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KMJ NOW 105.9.jpg
City of license Fresno, California
Broadcast area Fresno, California
Branding KMJ 580
Slogan "News Talk Radio"
Frequency 580 kHz
First air date 1922
Format Talk radio
Power 50,000 watts (unlimited)
Class B
Facility ID 26923
Owner Peak Broadcasting
(Peak Broadcasting of Fresno Licenses, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live

KMJ (580 AM, "KMJ 580") is a radio station located in the Fresno, California area. The station is owned by Peak Broadcasting LLC.



The station airs local and nationally syndicated talk radio programs. Notable show hosts include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey, Adam Bold, Dr. Laura and Mark Levin.


KMJ first began broadcasting in March 1922. It was originally owned by the San Joaquin Power and Light Corporation and acquired by the McClatchy Newspaper Company in 1925. KMJ is the 38th oldest licensed continuously operated radio station in the United States.

When KMJ first began broadcasting it was licensed as an "E & M" station and shared those frequencies with every other E & M station in existence at the time.

KMJ operated on a number of other frequencies between 1925 and 1932. Some of the frequencies used included 820 and 1350 kHz.

McClatchy was intent on improving the signal and eventually competed with KTAB in Oakland for a new frequency (580 kHz) that was being made available by the newly created FCC. KMJ was awarded the new channel. There is some anecdotal evidence that C.K. McClatchy's political connections were employed to obtain the grant.

KMJ moved to 580 kHz in 1932 and operated with 1 kW non directional from a building rooftop in Downtown Fresno.

KMJ was an affiliate of the Don Lee Network and it also carried CBS network broadcasts until 1936 when it affiliated with NBC. KMJ remained a NBC affiliate until NBC ceased hourly newscasts in the 1990s. It then affiliated with ABC and then changed back to CBS when Westinghouse Electric Corporation (later be renamed CBS Corp.) acquired the station from American Radio Systems in 1998.

Eventually a new 5,000-watt non-directional transmitter site was constructed. It utilized a 5/8 wave antenna and was located 5 miles east of Fresno at the northeast corner of the intersection of Kings Canyon Road and Fowler Avenue. The new 5 kW site was first used in 1936.

Modern studios were also constructed south of the newspaper on Van Ness Avenue. McClatchy eventually donated the former newspaper and radio studio to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum. The studio building was subsequently used by KVPR and later as museum offices. It was demolished in 2007 as part of a renovation of the main museum building.

In 1941, Hammer Field (later to become Fresno Air Terminal) was constructed as a training base for the Army Air Corps. The KMJ tower was directly in line with the runway and the Army wanted the site relocated. KMJ ended up moving the site some 16 miles west of Fresno to the intersection of Madera and North Avenues (south of Kerman). The existing transmitter building was jacked up and moved to the Kerman Site. The existing tower was unstacked and moved as well. However, it was only built to 660 feet. The remaining 330 feet was stored on the site with the intention of creating a directional array. World War II interrupted the project, and it was never restarted after the end of the war. The extra 330 feet of tower was eventually moved to Sacramento and used in the construction of the KFBK transmitter site after WWII (1945).

At the outset of World War II, the Department of War selected KMJ as the primary medium for alerting Central California residents.

Until 1936 and the arrival of KARM, it was the only radio station in Fresno.

From 1925 until 1987, KMJ was owned by McClatchy Company, which also owned KFBK in Sacramento, KBEE in Modesto, KERN in Bakersfield, and KOH in Reno. McClatchy Newspapers owned three daily newspapers called "The Bee" in Fresno, Sacramento, and Modesto.

In 1953, McClatchy signed on KMJ-TV on channel 24. The television station would be sold off in 1981 to become KSEE.

In November 2006, KMJ and its sister stations KFPT (AM),KWYE (FM), KSKS (FM), KFJK (FM), KOQO (FM), and KMGV (FM) were sold by CBS Radio to Peak Broadcasting for $90 million.

In March 2009, Peak Broadcasting replaced the KFJK Jack FM format on 105.9 FM with KMJ-FM NewsTalk radio. It is a partial simulcast of KMJ AM. From 5:00 am to 9:00 am both stations simulcast the same local news broadcast with separate commercial loads. The other times, they have their own shows. There was at least one host, Chris Daniel, who does a show on KMJ-FM from 3-5pm and then moves over to KMJ at 5pm, but these are not simulcasted. KMJ-FM also ran "Best Of" shows from the KMJ hosts overnight weeknights until the addition of the John and Jeff "Third Shift" program on May 26, 2009.

On the weekend, KMJ-FM broadcasts 50's to 70's rock. The talk programming during the weekdays and music on the weekends is modeled after the very successful WKXW in Trenton, New Jersey.


KMJ uses for its AM transmissions on 580 kHz a 50 kW transmitter. It has a directional antenna consisting of 4 mast radiators situated at 36-39-37.2 N 119-20-52.8 W, 36-39-29.2 N 119-20-52.8 W, 36-39-27.9 N 119-20-48.3 W, 36-39-36.5 N 119-20-47.1 W. Each of the towers is 259.1 metres tall. They may be the tallest towers in USA used for AM broadcasting. On a clear night, strong signals can be picked up as far south as Santa Clarita and as far north as San Francisco. It can widely be heard in Hawaii, Australia and Japan at night. [1]:

Additionally the 50-kW site develops an effective radiated power of 250,000 at a bearing of 270 degrees true. This (and the extremely good ground conductivity of the San Joaquin Valley) allows KMJ to produce a signal strength of 50-100 mv/m over the city of Fresno, which is located at a distance of 26 miles west of the 50-kW transmitter site.

The former main transmitter site at Kerman remains licensed as an auxiliary transmitter site

External links



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