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KOWL
KOWL-AM logo.png
City of license South Lake Tahoe, California
Broadcast area Lake Tahoe
Branding NewsTalk 1490AM
Slogan "The News/Talk/Sports Leader"
Frequency 1490 kHz
First air date November 1956
Format News/Talk
Power 1,000 watts (unlimited)
Class C
Facility ID 55493
Transmitter coordinates 38°56′34″N 119°57′25″W / 38.94278°N 119.95694°W / 38.94278; -119.95694
Affiliations CBS News
Owner Cherry Creek Radio
(CCR-Lake Tahoe IV, LLC)
Sister stations KRLT
Website KOWL Online

KOWL (1490 AM, "NewsTalk 1490AM") is a radio station licensed to serve South Lake Tahoe, California, USA. The station, established in 1956, is currently owned by Cherry Creek Radio and the broadcast license is held by CCR-Lake Tahoe IV, LLC.

Contents

Programming

KOWL broadcasts a news/talk radio format including local news, local talk, hourly updates from CBS News, and a number of nationally-syndicated radio shows.[1][2] Weekday syndicated programming includes talk shows hosted by Jim Bohannon, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, consumer advocate Clark Howard, former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, medical expert Dr. Dean Edell, and author Laura Ingraham, plus Coast To Coast AM with George Noory.[3] Notable weekend programming includes a block of big band music and computer advice from The Kim Komando Show.[3]

History

The beginning

This station signed on in November 1956, broadcasting with 250 watts of power on a frequency of 1490 kHz, and licensed to serve the community of Bijou, California.[4] The new station was assigned the KOWL call sign by the Federal Communications Commission.[5] KOWL owner Robert Burdette also served as the station's first general manager and program director.[4]

Although the station was licensed to serve Bijou, California, KOWL's original radio studios were located inside the Harrah's Stateline Club, a casino in Stateline, Nevada.[4][6][7][8] The station's original transmitter, a Gates BC-250L "Hi-Watter" AM transmitter, and broadcast tower were installed roughly two miles south of the casino in South Lake Tahoe, California.[6]

New ownership

Barely 18 months after it launched, Burdette sold KOWL to Tahoe Broadcasters, Inc., in May 1958.[9] Ed Frech took the reins as president with John J. Murphy as general manager.[9]

Just five years later, Tahoe Broadcasters, Inc., sold the station to a new company called KOWL, Inc., in a transaction that was consummated on June 1, 1963.[10] The new owners applied for and, in late 1963, received a construction permit to upgrade their daytime signal to 1,000 watts while leaving the nighttime signal at 250 watts.[10] In 1968, the station's application for a change in city of license was granted.[11] This placed the city of license as the same community where the transmitter shack and broadcast tower had been located all along: South Lake Tahoe, California.[11]

KOWL broadcast a middle of the road music format through much of the 1970s with a number of hours taken each week for country & western.[12] By 1978, the format was a blend of MOR and progressive country, thanks to the influence of the Bakersfield sound.[12]

The 1980s

After more than two decades of ownership, KOWL, Inc., announced in February 1986 that they had agreed to sell this station to the Isenberg Media Corporation. The deal was approved by the FCC on April 1, 1986, and the transaction was consummated on June 10, 1986.[13]

In April 1989, Isenberg Media Corporation, through owner David H. Isenberg, reached an agreement to transfer the broadcast license for KOWL to Regency Communications Limited Partnership, of which Isenberg was a member. The shift was approved by the FCC on June 12, 1989.[14] Isenberg left the partnership group entirely on September 10, 1990.[15]

The 1990s

In February 1993, the members of the Regency Communications Limited Partnership applied to the FCC to transfer the KOWL broadcast license to Park Lane Regency Radio, Inc. The transfer was approved by the FCC on June 7, 1993.[16] In August 1998, Park Lane Regency Radio, Inc., applied to shift control of KOWL to a new holding company called Regent Licensee of South Lake Tahoe, Inc. The transfer was approved by the FCC on August 13, 1998, and the transaction was consummated on February 10, 1999.[17]

Just a few months later, in July 1999, Regent Communications subsidiary Regent Licensee of South Lake Tahoe, Inc., reached an agreement to sell this station to Commonwealth License Subsidiary, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Communications LLC (Dex Allen, principal).[18] The deal, which also included sister station KRLT, was valued at a combined sale price of $1.25 million.[18] The deal was approved by the FCC on August 27, 1999, and the transaction was consummated on November 5, 1999.[19]

KOWL today

In October 2003, Commonwealth Communications, LLC, announced an agreement to sell this station to Cherry Creek Radio (Joseph D. Schwartz, CEO) holding company CCR-Lake Tahoe IV, LLC, as part of a 24-station deal valued at a reported $41 million.[20] The deal was approved by the FCC on December 19, 2003, and the transaction was consummated on February 3, 2004.[21] At the time of the sale, the station aired a news/talk/sports radio format.[20]

References

  1. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. http://www.arbitron.com/radio_stations/station_information.htm. Retrieved May 12, 2009.  
  2. ^ "15 Minutes: Morning show host does what he loves". Tahoe Daily Tribune. December 19, 2005. http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20051219/NEWS/112190035.  
  3. ^ a b "KOWL Schedule". Lake Tahoe's Radio Stations. http://www.krltfm.com/kowl.html. Retrieved May 12, 2009.  
  4. ^ a b c "Directory of AM and FM Stations and Market Data for the United States". 1957 Broadcasting Yearbook-Marketbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1957. p. 59.  
  5. ^ "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=55493&Callsign=KOWL. Retrieved May 12, 2009.  
  6. ^ a b "Radio Broadcasting Equipment: Gates Radio Company AM Broadcast Transmitter BC-250L KOWL - 1490 KC - Lake Tahoe". Western Historic Radio Museum. http://www.radioblvd.com/BCMICS.htm. Retrieved May 12, 2009. "The original studios for KOWL were located at Harrah's Club at Stateline, Nevada although the transmitter shack and antenna were located about two miles south in the city of South Lake Tahoe, California."  
  7. ^ Hall, Claude (August 4, 2003). "Commentary". Claude Hall Online. http://www.firststrategy.com/claudehall13.htm. "It's 1961. [...] KOWL's modern studios are inside Tahoe Harrah's beautiful new casino exactly at the Nevada-California state line, on U.S. Highway 50 curving the southeast quadrant of Lake Tahoe. Directly across the street is Harvey's Wagon Wheel Gambling Hall and Saloon."  
  8. ^ "Martin Stern Jr.". Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database. Architecture Studies Library: University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries. http://library.nevada.edu/arch/archdb2/index.php/people/view/97. Retrieved May 13, 2009. "Harrah’s Hotel/Casino Radio Station: Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV. UNLV Special Collections holds: “Radio Station “KOWL” Penthouse”. A/1- A/3, M/1. February 1975"  
  9. ^ a b "Directory of AM and FM Radio Stations in the U.S.". 1960 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1960. p. A-115.  
  10. ^ a b "The Facilities of Radio". 1964 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1964. p. B-13.  
  11. ^ a b "The Facilities of Radio". 1969 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1969. p. B-26.  
  12. ^ a b "The Facilities of Radio". 1979 Broadcasting Yearbook. Washington, DC: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1979. p. C-30.  
  13. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19860218FF)". FCC Media Bureau. June 10, 1986. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=85914.  
  14. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19890428EF)". FCC Media Bureau. June 12, 1989. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=128118.  
  15. ^ "Application Search Details (BTC-19900827EF)". FCC Media Bureau. September 10, 1990. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=151865.  
  16. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19930212ED)". FCC Media Bureau. June 7, 1993. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=181881.  
  17. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19980807HO)". FCC Media Bureau. February 10, 1999. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=272253.  
  18. ^ a b "Changing Hands - 1999-08-02". Broadcasting & Cable. August 2, 1999. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-55360994.html.  
  19. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-19990714HG)". FCC Media Bureau. November 5, 1999. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=287097.  
  20. ^ a b "Changing Hands - 2003-10-27". Broadcasting & Cable. October 26, 2003. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/100574-Changing_Hands.php.  
  21. ^ "Application Search Details (BAL-20031017ADT)". FCC Media Bureau. February 3, 2004. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=700562.  

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