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KGST

KGST (branded as ESPN Deportes 1600) is a radio station serving Fresno, California and Vicinity as an ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate. This station operates on AM frequency 1600 kHz and is under ownership of Lotus Communications. Its studios are located just north of downtown Fresno, and the transmitter tower is in the city's southwest portion.

KGST
KGST_1600AM.jpg
CityFresno, California
Broadcast areaFresno and Vicinity
BrandingESPN Deportes 1600
Frequency1600 kHz
FormatSpanish Sports/Talk
Power5,000 Watts
ClassB
Facility ID38453
AffiliationsESPN Deportes Radio
OwnerLotus Communications
(Lotus Fresno Corp.)
Sister stationsKSEQ, KLBN, KKBZ, and KHIT-FM
Websiteespn1600am.com

KGST, known for much of its history as "La Mexicana," started out as a mixed-format "international" station in 1949, with programs hosted by brokers who paid for airtime. It featured programming in languages including Armenian, Portuguese, Serbian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish-language. It was the first radio station in the San Joaquin Valley with Spanish-language programming, and one of the earliest stations in California with full-time programming in Spanish. At its inception, KGST was the only independent (not affiliated with the four major networks) station in Fresno's five-station market (c.f. White's Radio Log, Fall 1949).

Juan Mercado, who got his start as the Spanish-language programming director at a Visalia station, was one of the most popular deejays at the station, becoming so successful that he was able to buy the station in 1959. Mercado died just two years later and the station was bought by a couple of men who were at the time running KLOK out of San Jose.[citation needed]

In the mid- to late-1950s and 1960s, KGST was a rather "eclectic" mix of C&W, Blues, Jazz, and Spanish and other language programming. "Happy Harold's House of Blues" was a program fixture for many years (c.f. Fresno Bee radio logs). In that time period, KGST was "sunrise-to-sunset" with a power of 1 kW (c.f. White's Radio Log, various editions).

In 1988, KGST was bought by Lotus Corporation, which owned several stations in Arizona, California and Nevada.

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