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KKGO
Gocountry105.png
City of license Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area Los Angeles Metro Area
Branding Go Country 105
Frequency 105.1 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
First air date February 1959
Format Country
HD2: (Classical Music)
HD3: KGIL simulcast
ERP 18,000 watts
HAAT 880 meters
Class B
Facility ID 43939
Callsign meaning KK-GO Country 105 (current on-air moniker)
Former callsigns KMZT, KBCA
Owner Mount Wilson Broadcasting
Sister stations KGIL, XESURF
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.gocountry105.com

KKGO is a commercial radio station located in Los Angeles, California, broadcasting on 105.1 FM. KKGO airs a country music format, branded as "Go Country 105".

KKGO-FM was founded by Saul Levine and is still owned by his corporation, Mount Wilson Broadcasting, and remains the only independently owned-and-operated FM radio station licensed to Los Angeles.

Contents

History

Saul Levine launched the station at 105.1 in February 1959 as KBCA, and was one of the first FM stations to broadcast from Mount Wilson. In 1979, the station changed its callsign to KKGO.[1] This was prompted by a court challenge from KABC, according to one local podcaster[2]. The station aired a traditional jazz music format until 1989.

When cross-town KFAC dropped classical music in favor of a popular music format on September 20, 1989, KKGO adopted KFAC's displaced classical music format. The official switch from jazz to classical occurred on January 1, 1990, and began with selections from Franz Lehár's operetta The Land of Smiles. In 2000, the call letters were changed to KMZT to reflect on their rebranding as "K-Mozart". The KKGO call letters were then moved to AM 1260.

The station began broadcasting an HD Radio digital signal in 2005, and Mount Wilson Broadcasting started multicasting the programming of its two AM stations, KKGO in Beverly Hills and XESURF in the Tijuana, Mexico-San Diego border area, on its HD2 signal, which then had an adult standards format known as "Unforgettable 540 & 1260". While the AM signals combine to cover much of the Southern California area, they were still weak, especially at night in the Orange County area, and the FM HD2 simulcast helped boost the reach of the format.

Switch to country

On August 17, 2006 at 10:20 a.m. Pacific time, KZLA's format was changed to rhythmic adult contemporary music. After the station played "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban to end the old format, KZLA played "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas and changed its moniker to "Movin' 93.9". Displaced listeners took notice, prompting a campaign to bring the format back to the Los Angeles airwaves, as well as a response from the Country Music Association, which vowed to work with a broadcaster in the area to help fill the void, as evidenced in this article from R&R.

At the time, the change left the two largest media markets in the United States and three of the top four without a full-time country music station. The New York area hasn't had such a station since WYNY signed off in 2003 and as of today is still without an outlet for the format. In the San Francisco Bay Area, KZBR also changed format in 2006, only to return to it after Entercom took over the station in March 2007. The other top-3 market, Chicago, is served by WUSN.

On October 27 at just after 5pm AM 540 began airing radio personalities. The personalities included Brian Douglas (Former KZLA radio personality) in the morning, other former KZLA personalities that joined the station in October 2006 included Shawn Parr, Whitney Allen, Paul Freeman, and Tonya Campos.

On December 1, 2006, Mount Wilson Broadcasting added 1260AM to the stations that would be playing country music. after the change of Mount Wilsons' AM stations KKGO and XESURF to a country format, they became "Country 540 & 1260," Along with the added frequency, they also made some changes in the radio personalities on the station, replacing Brian Douglas with Shawn Parr and Robin Banks (not to be confused with Robin Banks) in the Morning Show slot.

At 5 a.m. February 27 2007, in a surprise move announced only three days earlier, citing declining ad revenues for the classical format, Mt. Wilson Broadcasters flipped classical KMZT (K-Mozart) to country KKGO (Go Country 105), marking the return of country music to the FM dial after a six month hiatus. Saul Levine swapped the formats and callsigns of FM 105.1 with AM 1260, bringing the country format and the KKGO calls back to FM, while the classical format and the KMZT calls were moved to AM, with the "K-Mozart" (XESURF continued to play country music, first simulcasting KKGO's format, but later splitting its programming from that of KKGO). After playing Mozart's "String Quartet no. 23 in F, K.590", Los Angeles was left once again without a commercial classical music station on the analog FM dial. However, opening the new morning show with "Only in America" by Brooks & Dunn

"Go Country 105" brought country music back to the FM dial after a six-month absence. This was a dream come true for the country music fans who had spent those six months writing letters, making phone calls, wearing "I Want My Country Music Back" shirts, handing out and wearing Save Country Music Ribbons, letting the broadcasters and many others know that there were many reasons that the country music genre would be a viable asset for an L.A. radio station.

On October 29, 2007, KMZT changed back to its older KGIL call letters and dropped the classical format in favor of a talk radio format.[3]

On May 31, 2009, the classical format returned to KKGO 105.1 HD2.

Programming

KKGO airs a country music format with many of the on-air personalities from the former KZLA, along with some programs from Westwood One, United Stations Radio Networks and Dial Global's "Mainstream Country" 24-hour network.

In 2008, one of the HD channels carries the entire schedule of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as the local affiliate of Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network.[4] The station has since lost the rights to the HD2 subchannel of KLSX and also to KFRG in the Inland Empire.

References

  1. ^ "Chuck Niles, 76; Voice of L.A.'s Jazz Radio", Los Angeles Times obituary, March 17, 2004
  2. ^ Smooth Jazz In Los Angeles
  3. ^ "KMZT-AM is to become talk station KGIL", Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2007
  4. ^ Announcement on-track at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, retrieved February 23, 2008. The message refers to 104.9FM as "the new home of NASCAR in L.A." Since this frequency carries no signal on traditional radios in the L.A. area, therefore it can be presumed to be a HD frequency and it's close to 105.1FM.

External links








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