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KFWB
Broadcast area Los Angeles, California
Branding KFWB News-Talk 980
Frequency 980 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1925 (on radio); March 11, 1968 (all-news format)
Format News/Talk/Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Transmitter coordinates 34°4′11″N 118°11′35″W / 34.06972°N 118.19306°W / 34.06972; -118.19306
Callsign meaning Sequentially issued
(unofficially means Keep Filming Warner Bros.)
Owner CBS Radio
(sale to KFWB Trust pending)
Sister stations KAMP-FM, KCBS-FM, KNX, KROQ, KRTH, KTWV
part of CBS Corp. cluster w/ TV stations KCBS-TV & KCAL-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.kfwb.com

KFWB is a Los Angeles, California AM radio station operating on 980 kHz with 5,000 watts of power from a transmitter site near Lincoln Park (East Los Angeles). The station had a mostly all-news format from 1968 until September 8, 2009, after which it converted to a news-talk format.

Contents

History

The station's history goes back to 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, the founder of Warner Brothers. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Although some think its call letters stand for Keep Filming Warner Bros., actually the callsign was sequentially issued by the Department of Commerce, predecessor to the FCC (March 1925) at the same time as KFWA in Ogden Utah (Feb 1925) and KFWC for San Bernardino (also Feb 1925).[1]

A 1940 Merrie Melodies cartoon, produced by Warner Bros. (and directed by Chuck Jones), entitled "Bedtime for Sniffles," has Sniffles the mouse trying to stay awake for Santa Claus, and a radio announcer signs off for the night identifying the station as KFWB. Another cartoon of the same year, "The Timid Toreador," co-directed by Bob Clampett, shows an announcer broadcasting on this station. (A good trick, since the action takes place in Mexico, which has a totally different ITU prefix block.) However, the Merrie Melodies cartoon for "I've Got A Torch Song" released in conjunction with "Gold Diggers of 1933" has KFWB written on the microphones in the scenes of the torch singers.

In 1946, KFWB imported two disc jockeys from New York City: Maurice Hart of WNEW, whose drive-time show Start the Day Right was described as "Words and Music Straight from the Hart", and Martin Block, who coined the phrase "Make-Believe Ballroom", which was later used by Al Jarvis when Block returned to New York. In those days, disc jockeys selected their own music, either from KFWB's extensive record library, or new songs brought to them by "song pluggers". Old and new, vocal and instrumental were mixed together to the disc jockey's choice.

KFWB was sold to its long-time general manager, Harry Maizlish, in 1950,[2] and soon after moved off the Warner Brothers lot to join Maizlish's FM station, KFMV, on Hollywood Boulevard.[3]

In 1958, under new owners Crowell-Collier Broadcasting, Chuck Blore transformed the station into a Top 40 format called Channel 98 Color Radio. The station became one of the most highly listened to stations in the Southland and in the nation. But alas, times changed, and in the mid-60's, KFWB was overtaken by rival |KRLA. Then KRLA was put in second place by the launch of Boss Radio at 93/KHJ, and this relegated KFWB to the position of the third-place pop music station in the L.A. market.

Previous all-news logo

KFWB was later purchased by Westinghouse in 1966. On March 11, 1968, the station was relaunched as an all news radio station. The station promoted itself with its slogan, "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world", as first used by New York Westinghouse station WINS. Its goal was to give a full newscast every 22 minutes, the average commute time in Los Angeles.

Current station

Today KFWB is owned by CBS Radio, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation which also owns KNX, the only all-news station in Los Angeles. KFWB and KNX famously feuded as all-news rivals for years, both on radio and in television advertising. Like its former Westinghouse, now CBS Radio, sister stations (and fellow all-news stations) 1010 WINS in New York and KYW News Radio 1060 in Philadelphia, KFWB had a running teletype sound effect in the background during regular newscasts.

In the spring of 2003, KFWB began to broadcast the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games over the radio. These games are not available on KFWB's internet stream due to league restrictions. For this reason, the station had to abandon its other slogan, "All news, all the time." In comparison to KNX, KFWB ran more sports stories, had longer traffic reports, and updated top headlines every ten minutes instead of KNX, which updates headlines at the top and bottom of the hour.

KFWB once aired not only the Dodgers games, but also many National Football League games from Westwood One. The NFL broadcasts stopped after the 2007 Pro Bowl, and the Dodgers left KFWB after the 2007 season, some months later, to return to KABC. With that, the slogan "all news, all the time" returned. However, in 2008, the NFL broadcasts returned, but from the Sports USA Radio network, which airs only regular season games.

Beginning in 2008, KNX and KFWB were jointly branded as CBS NewsRadio LA. The CBS NewsRadio LA brand is used for simulcasted special programming and for marketing to advertisers.[4] In addition, there were no longer separate field reporters for KNX and KFWB, and CBS NewsRadio LA reporters filed the same stories for both stations. KFWB would eventually focus more on the entertainment industry news.[5]

On January 10, 2009, the all-news format that had been a staple for almost 40 years was significantly amended with the move to paid programming on Saturdays. The Saturday programming represents a "self-help" infomercial format built around such topics as real-estate, health supplements, tax advice, etc. In this format during entrances and exits from commercial blocks, listeners began to hear the station identify itself as "KFWB - 980" sans the "news" reference.

KFWB also changed its anchor lineup in January 2009 and reopened the Orange County bureau.

Also beginning with the 2009 season, KFWB began broadcasting weekday baseball games of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, although the flagship remains the Angels-owned KLAA.[6] Also, as it was announced on August 13, 2009, the station and the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers signed a multi-year broadcast rights pact, with KFWB carrying every Clippers contest[7].

On September 8, 2009, the station adopted a news-talk format, adding syndicated shows such as Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura Schlessinger (who moved from longtime flagship KFI) and Michael Smerconish.[8] Doug Stephan's "Good Day" program also airs during the overnight hours.

On February 10, 2010, CBS Radio announces that they're putting KFWB into a trust after the parent company found itself above the FCC market limits on ownership following its 2002 purchase of a second TV station.[9]

Studios and transmitter

The original KFWB studios and transmitter location were at the Warner Bros. Studios, which is now KTLA-TV, at 5800 Sunset Blvd. One of the two original towers still stands prominently out front. Due to RF interference getting into the movie studio's "talkies" sound equipment, the transmitter was moved in 1928 to the roof of the Warner Theater, now the Hollywood Pacific Theatre, at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. Eventually the studios were also moved to the Warner Theater. Those two towers are still there, as well. Years later, when KFWB was sold to KFWB Broadcasting Co. (Harry Maizlish), the studios moved to 6419 Hollywood Blvd. (now demolished), and the transmitter moved to the area near La Cienega and Rodeo Blvd., about 3 blocks south of the KECA/KABC plant. In the mid 1950s, the transmitter moved, again, to its present location, diplexed with KLAC in East LA. The studios moved in 1977 to 6230 Yucca St., also in Hollywood. In June 2005, KFWB abandoned its longtime Hollywood studios to move into new studios on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district, sharing facilities with its sister CBS Radio stations KNX, KTWV and KRTH. KFWB's signal reaches to most places in Southern California, usually in an area between Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, San Diego and Palm Springs. The broadcast is heard in the daytime hours in most of Southern California.

References

  1. ^ http://jeff560.tripod.com/chrono1.html | A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting 1900-1960
  2. ^ Taishoff, Sol (1951). "Letter to Harry Maizlish, September 27, 1950" (advertisement). Broadcasting Yearbook (Broadcasting Publications, Inc.): 83. "We rejoice with your host of friends in congratulating you on the acquisition of KFWB by your new company…. To almost everybody in the radio fraternity … KFWB for almost two decades has been synonymous with Harry Maizlish". 
  3. ^ "Directory of AM, FM and TV Stations of the United States". Broadcasting Yearbook (Broadcasting Publications, Inc.): 85–96. 1952. 
  4. ^ http://worldfamouscbs.com/
  5. ^ http://www.infinitedial.com/2009/04/first_listen_kfwb_los_angeles.php
  6. ^ LA Radio News
  7. ^ http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/breakingnews090813.html
  8. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kfwb-news-laura-2523798-talk-ingraham
  9. ^ Bill Clark tapped to control the new KFWB trust in Los Angeles - Radio-Info.com (released February 10, 2010)

External links

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