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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CityLos Angeles, California
Broadcast areaGreater Los Angeles Area
Frequency790 kHz (HD Radio)
Branding790 KABC
SloganNews. Talk. Evolved.
AffiliationsWestwood One
Westwood One News
USC Trojans Radio Network
OwnerCumulus Media
(Radio License Holdings LLC)
First air date
August 1925; 95 years ago (1925-08)
Former call signs
KFXB (1925–1927)
KPLA (1927–1929)
KECA (1929–1954)
Call sign meaning
Formerly owned by, and affiliated with, the American Broadcasting Company
Technical information
Facility ID33254
Power6,600 watts (daytime)
7,900 watts (nighttime)
Transmitter coordinates
34°01′41″N 118°22′22″W / 34.02806°N 118.37278°W / 34.02806; -118.37278
Repeater(s)95.5-2 KLOS-HD2
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)

KABC (790 AM) – branded 790 KABC – is a commercial talk radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California, owned by Cumulus Media. The station serves Greater Los Angeles and much of surrounding Southern California as: the flagship of the USC Trojans football and men's basketball radio networks; the Los Angeles affiliate of Westwood One News, Armstrong & Getty, The Ben Shapiro Show, The Savage Nation and Red Eye Radio, along with podcasts hosted by Dan Bongino and Andrew Klavan; and is the radio home of Larry O'Connor. The KABC studios are located in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, while the station transmitter resides in Los Angeles's Crenshaw District, shared with KWKW (1330 AM) and KFOX (1650 AM).[1] Besides a standard analog transmission, the station also streams online.


Former 790 KABC logo, until 2016
Former 790 KABC logo, until 2016

Early years

In August 1925, the station first signed on as KFXB, licensed to Big Bear Lake, California and broadcasting at 1430 kilocycles. KFXB moved to Los Angeles in 1927, changing its call sign to KPLA in the process.

On November 15, 1929, KPLA was sold to Earle C. Anthony, a Packard automobile dealer and owner of rival radio station KFI; Anthony changed KPLA's call letters to KECA, representing Anthony's initials.[2] KECA and KFI were located in studios at 1000 Hope Street. KFI, then and now, transmits with 50,000 watts, while KECA broadcast at 1,000 watts.

In August 1939, Anthony purchased KEHE (780 AM) (formerly KTM) and took that station off the air so he could relocate KECA to that station's dial position. In 1941, KECA moved one step up the dial to 790 kHz as part of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA), which shifted the frequencies of many radio stations.[3] The power was increased to 5,000 watts, with a directional antenna used at night.

ABC buys 790

In 1944, new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules went into effect prohibiting any person or company from owning more than one radio station in the same media market. Anthony decided to keep KFI, and divested KECA to the Blue Network for $800,000 in July 1944.[4] The studios and offices were then moved to 1440 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood.[5] (A Chick-fil-A restaurant now stands on the site.)

KECA became the West Coast flagship station of the ABC Network. Some of the programs broadcast nationally by ABC originated in the KABC studios. In 1947, an FM station was added at 95.5 MHz.[6] At first, KECA-FM transmitted with 4,500 watts and it largely simulcast the AM station (in 1971, it became album rock station KLOS).

In 1949, ABC put Channel 7 on the air. It was the last of Los Angeles' six original VHF television stations to sign on and the last of ABC's five original owned and operated stations to go on the air. To reflect their corporate ownership, in 1954, the call letters for the three ABC stations were changed to KABC, KABC-FM and KABC-TV, after that call sign was released by a station in San Antonio. The studios for KABC-AM-FM-TV were at 1539 North Vine Street in Hollywood. The radio stations later moved to 3321 La Cienega Boulevard.

Pioneering talk radio

KABC became a pioneer of the talk radio format,[7] going "all-talk" around the clock, in September 1960. It was the second radio station to make a 24-hour commitment to the format, a few months after CBS-owned KMOX in St. Louis. Through the 1970s, KABC was frequently Los Angeles' top radio station, and among the most listened-to radio stations in America. In the 1961-1962 edition of Broadcasting Yearbook, an advertisement shows a KABC microphone, the headline reading "Here's Los Angeles' Conversation Piece" and stating KABC's talk programming is "newsworthy, stimulating and provocative."[8]

Along with co-owned KGO in San Francisco, ABC built a nationally syndicated radio network around the personalities of the two top-rated West Coast talk outlets. The ABC TalkRadio Network featured KABC personalities Michael Jackson who hosted middays, psychologist Dr. Toni Grant in afternoons, Ira Fistel and Ray Briem at night. The network was heard on scores of radio stations around the country, including co-owned WABC in New York City. The station has also served as the home of psychiatrist David Viscott and early talk radio pioneers Joe Pyne and Louis Lomax. In 1992, KABC hired its first African American woman news anchor, Yolanda L. Gaskins, who went on to become the station's first African American female show host. Two former KABC hosts, Dennis Prager and Larry Elder, are now syndicated on the Salem Radio Network and heard on its L.A. station KRLA.

The talk radio duo John and Ken (John Chester Kobylt and Kenneth Robertson Chiampou) came over to KABC to host mornings after they were released from the afternoon show on KFI. Their KABC stint lasted from July 1, 1999 to October 20, 2000. They later returned to afternoons on KFI.

Changes in ownership

ABC Television and Radio were acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1996. In the early 2000s, Disney sold off its radio division to Citadel Broadcasting in 2006. Citadel later merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[9] After Cumulus Broadcasting took over, airborne traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin, son of Los Angeles Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, was let go after 26 years. Also fired were imaging voice Howard Hoffman and news director/morning newscaster Mark Austin Thomas, who joined KNX.

A lawsuit alleged that school employees of Academia Semillas del Pueblo (ASDP) received death threats, and that the school was the target of a bomb threat, because of Doug McIntyre's extensive on-air criticism of the school, in which he accused ASDP of espousing a racist and separatist Anti-American philosophy.[10] The suit was dismissed in January 2008.

On March 31, 2016, KABC was granted an FCC construction permit to move to the same transmitter site as the one used by KWKW; the daytime power would increase to 6,600 watts and nighttime power would be raised to 6,800 watts.[11] An application to modify this construction permit the following February increased the night power to 7,900 watts.[12]

As of August 2018, KABC is the 40th-ranked station in the market in a 50-station survey, tied with Persian language station KIRN.[13] Jillian Barberie, Drew Pinsky, Leeann Tweeden and Peter Tilden were all dismissed at the end of 2019 as KABC changed to an all-syndicated talk lineup; John Phillips, Randy Wang, and Larry O'Connor (from WMAL-FM Washington, D.C.) were the lone local hosts retained.[14]


From 1974 to 1997, KABC was the flagship station of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their hall-of-fame broadcaster Vin Scully. After some years on KFWB, the team returned to KABC in 2008.[15] On September 28, 2011, the final Dodgers baseball game was broadcast on KABC from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The games moved to KLAC for the 2012 season. In August 2014, KABC became the flagship radio station of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team; that arrangement ended in 2018, with the games switching to KEIB. The LA Galaxy soccer team also had its games on KABC, those games later switched to KSPN, owned by ESPN Radio.

On May 2, 2019, the University of Southern California announced it would return[7] its USC Trojans football and basketball games to KABC.[16]


  1. ^ Cox, Bobby (December 23, 2016). "Kintronic Triplexes KABC(AM)". Radio World. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 22
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Seven Station Transfers Granted by FCC". Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 27 (4): 14. July 24, 1944. Transfer granted by the FCC on July 18.
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1946 page 74
  6. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 83
  7. ^ a b Station Profiles: KABC
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-1962 page B-18
  9. ^ "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 2007, page B4
  11. ^ Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station - Federal Communications Commission
  12. ^ Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station - Federal Communications Commission
  13. ^ "Nielsen Audio Ratings - Los Angeles July 2017 Ratings". Radio-Online. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  14. ^ "KABC Cuts Most Of Local Lineup". RadioInsight. 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  15. ^ Los Angeles Times, Oct. 24, 2007, page D8
  16. ^ "USC Sports Move To KABC". RadioInsight. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2020-01-20.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 November 2020, at 01:14
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