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KRTH
KRTH.PNG
City of license Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area Greater Los Angeles Area
Branding K-Earth 101
Slogan "The Greatest Hits on Earth"
Frequency 101.1 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
First air date August 11, 1941
Format Oldies/Classic Hits
ERP 51,000 watts
HAAT 955 meters
Class B
Facility ID 28631
Transmitter coordinates 34°13′35.9″N 118°4′3.6″W / 34.226639°N 118.067667°W / 34.226639; -118.067667
Callsign meaning K eaRTH 101 (longtime on air moniker, refers to Earth Day)
Former callsigns K45LA (1941-1948)
KHJ-FM (1948-1972)
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio East, Inc.)
Sister stations KAMP-FM, KCBS-FM, KFWB, KNX, KROQ, KTWV
part of CBS Corp. cluster w/ TV stations KCBS-TV & KCAL-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website kearth101.com

KRTH (101.1 FM, "K-Earth 101") is a U.S. oldies radio station located in Los Angeles, California, broadcasting to the Greater Los Angeles Area. Its signal covers an extremely large area, and sometimes can be heard as far south as San Diego and Tijuana, as far east as Moreno Valley, and as far north as Baker, California.

History

KRTH first signed on August 11, 1941 with the call letters K45LA, broadcasting on 44.5 FM. After World War II, when the FCC mandated the 88-108 MHz range, the station was moved to 99.7 FM, and the call letters were changed to KHJ. In 1948, KHJ-FM moved yet again to its current broadcast frequency of 101.1 FM.

In 1965, when KHJ-AM (930) switched to a top-40 format as "Boss Radio", they simulcast on KHJ-FM. In 1969-70, KHJ-FM aired Drake-Chenault's "Hit Parade" format, an automated mix of oldies and current hits. In 1971, the station had a top-40 format that was independent of sister station KHJ-AM.

In 1972, there was a switch to what was then called a "gold" format, featuring older hit songs from the past. At the time, this was a novel idea since most stations played current music, with a few older songs mixed in. With the switch in format came a new moniker, "K-Earth," which was named after the first "Earth Day" which had debuted to much fanfare the year before. The call letters were thus switched to KRTH. The jingle, "K-Earth 101" was also introduced at this time. It directly echoed the sound and notes of the jingle from KHJ-AM, the station where many of these "gold" songs had originally been played. (KHJ-AM was still on the air at this point, but was playing current Top 40 songs.)

During the '70s and early '80s, K-Earth vacillated between this "gold" format and an adult contemporary format. Current music was played, to varying degrees, throughout this period, though the focus was almost always on the past.

In 1985, K-Earth shifted to what was becoming known as an "oldies" format, adopting the motto "Classic Rock and Roll." KRTH began promoting its "Good Time Oldies" image with frequent TV ads featuring Beach Boys music, classic cars, palms, and the ever present K-Earth jingle. The songs featured were from 1955-1984, though the focus was largely on the late '60s and early '70s. Doo-wop, early rock, Motown, girl groups, Elvis, and the Beatles were the mainstays of the station's music mix. The station was sold to Beasley Broadcasting in 1988.

Oldies were a ratings success for KRTH, and for similar stations across the United States and Canada. In March 1989, another Los Angeles FM oldies station emerged at 93.1 under the call sign KODJ Oldies 93, and later as KCBS-FM Oldies 93.1 as a direct competitor with KRTH. KODJ/KCBS-FM played oldies from 1955 to 1972 with a heavy focus on pre-1964 oldies. KRTH continued acknowledging the mid and late '70s and continued playing moderate amounts of pre-1964 material until 1991 when management eliminated the 1980s music and most post-1972 songs. The two stations went head-to-head for a few years, with K-Earth consistently getting higher ratings and emerging as the winner. KODJ even changed its call letters to KCBS-FM and in early 1993 began playing mostly pre-1965 oldies. KCBS-FM Oldies 93.1 successfully switched to a classic rock format in the fall of 1993 called "Arrow 93" but today offers an adult rock hits format called Jack. KRTH by then focused on the 1964 to 1969 period with moderate amounts of pre-1964 material and 1970s songs each hour. The station remained a competitor with Pasadena’s AM oldies station KRLA 1110 into 1998 when KRLA switched formats and frequencies. KRTH was sold to Infinity Radio in 1994. Infinity purchased CBS in 1997 making KCBS-FM (by then Classic Rock) KRTH's sister station.

K-Earth continued with its oldies format throughout the 1990s. Toward the end of the decade, older songs from before the British Invasion of 1964 were increasingly dropped from the playlist, and the station began to showcase the late 1960s, especially Motown music, to a much greater degree. The playlist itself began to shrink, with only the biggest, most-requested hits from this period played in heavy repetition.

With its demographic aging and ratings sagging, K-Earth, along with most oldies outlets across the country, began adding 1970s songs into the playlist in the early 2000s. Artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Abba, the Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, and Peter Frampton were combined with '60s artists such as the Supremes and the Beatles. Though still repetitive, the playlist was also rotated a bit more, with a few rediscovered oldies brought "out of the vault" on occasion, while other songs were "rested" from the rotation.

This process was taken a step further in 2007 with a few early 1980s songs added to the mix by artists such as Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, and Michael Jackson.

Whether by luck or due to the musical changes implemented, by the end of 2007, K-Earth had improved its ratings substantially and was once again a Top 10 Los Angeles station. More importantly from an advertising standpoint, the station was attracting a younger demographic. KRTH still plays an occasional pre 1964 song such as Shout, Jailhouse Rock, or Tequila (about one every other hour).

A slight format change occurred recently as KRTH added adult contemporary Christmas music from performers such as Mannheim Steamroller, Air Supply, and Barry Manilow. Airing three times an hour, this holiday fare is designed to entice listeners away from easy listening KOST-FM, which annually shoots to #1 in the ratings with its all-Christmas music. [In years past, K-Earth played a similar amount of Christmas music, but only from "oldies" artists such as the Beach Boys or the Chipmunks.]

In 2007, KRTH began broadcasting its regular signal in HD. A second DJ-less channel, KRTH HD2, features the 1955-1964 songs which have been jettisoned from the main station. Both HD signals can received with an HD Radio. The HD2 signal is streamed online.

KRTH has been sold twice in its history and changed hands in a corporate merger an additional time. It was first sold in 1989 to Beasley Broadcasting, and then again in 1994 to Infinity. In 1997, in a corporate merger, CBS Radio (the current owner) acquired the station.

In November of 2009, the station reached its first milestone by reaching their first #1 Overall in the Arbitron 12+ Ratings. The station had never reached a #1 overall in their 37 years broadcasting as K-Earth.

Notable personalities

The station has had many famous DJs, such as Brian Beirne "Mr. Rock 'N Roll", Robert W. Morgan, "The Real" Don Steele, Bob Shannon, Charlie Tuna, Roger Christian, Joni Caryll, "Shotgun Tom" Kelly[1], Charlie Van Dyke, Gary Bryan, Dave Hull "The Hullablooer", Wolfman Jack, Johnny Hayes, Brother John, and Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton.

External links


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