|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Los Angeles Metro Area|
|Branding||Go Country 105|
|Slogan||"Southern California's Country Station"|
|Frequency||105.1 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 11, 1959|
HD2: K-Mozart Classical music
HD3: Retro 105 Adult standards
HD4: "Go Country Classics" Classic Country
|Callsign meaning||KK-GO Country 105 (current on-air moniker)|
|Former callsigns||KBCA (1959-1979)
|Owner||Mount Wilson Broadcasting|
|Webcast||KKGO Webstream (limited to California)
KKGO-FM was founded by Saul Levine and is still owned by his corporation, Mount Wilson Broadcasting, and remains the only independently owned-and-operated FM radio station licensed to Los Angeles.
Saul Levine launched the station at 105.1 in February 1959 as KBCA, and was one of the first FM stations to broadcast from Mount Wilson. In 1979, the station changed its callsign to KKGO. This was prompted by a court challenge from KABC, according to one local podcaster. The station aired a traditional jazz music format until 1989.
When cross-town KFAC dropped classical music in favor of a popular music format on September 20, 1989, KKGO adopted KFAC's displaced classical music format. The official switch from jazz to classical occurred on January 1, 1990, and began with selections from Franz Lehár's operetta The Land of Smiles. In 2000, the call letters were changed to KMZT to reflect on their rebranding as "K-Mozart". The KKGO call letters were then moved to AM 1260.
The station began broadcasting an HD Radio digital signal in 2005, and Mount Wilson Broadcasting started multicasting the programming of its two AM stations, KKGO in Beverly Hills and XESURF in the Tijuana, Mexico-San Diego border area, on its HD2 signal, which then had an adult standards format known as "Unforgettable 540 & 1260". While the AM signals combine to cover much of the Southern California area, they were still weak, especially at night in the Orange County area, and the FM HD2 simulcast helped boost the reach of the format. The Adult Standards format is available as an internet stream at Retro105.com and on KKGO 105.1 FM HD3.
Go Country 105
When longtime country station KZLA flipped formats in August 2006, it left the two largest media markets in the United States and three of the top four without a full-time country music station. The New York area had been without a country station since WYNY signed off in 2003. (Cumulus Radio Group's "Nash-FM," debuted on January 21, 2013). In the San Francisco Bay Area, KZBR also changed format in 2005, only to return to country as "The Wolf" after Entercom took over the station in March 2007. The other top-3 market, Chicago, is served by WUSN.
At 5 a.m. February 26, 2007, in a surprise move announced only three days earlier, citing declining ad revenues for the classical format, Mt. Wilson Broadcasters flipped K-Mozart to country as "Go Country 105." Saul Levine swapped the formats and callsigns of FM 105.1 with AM 1260, bringing the country format and the KKGO calls back to FM, while the classical format and the KMZT calls were moved to AM, with the "K-Mozart" (XESURF continued to play country music, first simulcasting KKGO's format, but later splitting its programming from that of KKGO). After playing Mozart's "String Quartet no. 23 in F, K.590", Los Angeles was left once again without a commercial classical music station on the analog FM dial.
"Go Country 105" brought country music back to the FM dial after a six-month absence. This was a dream come true for the country music fans who had spent those six months writing letters, making phone calls, wearing "I Want My Country Music Back" shirts, handing out and wearing Save Country Music Ribbons, letting the broadcasters and many others know that there were many reasons that the country music genre would be a viable asset for an L.A. radio station.
On May 31, 2009, the classical format returned to KKGO 105.1 HD2.
Go Country Online Stream Limited
On May 8, 2013, the station announced it was limiting its streaming services to California listeners. It was due to rising royalty rates from the exponential growth of the number of streamers on the stream. Their sister stations have not made any changes to their stream and has currently been limited to Go Country 105 only.
The current lineup (as of October 13, 2014) is as follows.
- Morning: Graham Bunn and Debra Mark
- Mid-Days: Christine Martindale
- Afternoon Drive: Paul Freeman
- Evenings: Ginny Harman and Larry Morgan
- Weekends: Laurie Allen, Gary Campbell, Paul Freeman, Ginny Harman & CMT Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton
- Brian Douglas, KKGO 1st Country Morning Radio Personality
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KKGO
- Radio-Locator information on KKGO
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KKGO
- Countryboards.com, Country Music Message board set up as a command center for fans to get country music back on FM radio after losing KZLA.
- "Johnny Cash Would Have Been Proud -- KKGO 105.1 Flips Over to Country", Press Release Regarding Country Music Returning to FM Radio in Los Angeles.
- "Levine’s KKGO/KMZT Embrace HD Radio", RWOnline, Radio World Newspaper, May 23, 2007