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XEWW-AM
City of license Rosarito, Baja California
Tijuana, Baja California
Broadcast area San Diego, California
Los Angeles, California
Southern California
Baja California
Branding "W Radio 690 AM"
Slogan "La voz del pueblo."
Frequency 690 (kHz)
Format Spanish news / talk
ERP 77,500 watts daytime
50,000 watts nighttime
Class A
Callsign meaning XEW's W Radio
Affiliations Grupo Latino de Radio
Owner Televisa Radio
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.wradio690.com

XEWW-AM are the call letters of a border-blaster radio station licensed to the Tijuana / Rosarito area of Baja California, Mexico, with additional studio facilities in Burbank, California, United States. They are a high-power station, with their 77,500 watt signal sometimes reaching as far as the middle of the San Joaquin Valley, but otherwise covering nearly all of Southern California. It operates with 50,000 watts at night.

Because Mexican law prohibits ownership of television and radio stations by foreign operators (the United States has a similar rule), the station is owned by Mexican interests and managed by an American company. For many years, Clear Channel Communications operated this station, as well as a few others.

Its current format is Spanish-language talk radio under the brand name "W Radio." It primarily serves the Los Angeles radio market, even though the station has a stronger signal in San Diego.

It is the flagship station of CD Chivas USA of Major League Soccer.

Contents

History

It began its life as XEAK-AM ("the Mighty 690", a moniker that its XETRA-AM successor would use in later years), playing the hits of its time. It signed off in 1961 after playing Mope Itty Mope by The Bosstones over and over for 3 days, and shortly after made Southern California broadcast history as they became "Extra News", the first 24-hour all-news station in Southern California. By the mid-60s, the powerful station was featuring beautiful music as "X-TRA Music over Southern California", with the distinctive tag: "In the air everywhere, over the Southland."

AM Stereo was first demonstrated on XETRA Tijuana in the 1960s using the Kahn independent sideband system; later tests were run via US and Canadian-based stations. XETRA is no longer operating in AM stereo[1].

In succeeding decades, XTRA (without the "E", as U.S. listeners would otherwise refer to) would switch formats numerous times. During most of the 1970s and 1980s, XETRA continued as a beautiful music station, competing with K-JOY on the FM dial. During its beautiful music years, XETRA became one of the first AM stations in the San Diego area to broadcast in AM stereo. These early attempts actually required the listener to tune in with two radios, one off-tuned to the left of the frequency for the left channel and the second radio off-tuned to the right, or with an AM Stereo capable radio, which mostly appeared in some car radios.

When interest in the Beautiful Music format died down in the late 70s, XETRA switched formats to Top 40/adult contemporary music, once again billing itself as "the Mighty 690". When low ratings dictated the format didn't work, they switched to an oldies format, and XETRA called themselves "69 XTRA Gold".

Shortly after, XETRA had a brief stint as an all-news station, carrying syndicated programs such as Rush Limbaugh, before becoming one of the U.S.'s first all-sports stations, billing as "XTRA Sports", affiliating themselves with ESPN Radio. For a number of years, the station was the broadcast home of the San Diego Chargers National Football League team. The station also briefly carried Stanford University football. The out-of-market team was carried because the son of station manager John Lynch was on scholarship with the team; the younger Lynch would go on to star in the National Football League. In the latter part of the 1990s and most of the 2000s, they decided to simulcast with Los Angeles station KXTA in order to better serve the Los Angeles area.

The station's best-known sportscaster in the sports format is Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, who hosted a nightly sports talk program from 1987 until 2005, and was also the play-by-play voice of the Chargers from 1987 to 1996. Hacksaw is famous (and infamous) for his "best 15 minutes in radio" with "Hacksaw's Headlines" and using such phrases as "I am bleeping brilliant!" Jim Rome also got his start on the station. Jeanne Zelasko also started at the station broadcasting during breaks with traffic, weather and sports highlights.

In 2005, Clear Channel, which managed the station, chose to drop the station's all-sports format and replace it with pop standards, in a format and branding swap with KLAC in Los Angeles.

In 2006, Clear Channel ceased management of the station after the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the stations licensed to Mexico had to be counted against the U.S. ownership caps (three AM stations and five FM stations). Since Clear Channel managed the stations, this was counted against their ownership limit under this ruling. Management interest of some of these outlets, including XETRA-FM, XHRM-FM, and XHITZ-FM, was spun off into Finest City Broadcasting, owned by a former Clear Channel executive. However, management rights for XETRA-AM were sold to a firm called Grupo Latino de Radio, which introduced XETRA's current format. However, Grupo Latino has continued a local marketing agreement with Clear Channel to this day.

The first day of broadcasts of W Radio was February 6, 2006.

The XETRA call sign was dropped accidentally in September 2006 for the call letters of XEWR, which belong to a station in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. The error was quickly corrected.

In 2008, XETRA's call letters were changed to XEWW to better reflect their W Radio programming. The change retired the letters "XETRA" on the AM side after nearly a half century. However, XETRA-FM still exists as "91X."

See also

References

  • Border Radio by Fowler, Gene and Crawford, Bill. Texas Monthly Press, Austin. 1987 ISBN 0-87719-066-6
  • Mass Media Moments in the United Kingdom, the USSR and the USA, by Gilder, Eric. - "Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu Press, Romania. 2003 ISBN 973-651-596-6

External links

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