|City of license||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Broadcast area||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Slogan||The Talk Monster|
|First air date||April 5, 1922 (in Las Cruces, moved to Albuquerque in 1933)|
230 watts (experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
(experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
|Callsign meaning||Extra K to KOB|
|Former callsigns||KOB (1922–1986)|
|Sister stations||KTBL, KNML, KKOB-FM, KRST, KMGA, KDRF|
KKOB (770 AM) is an AM radio station operating out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the oldest in the state. It operates on 770 kHz with 50,000 Watts of power and is owned by Cumulus Media. The station's format is talk radio. Its brand is "News Radio 770 KKOB." Its studios are located in Downtown Albuquerque and the transmitter tower is located in North Valley, New Mexico.
Other stations known as KKOB
KKOB-FM is one of its sister stations in the Albuquerque radio market. KOB television, also in Albuquerque, is still commonly confused with the two radio stations because it was co-owned with them for many years. Despite their different ownership, KKOB-AM currently has a news partnership with KOB-TV.
KKOB is the local outlet for nationally syndicated talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Red Eye Radio, Moneytalk with Bob Brinker and The Mutual Fund Show with Adam Bold as well as Mike Huckabee. The station features local hosts Bob Clark in the morning and Scott Stiegler in the afternoon, as well as a show called "Fatback Nation" with Billy "Fatback" Cornelius in the evening 7PM to 9PM, which ran for 18 months from 2013 to 2014 until Cornelius had to relocate with his family to Seattle. Weekend programming features shows with local hosts, garden talk with Jericho Nursery owner Rick Hobson, a computer help show with Carole Petranovich, owner of Computer Corner, and Eric Strauss on "The House of Strauss". The station also provides local news and weather updates every half hour 24-hours a day, traffic "on the 7s" and national news updates from ABC News hourly.. KKOB-AM also broadcasts University of New Mexico basketball and football games. Some other Lobo sports can also be heard on sister sports station KNML-AM 610. As of January, 2013 the station has been rated number one by Arbitron 50 times in a row. Program Director Pat Frisch has guided the mother ship since the streak began in 2000.
The station was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island. New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.
In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters.
KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston. While the Federal Communications Commission requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to interoperate over large areas, the station refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover. Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011. Under Cumulus ownership the station has dropped some shows such as Coast-to-Coast AM and Sean Hannity which are syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks and replaced with programming from the parent company owned Cumulus Media Networks.
Hot-air balloon accident
On October 9, 2004, a Smokey Bear hot air balloon participating in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta collided with one of KKOB's transmitter towers. Three people on that balloon—Albuquerque pilot Bill Chapel and young passengers Aaron Whitacre of Tucson, Arizona and Troy Wells Rio Rancho, New Mexico—climbed down the tower to safety. KKOB signed off the air and shut down its transmitter following the accident in order to enable the passengers to climb down safely—the tower was energized and could have led to electrocution once the passengers set foot on ground.
The accident was featured on the December 26, 2010 episode of the Travel Channel series, When Vacations Attack. It was also featured on the Weather Channel.
770 KKOB has been awarded four Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters. One in 1997, Talk Station of the Year in 2001, Medium Market Station of the Year in 2009 and Legendary Station in 2010. The station has received 13 nominations. KKOB was awarded Station of the Year honors from R&R in 2009. From the New Mexico Broadcasters Association the station has received numerous awards including Station of the Year 12 times since 2000.
- Jim 'Noochie' Villanucci, afternoons 1999 – February 28, 2013 (now at KXL-FM in Portland, Oregon)
- "KOB Will Move" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 15, 1932. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Associated Press, via Albuquerque Journal: "Final Day of Fiesta Ends With Dramatic Balloon Accident", October 10, 2004.
- FCC History Cards for KKOB
- KKOB AM home page
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KKOB
- Radio-Locator Information on KKOB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KKOB