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KABC (790 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California. It serves as a West Coast flagship station for the Cumulus Media company. A pioneer of the talk radio format, the station went "all-talk" in September 1960, the second radio station to do so, a few months after KMOX in St. Louis. Despite different owners, KABC, KSPN and KABC-TV, (The local ABC owned-and-operated TV station) all maintain an informal partnership.

KABC
KABC2016.png
City Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area Greater Los Angeles Area
Branding 790 KABC
Slogan "News. Talk. Evolved."
Frequency 790 kHz (also on HD Radio via KLOS-HD2)
First air date August 1925
Format News/Talk
Power (construction permit): 6,600 watts daytime
7900 watts nighttime
Class B
Facility ID 33254
Transmitter coordinates 34°01′41″N 118°22′22″W / 34.02806°N 118.37278°W / 34.02806; -118.37278Coordinates: 34°01′41″N 118°22′22″W / 34.02806°N 118.37278°W / 34.02806; -118.37278
Callsign meaning K American Broadcasting Company (former owner & affiliation)
Former callsigns KFXB (1925-1927)
KPLA (1927-1929)
KECA (1929-1954)
Affiliations Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Westwood One Network
KABC-TV
Owner Cumulus Media
(Radio License Holdings LLC (in da)
Sister stations KLOS
Webcast Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)
Website kabc.com

KABC broadcasts in the HD (Hybrid Digital) format.[1] The station airs local talk shows and news updates weekdays, with the nationally syndicated shows Jonathan Brandmeier and Red Eye Radio airing at night, from co-owned Westwood One Network. National news from Westwood One News is heard at the beginning of some hours. KABC also airs Los Angeles Kings professional hockey games. Doug McIntyre hosts the morning show, Drew Pinsky hosts in the early afternoons, and John Philips and Jillian Barberie are heard in the afternoon drive. In early mornings, the station simulcasts the news-heavy 4:30am half-hour of Today in L.A. from television station KNBC.

KABC operates at 5,000 watts with a non-directional signal in the daytime but uses a directional antenna at night to protect other stations on 790. While the 790 signal adequately covered the Los Angeles media market in the 1960s and 1970s when KABC was often #1, the market has expanded greatly since then and the 5,000-watt signal may not be received clearly in all sections of the metropolitan area today.

On March 31, 2016, KABC was granted an FCC construction permit to move to the KWKW transmitter site, increase day power to 6,600 watts and increase night power to 6,800 watts.[2]On February 21, 2017 an application to modify the construction permit was accepted for filing. The night power would increase to 7,900 watts.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Former 790 KABC logo, until 2016

KABC began in August 1925 as KFXB in Big Bear Lake at 1430 kHz. The station moved to Los Angeles in 1927 and became KPLA. On November 15, 1929, KPLA was sold to Earle C. Anthony, a Packard automobile dealer and owner of KFI. Anthony changed the call letters to KECA. In August 1939, Anthony purchased KEHE/780 (formerly KTM) and took that station off the air. KECA eventually moved to 780. KECA moved to 790 as part of the NARBA frequency shifts of 1941.[4]

In 1944, new FCC rules went into effect prohibiting any entity from owning more than one radio station in the same market area. The Blue Network (originally owned by NBC but soon to become ABC) bought the station in July 1944, for $800,000.[5] The call sign was changed to KABC in 1954, after that call was released by a station in San Antonio.

KABC switched to a full-time talk format in 1960, becoming the nation's second "all-talk" station. Though a prominent Los Angeles news-talk station, KABC has declined in the ratings over the years. The station has fallen behind 640 KFI, another major talk station which has focused on serving Orange County more than the core Los Angeles market. KABC, which was owned by The Walt Disney Company's ABC Radio came under ownership of Citadel Broadcasting in 2006. Citadel then merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[6]

In October 2011, Cumulus Broadcasting took over ownership of KABC and sister station KLOS-FM. Airborne traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin, son of Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, was let go after 26 years. Also fired were imaging voice Howard Hoffman and news director/morning newsman Mark Austin Thomas (who is at rival station and CBS News Radio affiliate KNX as of 2018).

As of July 2015, KABC's audience share was at a historic low of 0.3%, below Salem Media's KRLA for the first time, which is notable as KRLA has hired many personalities let go from KABC since the end of ABC ownership.[7] As of August 2018, KRLA is a point ahead of KABC, which now is the 40th ranked station in the market in a 50-station survey, tied with Persian language station KIRN and only ahead of various HD2 streams, the market's Spanish sports talk stations and the Educational Media Foundation's stations.[8]

ProgrammingEdit

Current KABC personalities include Doug McIntyre, Leeann Tweeden, Terri-Rae Elmer, Peter Tilden, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Michael Catherwood, Jillian Barberie, John Phillips and Sam Mirejovsky. Contrary to its call sign, the station carries partial simulcasts of TV station KNBC's newscasts, while Cumulus's Red Eye Radio airs overnights. On weekends, shows on money, health, real estate, cars and wine are heard, some of them paid brokered programming.

From 1974 to 1997, KABC was the flagship station of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their hall-of-fame broadcaster Vin Scully. After some years on KFWB, the team returned to KABC in 2008.[9] On September 28, 2011, the final broadcast of Dodgers Baseball on KABC was aired at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, before the games moved to 570 KLAC for the 2012 season. In August 2014, the station became the flagship for the NHL Los Angeles Kings' radio broadcasts.

KABC has been the base of operation for many influential radio hosts, including early talk radio pioneers Joe Pyne and Louis Lomax. The station has also served as the home of Michael Jackson, whose talk show attracted celebrities, politicians, and newsmakers of all types, pioneering radio psychologist Dr. Toni Grant and psychiatrist David Viscott, history buff Ira Fistel and more recent syndicated hosts including Dennis Prager and Larry Elder (now both with KRLA and the Salem Radio Network) and John and Ken (on KFI before their stint on KABC and currently back on KFI). In the 1980s, Jackson, Grant, Fistel and Viscott were also syndicated nationwide on ABC Radio's Talk Radio Network.

A lawsuit alleged that school employees of Academia Semillas del Pueblo (ASDP) received death threats, and that the school was the target of a bomb threat, because of Doug McIntyre's extensive on-air criticism of the school, in which he accused ASDP of espousing a racist and separatist Anti-American philosophy.[10] The suit was dismissed in January 2008.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
  2. ^ Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station - Federal Communications Commission
  3. ^ Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station - Federal Communications Commission
  4. ^ http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?650427-Story-of-KABC-790-AM-license-a-complicated-one-call-lettere-history
  5. ^ "Seven Station Transfers Granted by FCC". Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 27 (4): 14. July 24, 1944. Transfer granted by the FCC on July 18.
  6. ^ "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  7. ^ http://ratings.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/rol.exe/arb003
  8. ^ "Nielsen Audio Ratings - Los Angeles July 2017 Ratings". Radio-Online. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  9. ^ Los Angeles Times, Oct. 24, 2007, page D8
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 2007, page B4

External linksEdit