KSPN (710 AM) is a sports radio station formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California, serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. The station is owned by The Walt Disney Company and operated through ESPN Radio. The KSPN broadcast license is held by ABC Radio Los Angeles Assets, LLC.
|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles Area|
Western San Diego Country
|Branding||ESPN LA 710|
|Frequency||710 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 19, 1927|
(as KRLO), moved to 710 AM in November 1929
|Power||50,000 watts (day)|
10,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||K-Entertainment and Sports Programming Network|
(former full name of ESPN)
|Owner||ABC, Inc. (Disney) |
(ABC Radio Los Angeles Assets, LLC)
|Website||ESPN Los Angeles|
KSPN began its life as KRLO on February 19, 1927, broadcasting from Beverly Hills. It was broadcasting at 1170 AM, and didn't switch to 710 until it was sold to new owners in November 1929, as KEJK. It took its well-known call letters of KMPC in March 1930 (under the ownership of MacMillan Petroleum Company, for which the station's call letters were named) and kept those for nearly 70 years. George A. Richards of Detroit acquired the station then, and KMPC became part of the Goodwill Station group that included WJR in Detroit, Michigan and WGAR in Cleveland, Ohio, both also owned by Richards.
KMPC soon became Southern California's destination for sports programming, as it carried Pacific Coast League baseball, Los Angeles Rams football, and UCLA sports. Legendary singer and actor Gene Autry bought KMPC in 1952, making it the centerpiece of his broadcasting company, Golden West Broadcasters.
During 1958 and 1959, it was also the flagship station for the Los Angeles Dodgers radio network. In 1961, it became the flagship of the new Los Angeles Angels, also owned by Autry—a relationship that continued until 2008 (except for 1997 to 2002). Throughout the 1950s and most of the 1960s, KMPC played middle of the road music, best described as a combination of older standards and soft rock. Dick Whittinghill, Geoff Edwards, Wink Martindale, Gary Owens, Bob Arbogast and Roger Carroll formed a powerhouse jock lineup during the '70s. KMPC later adopted a standards format which featured big band music extensively. During this time, the legendary Robert W. Morgan began a long stint as morning host, and KMPC aired a daily sports-talk show hosted by Scott St. James, who became a soap opera actor on the side.
In the early 1980s, KMPC changed to talk radio and fired its DJs. Whittinghill, Owens, Johnny Magnus and Pete Smith went over to KPRZ and played "The Music of Your Life". A few years later, KMPC returned to standards as "The Station of the Stars".
In April 1992, KMPC became one of the first all sports stations on the West Coast, billing itself as "All Sports, All Hours." Jim Lampley and Todd Christensen were co-hosts of one program, Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian began their run as a popular local duo "McDonnell & Douglas", and Jim Healy, one of the most famous voices in L.A. sports history, returned after a few years at KLAC. Other show hosts included Brian Golden and Paola Boivin, Chris Roberts and Jack Snow, Fred Wallin and Tony Femino. However, in 1994, the station was sold off to ABC, and on May 2 of that year, KMPC began a general talk format to complement KABC. Hosts such as Tom Leykis, Stephanie Miller, Peter Tilden, and Joe Crummey headlined this new format.
On February 24, 1997, ABC Radio changed KMPC's call letters to KTZN, and flipped to a women's talk format. The station committed to the format by hiring multiple new hosts, humor writer Merril Markoe, psychologist Toni Grant and comedian (and former KMPC host) Stephanie Miller. Under this format, the station failed to make the top 30 in LA. On August 26, 1997, Radio Disney was launched on the station as the fifth affiliate.
KSPN started at 1110 AM in December 2000, after ABC purchased the former KRLA from Infinity Broadcasting due to being over ownership limits. However, on January 1, 2003, ABC swapped its Radio Disney and ESPN Radio formats, with 1110 taking Radio Disney and the KDIS calls and 710 becoming L.A.'s ESPN Radio outlet, led by the talk team of Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian. The KMPC call letters were retired until AM 1540 acquired them in 2000. (That KMPC also had an all-sports format, with Sporting News Radio, until May 1, 2007, when it switched broadcasts to the Korean language.)
- The football and basketball programs of the University of Southern California, since the 2006-07 academic year. The football announcing team is veteran Pete Arbogast and John Jackson. The basketball announcer is Jordan Moore. In 2010, Chris Fisher replaced Rory Markas, who died in January of that year. In October of 2018, Moore took over for Fisher, who was moving on to play-by-play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Starting with the 2012 season, USC home football games will be carried on ESPN Radio.
- ESPN Radio coverage of the Bowl Championship Series, selected NBA regular season and postseason games, including all NBA Finals contests, and MLB postseason games, including the World Series.
- Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, since the 2009-10 season. John Ireland and Mychal Thompson are the game announcers, preceded by the pregame show with Dave Shore and the postgame show with A Martinez and Dave Miller.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Major League Baseball): Sixty Angels games are simulcast on KSPN, which has a partnership with official flagship station KLAA for additional talk shows and some advertising sales. KLAA's audio is usually several seconds ahead of KSPN's in the L.A. basin.
- Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League, since the return of the team to Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season alongside FM station KCBS. In the Rams' original Los Angeles stint, 710 AM (in its previous KMPC incarnation) was the team's radio flagship for nearly the team's entire first tenure in the region.
- Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (swapped stations with Clippers in 2006; Kings games now air on iHeart Radio)
- The National Football League's San Diego Chargers, only for the 2007 season; game broadcasts are now on KFI.
- Los Angeles Clippers (National Basketball Association); team moved its radio broadcasts to KFWB starting with the 2009-10 season; later was moved to KLAC in March 2016
Although several of the talk show hosts originate from the East Coast (with John Ireland and Marcellus Wiley being the only Angeleno natives to co-host weekday shows on the station since 2010), KSPN features Laker- and Trojan football-centric coverage.
When it premiered in January 2003, the station looked to be locally focused, bringing in popular local talk duo Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian and their McDonnell-Douglas show to anchor afternoon drive. Steve Mason & John Ireland, football player D'Marco Farr and longtime ESPN personality Gary Miller were among the hosts who rotated through the midday slot from 2004-2007.
On November 26, 2007, KSPN introduced yet another, new local lineup. Mason, sans Ireland, moved into the 1-4 p.m. time slot, followed in afternoon drive by a new show hosted by Dave Dameshek, a member of the Jimmy Kimmel-Adam Carolla comedy connection. Unique to Dameshek's show was a house band similar to those found on late-night television shows. New-to-Los Angeles Brian Long was hired for a new evening show. In the programming shakeup, Kevin Kiley, who had served as an on-air foil to Farr, was let go, and, inexplicably, the popular Ireland also was let go. Ireland was rehired in April 2008 and reunited with Mason in the early afternoon time slot.
Just seven months later, on June 23, 2008, another new local lineup was introduced. Mason and Ireland went on from 1-4 while Dameshek was forced to share his show with Long and Dave Denholm, a three-man pairing. Dameshek eventually began a podcast-only show that has become among the parent network's more popular Web offerings, while Denholm and Long continued in afternoon drive.
After 710 ESPN got the Lakers rights, they started morphing their already Trojan- and Laker-heavy talk programming to be even more Laker-centric. On July 10, 2009, unofficially known as "710 Day," L.A. Sports Live with Andrew Siciliano and Mychal Thompson premiered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time. Mason and Ireland returned to their old drive time slot (3-7 p.m.), replacing Denholm and Long.
More time slot changes were made on April 5, 2010: With ESPN having reduced The Herd with Colin Cowherd to three hours (7-10 a.m. PT), L.A. Sports Live and Mason and Ireland each moved up by one hour but are still on for four hours each. Martinez and Long received a new time slot, 6-9 p.m. Pacific. The local shows originate from ESPN studios at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
KSPN also carries two other shows from the network: Mike and Mike in the Morning and All Night with Jason Smith, the latter of which originates from the KSPN studios. The Scott Van Pelt and Dan Le Batard shows are available on KLAA due to the partnership accommodation.
In December 2010, Mike Thompson was hired as new Programming Director. Thompson is infamous for once firing Joe McDonnell outside a sandwich shop in Westwood, as well as introducing Arnie Spanier and Karl Malone to L.A. radio. His first move at KSPN was to replace Siciliano with a new show hosted by New Yorker Max Kellerman and former NFL player Marcellus Wiley. Mychal Thompson remains as a Lakers analyst and became a morning show host with Mark Willard, who was let go from the station on August 29, 2014. Mychal Thompson continues to broadcast in the mornings with Mike Trudell on "Thompson & Trudell" in the 10am-12pm time-slot. Long left the station in December to become program director of KIRO, the ESPN affiliate in Seattle.
KSPN later added another New Yorker, Stephen A. Smith, to its weeknight lineup, followed by Martinez' underrated "In the Zone" talk show (fourth-best show in Tom Hoffarth's 2011 Daily News rankings). These shows were later dropped and ESPN Radio’s “The Freddy Coleman Show” now airs in the evenings (when other programming does not take precedence).
As of June 2018, the morning show is "Keyshawn, Jorge, and LZ", with Keyshawn Johnson, Jorge Sedano and LZ Granderson. After this show, Stephen A. Smith hosts the mid-morning show, followed by "Mason and Ireland" in the afternoon hours. From 3-7, Marcellus Wiley hosts a show with Travis Rodgers.
- "KSPN Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- http://www.socalradiohistory.com/krkd.html, Retrieved on July 21, 2009.
- Hochman, Steve (August 27, 1997). "Radio Disney Makes L.A. Debut". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Paskwietz, Garry (April 16, 2012). "USC games to air on ESPN Radio". ESPN Los Angeles. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- Tom Hoffarth (December 11, 2008). "Lakers run at KLAC to end after 30-plus seasons..." Los Angeles Newspaper Group. Retrieved December 24, 2008.
- "Angels Return to 710 ESPN Radio". ESPN. March 31, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
- Long Beach Press-Telegram, Nov. 16, 2007, page B2