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KCBQ: Wikis


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KCBQ logo.png
City of license San Diego, California
Broadcast area San Diego
Branding Intelligent Talk 1170
Slogan "Where Your Opinion Counts"
Frequency 1170 kHz
Format News Talk Information
Power 50,000 watts day
2,900 watts night
Class B
Facility ID 13509
Transmitter coordinates 32°53′42.00″N 116°55′31.00″W / 32.895°N 116.92528°W / 32.895; -116.92528Coordinates: 32°53′42.00″N 116°55′31.00″W / 32.895°N 116.92528°W / 32.895; -116.92528
Callsign meaning CBS Quality (KCBQ was a CBS affiliate in the 1950s).
Affiliations Salem Communications
Owner New Inspiration Broadcasting Company
Sister stations KPRZ
Webcast Listen Live
Website Official website

KCBQ (1170 AM, Intelligent Talk 1170) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format and is owned by Salem Communications. The station offers Conservative talk programming such as Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved. It was formerly a top 40 and country music powerhouse.



Years prior, the station was one of the two leading AM top 40 stations in San Diego. KCBQ began broadcasting Top 40 music in the late 1950s and continued with the format through the 1960s & 1970s with great success. The station achieved national prominence in 1972-1973 with its presentation of "The Last Contest," a promotional and production extravaganza created by program director Jack McCoy. The promotion was later syndicated nationally by TM Productions of Dallas, and KCBQ's on-air format was widely copied as the "Q format." KCBQ's success prompted a substantial number of Top 40 stations to apply to the Federal Communications Commission for new call letters which included the letter Q. During its top 40 heyday, KCBQ was owned by Bartell Media Corporation.

By the mid-'70s, the station had begun a series of ownership and format changes that continued on a fairly regular basis until the late 1990s when it was acquired by Salem and settled into its conservative talk format. In 1978, with music-formatted radio becoming dominated by FM stations, KCBQ dropped top 40 in favor of an adult contemporary format, to be followed in 1982 by a switch to country music. In 1985 the station changed to a syndicated "first decade of rock 'n' roll" oldies format, Kool Gold, which carried it through most of the '90s.


KCBQ featured a 50,000 watt transmitter (limited to 5000 watts at night, and later, reduced to 1500 watts nighttime). The antenna was originally a six-element directional array in the city of Santee, on Mission Gorge Road, just east of Carlton Hills Blvd., northeast of downtown San Diego and north of the city of El Cajon. The antenna site was lost to urban development and is now a shopping center, anchored by a Kohl's and a Lowe's. For a time the station had to broadcast at reduced power from a temporary longwire antenna on a tower shared by KGB-FM and KLSD. According to the FCC, KCBQ's daytime power on the long wire was 5,000 watts, with power reduced after sunset to 675 watts (non-directional, both day and night).

KCBQ received a construction permit for a five-tower array in the area north of Lakeside, not far from the old Mast Park site, and to increase power to 50,000 watts daytime; 2,900 watts nighttime. The station began to operate at the aforementioned 50,000 watts on Monday, June 4, 2007. KCBQ is now sharing antennas with KECR 910, another former AM top 40 competitor of KCBQ's in the first half of the 1960s; KECR 910 was known as Radio KDEO (pronounced "Radio kay-dee-oh") in the 1960s.[1]


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