|This article is outdated. (October 2011)|
|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Frequency||980 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1925 (on radio); March 11, 1968 (all-news format)|
|Callsign meaning||Sequentially issued
(unofficially means Keep Filming Warner Brothers)
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio|
|Owner||KFWB Asset Trust|
KFWB is a Los Angeles, California AM radio station operating on 980 kHz with 5,000 watts of power from a transmitter site near Lincoln Park (East Los Angeles). The station had a mostly all-news format from 1968 until September 8, 2009, after which it converted to a news-talk format. KFWB is operated by the KFWB Asset Trust. It changed to sports on Monday, August 25, 2014. 
The station's history goes back to 1925, when it was launched by Sam Warner, a co-founder of Warner Brothers. The station launched the careers of such stars as Ronald Reagan and Bing Crosby. The station was the first to broadcast the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Although some think its call letters stand for Keep Filming Warner Brothers, actually the callsign was sequentially issued by the Department of Commerce, predecessor to the FCC (March 1925) at the same time as KFWA in Ogden, Utah (Feb 1925) and KFWC for San Bernardino (also Feb 1925).
A 1940 Merrie Melodies cartoon, produced by Warner Brothers (and directed by Chuck Jones), entitled Bedtime for Sniffles, has Sniffles the mouse trying to stay awake for Santa Claus, and a radio announcer signs off for the night identifying the station as KFWB. Another cartoon of the same year, The Timid Toreador, co-directed by Bob Clampett, shows an announcer broadcasting on this station (though the action takes place in Mexico) The Merrie Melodies cartoon for I've Got A Torch Song released in conjunction with Gold Diggers of 1933 has KFWB written on the microphones in the scenes of the torch singers.
In 1946, KFWB imported two disc jockeys from New York City: Maurice Hart of WNEW, whose drive-time show Start the Day Right was described as "Words and Music Straight from the Hart," and Martin Block, who coined the phrase "Make-Believe Ballroom," which was later used by Al Jarvis when Block returned to New York. In those days, disc jockeys selected their own music, either from KFWB's extensive record library, or new songs brought to them by "song pluggers." Old and new, vocal and instrumental were mixed together to the disc jockey's choice.
In 1958, the original "Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen" took Rock and Roll into its first major market, at KFWB.
Also in 1958, under new owners Crowell-Collier Broadcasting, program director Chuck Blore transformed the station into a Top 40 format called Channel 98 Color Radio. The station became one of the most highly listened to stations in the Southland and in the nation. The air staff during the glory days included Bill Ballance, B. Mitchell Reed, Bruce Hayes, Al Jarvis, Joe Yocam, Elliot Field, Ted Quillin. and Gene Weed. Their staff of highly respected newscasters included Cleve Herrmann, Charles Arlington, John Babcock, Beach Rogers, Mike Henry, Hal Goodwin, Al Wiman, Bill Angel, J. Paul Huddleston and Jackson King. But times changed, and in the mid-60's, KFWB was overtaken by rival KRLA. Then KRLA was put in second place by the launch of Boss Radio at 93/KHJ, and this relegated KFWB to the position of the third-place pop music station in the L.A. market.
KFWB was later purchased by Westinghouse in 1966. On March 11, 1968, the station was relaunched as an all news radio station. The station promoted itself with its slogan, "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world," as first used by New York Westinghouse station WINS. Its goal was to give a full newscast every 22 minutes, the average commute time in Los Angeles.
KFWB was previously owned by CBS Radio, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation which also owns KNX, the only all-news station in Los Angeles. KFWB and KNX famously feuded as all-news rivals for years, both on radio and in television advertising. Like its former Westinghouse (now CBS Radio) sister stations (and fellow all-news stations) WINS in New York and KYW in Philadelphia, KFWB had a running teletype sound effect in the background during regular newscasts.
KFWB previously aired Dodgers games and many National Football League games from Westwood One. The NFL broadcasts stopped after the 2007 Pro Bowl, and the Dodgers left KFWB after the 2007 season, some months later, to return to KABC. With that, the slogan "all news, all the time" returned. However, in 2008, the NFL broadcasts returned for a brief period.
Beginning in 2008, KNX and KFWB were jointly branded as CBSNewsRadioLA. The CBSNewsRadioLA brand was used for simulcasted special programming and for marketing to advertisers. In addition, there were no longer separate field reporters for KNX and KFWB, and CBSNewsRadioLA reporters filed stories for both stations.
Also in the 2009 season, KFWB began broadcasting weekday baseball games of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, although the flagship remained the Angels-owned KLAA. Also, as it was announced on August 13, 2009, the station and the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers signed a multi-year broadcast rights pact, with KFWB carrying every Clippers contest.
On September 8, 2009, the station adopted a news-talk format, adding syndicated shows such as Dave Ramsey, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura Schlessinger (who moved from longtime flagship KFI) and Michael Smerconish. In 2011, Dr. Laura left the station, Dave Ramsey moved to 11am-2pm and the station added motivational speaker Les Brown to its afternoon lineup. Brown left the station in 2012. Ramsey left in 2014.
By the summer of 2014, KFWB's weekday line-up included: LA's Morning News with Penny Griego and Phil Hulett; Money 101 with Bob McCormick; "As We See It" with Phil Hulett and friends; LA's Afternoon News with Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee; and The Amani & Eytan Show from NBC Sports Radio.
On November 2, 2011, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a trust headed by Diane Sutter, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust. This was due to CBS Corp.'s ownership limitations after they bought KCAL-TV 9 years prior.
Switch to Sports
On July 25, 2014, KFWB's Twitter account noted that the station would "shake up the #LA #sports scene in September.". On the same day the employees were notified that they will be terminated on August 31. On August 25, CBS Sports Radio programming moved from KCBS-FM's HD2 channel to KFWB, which will be known as "KFWB 980." until September 22nd, when it will officially rebrand as "The Beast 980 AM". KFWB had been airing "Going Deep" and the first two hours of "The Erik Kuselias Show" from WestwoodOne's NBC Sports Radio but will now be carrying the full lineup from CBS Sports Radio.
Former On-Air Staff
- John Brooks
- Paul Lowe
- Penny Griego
- Phil Hulett
- Cindy Dole
- Michael Shappee
- Maggie McKay
- Bob McCormick
- John Brooks
- Pete Demetriou
- Claudia Peschiutta
- Rhonda Kramer
- Jeff Baugh
- Tom Storey
- Allen Lee
- Robin Johnson
- Jennifer Burns
- Richard Turnage
- Scott Greene
- Colleen Ryan
- Arianna Ortiz
- Lisa Walker
- Ted Sobel
- Bill Seward
- Bob Harvey
Studios and transmitter
The original KFWB studios and transmitter location were at the Warner Bros. Studios, which is now KTLA, at 5800 Sunset Boulevard. One of the two original towers still stands prominently out front. Due to RF interference getting into the movie studio's "talkies" sound equipment, the transmitter was moved in 1928 to the roof of the Warner Theater, now the Hollywood Pacific Theatre, at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. Eventually the studios were also moved to the Warner Theater. Those two towers are still there, as well. Years later, when KFWB was sold to KFWB Broadcasting Co. (Harry Maizlish), the studios moved to 6419 Hollywood Blvd. (now demolished), and the transmitter moved to the area near La Cienega and Rodeo Blvd., about three blocks south of the KECA/KABC studio/transmitter site. In July, 1958 the transmitter again moved, to make way for the construction of a FEDCO membership department store, to its present location, diplexed with KLAC in East LA. The studios moved in 1977 to 6230 Yucca St., also in Hollywood. In June 2005, KFWB moved into new studios on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district, sharing facilities with CBS Radio stations KNX, KTWV and KRTH.
- http://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines/netgnomes/89528/los-angeles-preparing-for-arrival-of-a-beast/ KFWB To Launch Sports Format Monday
- http://jeff560.tripod.com/chrono1.html | A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting 1900-1960
- Taishoff, Sol (1951). "Letter to Harry Maizlish, September 27, 1950". Broadcasting Yearbook (advertisement) (Broadcasting Publications, Inc.): 83. "We rejoice with your host of friends in congratulating you on the acquisition of KFWB by your new company…. To almost everybody in the radio fraternity … KFWB for almost two decades has been synonymous with Harry Maizlish"
- "Directory of AM, FM and TV Stations of the United States". Broadcasting Yearbook (Broadcasting Publications, Inc.): 85–96. 1952. "no"
- LA Radio News
- L.A.’s news/talk KFWB (980) goes into a trust, under new GM Valerie Blackburn - (released November 2, 2011)
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KFWB
- Radio-Locator Information on KFWB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KFWB
- FCC History Cards for KFWB