||This article's introduction may be too long for the overall article length. (October 2012)|
|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles Area|
|Branding||TalkRadio 790 KABC|
|Slogan||"Talkradio with Passion"|
|First air date||April 14, 1925 (as KFVF)|
|Callsign meaning||K American Broadcasting Company
|Former callsigns||KFVF (1925-1929)
(Radio License Holing VI, LLC)
|Webcast||Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)|
KABC (790 AM) is a Los Angeles radio station, and a West Coast flagship station for the Cumulus Media company. A pioneer of the talk radio format, the station went "all-talk" in September 1960, the second radio station to do so, a few months after St. Louis' KMOX. KABC is owned by Cumulus Media, but despite different owners, 790 KABC, KABC-TV and 710 ESPN maintains a strong partnership (as KABC-TV is the local ABC owned-and-operated station).
KABC first went on the air on April 14, 1925 as KVFV. On November 15, 1929, the station was sold to Earle C. Anthony, a local car dealer who already owned KFI. Anthony changed KVFV's call letters to include his initials, making the station KECA. Around the end of 1939, Anthony purchased station KEHE (originally KTM) and moved KECA's call sign and programming from 1430 kHz to the former KEHE facility at 780 kHz. KECA then moved to 790 kHz as part of the NARBA frequency shifts of 1941.
In 1944, new FCC rules went into effect prohibiting any entity from owning more than one radio station. The Blue Network (which would soon become ABC) bought the station in July, 1944, for $800,000; the call sign was changed to KABC in 1954, after that combination was released by a station in San Antonio.
KABC has been the base of operation for many influential radio hosts, including early talk polemicists Joe Pyne and Louis Lomax, Ira Fistel, Michael Jackson, whose talk show attracted celebrities, politicians, and newsmakers of all types, pioneering radio psychologists Dr. Toni Grant and David Viscott, and more recent syndicated hosts including Dennis Prager (now with NewsTalk 870 KRLA and the Salem Radio Network), John and Ken (on KFI before their stint on KABC and currently back on KFI) and Larry Elder (now back on KABC as a local show). In the 1980s, Jackson, Grant and Viscott were also syndicated nationwide on ABC Radio's talk radio network.
From 1974 to 1997, KABC was also the station of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their hall-of-fame broadcaster Vin Scully. In 2008, the Dodgers Radio Network returned to KABC. On September 28, 2011, the final broadcast of Dodgers Baseball on KABC was aired at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, before moving to KLAC (AM) 570 for the 2012 season.
Though a prominent Los Angeles signal, KABC declined in the ratings following ABC's takeover by Disney in December, 1996. Disney replaced longtime management personnel (including George Green, who started as a KABC salesman in 1959 and had been general manager for 16 years) with Disney corporate selections. The station has consistently lagged behind KFI, another major talk station in Los Angeles. The station, which was owned by The Walt Disney Company's ABC Radio came under ownership of Citadel Broadcasting when the companies merged in 2006. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011. The station remains an ABC affiliate.
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. The suit was dismissed in January, 2008.
Current KABC personalities include Doug McIntyre, Larry Elder, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, John Phillips, John Batchelor, and Don Imus (For a complete list of shows see www.KABC.com). KABC's news team includes mid-day anchor Debra Mark and afternoon anchor Steve Kindred.
KABC was the flagship station of the Los Angeles Dodgers until 2011. It broadcast Dodgers games from the time when the station was outbid by KXTA (now KTLK). After some years on KFWB, the team returned to KABC in 2008. Although KABC and KSPN have the different owners, "710ESPN" reached out to KABC to air Games 3 and 5 of the 2008 World Series because KSPN was committed to other live sports events.
In October 2011 Cumulus Broadcasting took over ownership of KABC (and sister station KLOS). Airborne traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin, son of Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, was let go after 26 years. Also fired were imaging voice Howard Hoffman and news director/morning newsman Mark Austin Thomas. In November 2011 KABC's audience share was 0.7%, its lowest ever.
KABC is notable for having a diverse set of talk show hosts including Los Angeles Zagat Survey editor Merrill Shindler and automotive expert Leon Kaplan who in January, 2010, celebrated thirty years of broadcasting on KABC.
KABC is received in the Los Angeles basin and throughout most of Southern California west of the San Jacinto mountains (partially audible in the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs), its signal reaches San Diego and as far north as Delano in Kern County. Its night-time coverage is in most of Southern California, and parts of Arizona.
- "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.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 2007, page B4
- Los Angeles Times, Oct. 24, 2007, page D8
- Talk Radio 790 KABC
- FCC History Cards for KABC
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KABC
- Radio-Locator Information on KABC
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KABC