KJR (AM)

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KJR
Sports-Radio-KJR-210x85.jpg
City of license Seattle, Washington
Broadcast area Seattle metropolitan area
Branding Sports Radio 950 KJR
Frequency 950 AM, 95.7 FM-HD2
First air date 1922
Format Sports Talk
Power 50,000 watts
Class B (regional)
Facility ID 48386
Transmitter coordinates 47°26′00″N 122°28′02″W / 47.43333°N 122.46722°W / 47.43333; -122.46722Coordinates: 47°26′00″N 122°28′02″W / 47.43333°N 122.46722°W / 47.43333; -122.46722[1]
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations KBKS, KHHO, KJR-FM, KYNW, KKBW, KUBE
Webcast Listen Live
Website sportsradiokjr.com

KJR (950 AM, "Sports Radio 950") is an all-sports radio station based in Seattle, Washington, owned by Clear Channel Communications. KJR currently is the flagship station of the University of Washington, including Husky football and men's basketball broadcasts. Its sister station KHHO was the broadcast home of the Washington State University Cougars, including football and men's basketball play-by-play until the end of the 2010-11 season.

Since the 2006-2007 season, ISP Sports was the media rights holder for Husky athletics until IMG College took over. KJR was the Washington IMG College Network's flagship station from 2002-2014. KJR lost the broadcast rights back to KOMO Newsradio AM 1000/FM 97.7.

KJR carried some play-by-play from ESPN Radio, and some of the regular talk shows at night and during weekends. KJR is now the Puget Sound region's home of Fox Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio.

It was Seattle's only all-sports talk radio station until 710 KIRO affiliated itself with ESPN.

The station's transmitter site is on Vashon Island, and operates from its studios in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood northwest of downtown.

History[edit]

KJR is the oldest station presently[when?] operating in Seattle, having been founded March 9, 1922.[citation needed] Beginning in the 1950s and lasting until 1982, KJR was a pioneer Top 40 radio station owned by entertainer Danny Kaye and Lester Smith, "Kaye/Smith Enterprises". In the 1960s, under the programming guidance of Pat O'Day, the station was top rated in Seattle and well known for introducing the Pacific Northwest to many recording stars such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts and the Ventures.[citation needed] Today, the call letters are used by KJR-FM, which broadcasts a format that includes many of the songs and shows (including original American Top 40 shows from the 1970s) from that era.

Competitors against KJR's top 40 format at the time[when?] included KOL 1300, KING 1090, and KIRO 710.

KJR would switch to soft adult contemporary in 1982, following in KING's footsteps. In 1988, the station shifted to oldies, playing the music that had made the station famous throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

KJR's shift to sports programming was a gradual evolution starting in 1989, when the station added some sports-themed shows in mid-days and afternoons. The rest of the music programming would be phased out in September 1991.

On November 4, 2011, at 7 AM, KJR began simulcasting on 102.9 FM, replacing country-formatted KNBQ. This ended on June 13, 2013, when KNBQ (now KYNW) reverted to an Adult top 40 format. During this time, Clear Channel did not transfer the KJR-FM calls from 95.7 to 102.9, instead co-branding the station as "Sports Radio 950 AM and 102.9 FM KJR".

Notable DJs[edit]

A collection of some of the country's greatest air personalities entertained Seattle listeners like Larry Lujack, Scotty Brink, Norm Gregory, Burl Barer, Pat O'Day, Eric Chase, Bob Shannon, "World Famous" Tom Murphy, Bobby Simon, Jerry Kaye, "Emperor" Lee Smith, Lan Roberts, Robert O. Smith, Charlie Brown, Bwana Johnny, Matt Riedy, Marion Seymour, Sky Walker, Tracy Mitchell, Bob Brooks and sports commentator Chuck Bolland plus Bolland's much younger brother Mark "Jeffries" Bolland. Gary "Lockjock" Lockwood, a.k.a. L.J., was the disk jockey who had the longest tenure on the "Mighty Channel 95," from 1976-1991.

Sports[edit]

KJR served as the home of the Seattle SuperSonics from 1987–2006.

This station also runs itself as "Home of the 12th Man", mainly during Seahawks season.

In 2002, Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Jeff Nelson had surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow. During his weekly show with Dave "Softy" Mahler, Nelson announced he would attempt to sell his bone chips on eBay. After earning bids as high as $23,600,[2] eBay pulled the chips from auction.

In 2003, Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird made a bet with morning host Mitch Levy that gained national publicity. The bet was over Bird's season assist/turnover ratio. If the ratio finished higher that 3:1, Bird agreed to be spanked by Levy on the air. If Bird won the bet, Levy agreed to purchase Storm season tickets. The bet was later amended to include Bird yelling "Harder, Daddy, Harder." The bet was ultimately called off by Bird.[3] When asked at a later date, Tyler Orsborn (morning show producer at the time) suggested that Storm management were the real reason the bet was called off and not Bird.

During a 2006 radio interview[4] with Dave "Softy" Mahler and former University of Washington quarterback Hugh Millen, then Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim L. Mora said he'd be in the "friggin' head of the line" for the Washington Huskies football head coaching position, if it became available. Mora, who played for the University of Washington, later said he was only kidding during the interview, but was still fired by the Falcons at the end of the season.

Host "Softy" began a feud with another sports show host in Salt Lake City, Utah after they argued about their predicted outcomes of the Washington vs. BYU game on September 5, 2008. After arguing with Hans Olsen of Sports Radio 1280 The Zone, Softy had an on-air meltdown where he claimed that he was going to choke Hans and repeatedly called him an idiot.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FCC Query Results". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  2. ^ "Stop the insanity: Bidding for Nelson's bone chips reaches $23,600". Sports Illustrated.com. May 15, 2000. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (July 21, 2003). "Bird apologizes to fans for making wager". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  4. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (2006-12-15). "Mora says he's happy with Falcons". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  5. ^ England, Dave. "Seattles 950 Am Sports Show Host "Softy" Is The Ultimate Loser". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 

External links[edit]