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KALX (90.7 FM) is an FM radio station that broadcasts from the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, United States. KALX, a community and student-run radio station licensed to the university, broadcasts in stereo with 500 watts of power. The station employs three full-time paid staff members, but is largely run by its nearly 300 volunteers, including Berkeley students and other members of the local community. The station's studios are located at Barrows Hall on campus.
|Broadcast area||San Francisco Bay Area|
|Callsign meaning||University of CALifornia [sic]|
|Owner||University of California|
The station originally began broadcasting in 1962, as a carrier current station. By 1966, KALX (then known as Radio KAL, the call letters being derived from Berkeley's nickname "Cal") had moved from Berkeley's dormitories to Dwinelle Hall on campus, and Berkeley administrators began investigating the possibility of applying for a broadcast frequency for the station. KALX received its broadcast license and made its first FM broadcast, with 10 watts of power, in 1967. The studio in the basement of Dwinelle was modest, a small chamber sequestered off from a sizable library of albums.
In the 1970s, KALX was taken off the air for a short period by the faculty oversight Radio Policy Board after the station manager and friends had abused their use of university automobiles for private use and run up large bills for long distance phone calls to their contacts in Los Angeles and elsewhere. After an investigation, the station was put back on the air in 1975 under new management, led by Andrew Reimer who had previously been manager of KUCI, the radio station at UC Irvine. The station progressed from a 10 watt part-time operation to continuous operation in 1977, to a higher transmitter site in the Berkeley Hills in 1978.
For the 1978 baseball season, the Oakland A's, whom owner Charlie Finley was trying to move to Denver midseason, had no radio station was in place to carry the games. Two students working at KALX (one of whom was Larry Baer) approached Finley about doing play-by-play for the first half of the season, and Finley sold them the broadcast rights for one dollar. When the season continued and it became clear the A's would not be leaving Oakland, KALX helped Finley find a new radio home. As part of the A's 50th anniversary celebration in 2018, Baer was invited back to do play-by-play for one inning of an A's/Giants game.
KALX became the official radio station for the Oakland Athletics just days before the season opener in April 1978. Larry Baer, a junior political science major who was the station's sports director and business manager, negotiated the agreement with team owner Charlie Finley. The situation was made possible because of the Athletics' subpar on-field performance and attendance and the uncertainty surrounding Finley's threats to move the ballclub to Denver. Baer, who would later serve as a San Francisco Giants executive beginning in December 1992, was the play-by-play announcer. Sophomore mass communications major Bob Kozberg and station producer/engineer Steve Blum also worked on the broadcasts.
The arrangement lasted only sixteen games. One month into the season, Finley decided to keep the Athletics in Oakland and awarded the broadcast rights to KNEW. Nonetheless, the setup made the A's a laughingstock in the Bay Area. At the time, KALX only operated at 10 watts, rendering it practically unlistenable more than 10 miles from Oakland Coliseum. This led one fan to joke about the A's radio network stretching all the way to Hawaii by asking, "Honolulu? How about here?"
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KALX offers a diverse range of public affairs programming, and airs many kinds of public service announcements throughout its daily broadcast.
KALX has provided a training ground for numerous individuals who have had careers in television and radio. These include:
- Play-by-play. July 21, 2018. KGMZ-FM.
- The Full and Unabridged History of KALX – KALX 90.7FM Berkeley.
- "San Francisco Giants: Front Office". sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com.
- Fimrite, Ron. "They're Just Mad About Charlie," Sports Illustrated, May 21, 1979.
- Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6.
- News, A. B. C. (13 April 2012). "Lisa Stark". ABC News.
- "Sarah Wallace joins WNBC after ending a 30-year run at WABC". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "radioinfo.com.au | Australia's leading site for broadcast professionals". www.radioinfo.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "Kristen Sze | ABC7 KGO News Team". ABC7 San Francisco. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- BobSarlatte.com. "Bay Area - Comedian - Corporate Event Emcee - Bob Sarlatte". www.bobsarlatte.com.