|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Branding||93.1 Jack FM|
|Slogan||Playing What We Want|
|Frequency||93.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1948|
|Format||FM/HD1: Adult Hits
HD2: CBS Sports Radio
(former legal name of CBS)
|Former callsigns||KNX-FM (1948-1983 and 1986-1989)
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
|Sister stations||KAMP-FM, KCAL-TV, KCBS-TV, KNX, KROQ-FM, KRTH, KTWV|
Unlike other radio stations of similar format, the Los Angeles Jack FM playlist runs a fairly focused playlist of popular classic rock and Alternative Rock tracks. Currently, the station has no air staff save for Tami Heide with her "Jacktivities" (events and whatever announcements deemed worthy by "jack"). Unlike most other stations in this format, the call sign no longer includes any form of the word "Jack," opting instead to hold over calls from a previous format. This is similar to its FM sister station in New York, WCBS-FM, which had maintained its WCBS calls during its run as "Jack FM."
Although Jack proclaims that the station is run "in a dumpy little building in beautiful downtown Culver City", KCBS-FM is actually at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, about ½ mile north of Culver City. The station's transmitter is based on Mount Wilson.
The station signed on in 1948 as KNX-FM. KNX-FM was a simulcast of sister station KNX until the mid-1960s. The radio station, along with other CBS-owned FM radio stations aired a beautiful music format branded as "The Young Sound".
In 1983, long after other CBS-owned radio stations moved on to other formats, KNX-FM adopted a Top 40 music format - again similar to the other CBS Radio stations branded as "Hitradio 93 KKHR". A change of the heritage KNX-FM call letters followed to KKHR. KKHR was not a traditional Top 40 music format of the time as the playlist was more stringent limited to 30 songs.
In 1986, the Top 40 format ran its course likely due to its lackluster ratings. The mellow rock music format and heritage KNX-FM call letters were returned under the new branding "Quality Rock".
On March 2nd, 1989, following a day-long stunt with a ticking clock during songs and an announcement from vice president/GM of KNX-FM, Charlie Seraphin, an oldies music format was introduced and the heritage KNX-FM call letters were dropped yet again in favor of KODJ to complement the change in branding to "Oldies 93.1". KODJ competed with crosstown rival KRTH, which later came under common CBS Radio ownership when ownership limits were relaxed by the FCC. KODJ focused more on the 1950s and the early 1960s era of oldies music than rival KRTH. The DJ's featured were The Real Don Steele, Charlie Tuna and Machine Gun Kelly In response, KRTH gradually reduced the amount of newer songs from the playlist and received higher ratings. The Real Don Steele later joined KRTH in 1993 and Charlie Tuna in 2008.
On July 12, 1991 at 2:00pm KODJ changed to its present call letters, KCBS-FM. These call letters had previously been used by two CBS-affiliated stations (now KSOL and KLLC) in San Francisco. On September 1, 1993 KCBS-FM dumped the oldies music format in favor of classic hits music, focusing primarily on the 1970s; branded as "Arrow 93" using the slogan, "All Rock and Roll Oldies".
Infinity Broadcasting (as CBS Radio was known at the time) won the licensing rights to brand their adult hits music formatted radio stations as "Jack FM". Many Infinity/CBS Radio stations adopted the adult hits format and "Jack-FM" branding which led to yet another format change for KCBS-FM. On March 17, 2005, the classic hits music format was dropped in favor of its present music format of adult hits branded as "Jack-FM". The JACK-FM format was a break from the heavily niched formats that had developed beginning in the 1970s. JACK played 70s and 80s hits from pop, rock, and alternative genres, despite the fact that these were usually not played on the same station at the time they were originally hits. JACK was also unusual in that it eschewed DJs, and had a much larger playlist than the typical "oldies" or classic rock radio station.
The Los Angeles incarnation of JACK includes much more modern rock than most JACK outlets, reflecting the local influence of KROQ during its alternative heyday. The station debuted with a blend of pop and rock from the late 60s to late 80s, with a sprinkling of newer, sometimes almost current, tunes. Eventually the newer songs and pop songs were phased out in favor of mostly classic rock and classic alternative. It is also the longest-serving of all of CBS' JACK stations due to its co-ownership with KRTH, which has a classic hits format, the other CBS-owned JACK stations having switched formats to classic hits in recent years.
Though the station has no DJs and is automated, they will occasionally respond to current events, such as playing all Michael Jackson following his death, or spinning a celebratory tune or two following a local sports victory.
The "voice" of JACK-FM is indeed a real person named Howard Cogan. His quips that air between songs are created by a team of writers. As JACK became popular, Cogan moved to Los Angeles to record his comments more easily. He also does the "JACK voice" for other stations around the country.
In addition to the main Jack FM format on HD-1, HD-2 broadcasts CBS Sports Radio. Former sister station KFWB (980) was broadcasting on its HD-3 signal, but due to that station's divesture to a trust under the name Clark Radio, LLC, that signal is no longer available.
- "Jack lures fans by not saying much; KCBS-FM's format is catching on, but some wonder if it can endure.". Los Angeles Times. 2005-07-25.
- "Call Sign History for KCBS-FM". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "KODJ, Los Angeles brings back "The Boss"". Machine Gun Kelly. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "What are the call letters today?". Machine Gun Kelly. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- 93.1 Jack FM
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KCBS
- Radio-Locator information on KCBS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KCBS