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.
|Broadcast area||Fresno and Vicinity|
|Branding||ESPN Deportes 1600|
|Affiliations||ESPN Deportes Radio|
|Owner||Lotus Communications |
(Lotus Fresno Corp.)
|Sister stations||KSEQ, KLBN, KKBZ, and KHIT-FM|
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.
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.
- History of KGST "La Mexicana" 1600 AM (history thesis)
- National Park Service: Survey of Historic Sites important to Mexican-Americans in California
- FCC History Cards for KGST
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KGST
- Radio-Locator Information on KGST
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KGST