radio station KCPX. His on-air monologues between music cuts became popular, and gained him significant recognition in Salt Lake City. In 1962, He moved to larger station KSL in Salt Lake, to host a mid-day program titled "Crossroads", but he preferred late-night time slots. After much debate with studio management about his desire to host a late night radio talk show, KSL finally agreed to let Jepko attempt the unprecedented format and time slot, but only with significant personal financial investment from Jepko himself. In 1964, Jepko kicked-off what would become the first truly nationwide-networked late night radio talk show (after national syndication began in 1968). The show was originally called "The Other Side of the Day", and was an immediate success. An entire subculture with its own nomenclature was soon born. Listeners were called "Nightcaps", and they organized fan clubs called "Nightstands." The show spawned a magazine called "The Wick", and sold several promotional items, such as lapel pins, record albums, etc. Jepko eventually added service products for his listeners including life insurance, travel packages and cruises. Conventions of listeners drew hundreds of attendees from dozens of states. Jepko insisted on maintaining total control over the fulfillment of such products and over the advertisers on his show. By November 1974, the show had been renamed "The Herb Jepko Nightcap Show", and was being broadcast nationwide on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Within a year, Arbitron estimated a nightly audience of about 10 million listeners, over 300,000 of which were credentialed "Nightcaps". However, as part of the agreement with Mutual, Jepko relinquished control over order fulfillment and marketing strategies. Mutual attempted to change the show to appeal to more lucrative demographic audiences (Jepko traditionally had elderly insomniacs as his core listeners), and as a result, began to lose audience and revenue. In 1977 Mutual dropped Jepko's show from the network (and within a year, Larry King moved into the time slot in his first national show). The Nightcap Radio Network started over again with 10 affiliates and started slowly to grow again, but with few large or high-power stations. Subscriptions waned, Nightstands disbanded, and stations started dropping the program. After the Nightcap Radio Network went off the air in August of 1979, two attempts were made to resurrect the program. The first in 1983 by WOAI in San Antonio, Texas, and the second by KTKK in Salt Lake in 1990 (with Randy Jepko, Herb's son, serving as co-host). Another son, Herb Jr. or "Jep", died of AIDS in 1992. After a short tenure as Director of the local Humane Society, Herb Jepko died in Salt Lake City of complications from alcoholism on March 31, 1995.

Bio by: Scott Wilson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Scott Wilson
  • Added: 25 Nov 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6953556
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Herbert Earl Jepko Sr. (20 Mar 1931–31 Mar 1995), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6953556, citing Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .