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KLOK 1170 AM ("Desi 1170 AM") is a radio station broadcasting a World Ethnic format. Licensed to San Jose, California, U.S., the station serves the San Francisco Bay Area. Since June 2009, KLOK 1170 AM has run a 24/7 South Asian format. At 50,000 watts, its signal covers the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
E.L Barker founded KLOK Radio and began broadcasting on October 13, 1946. Initially the station broadcast with a 5,000 watt daytime signal, later adding a 1,000 watt night time signal in 1952. The power increased to 10,000 watts daytime and 5,000 watts night time on June 29, 1964. Mr. Barker sold KLOK Radio to Davis Broadcasting (which later became the Weaver Davis Fowler Corporation) in 1967. On August 10, 1969, KLOK increased the daytime power to its current 50,000 watts. These historical dates are listed on a plaque near the entrance of the station's former studios (and current transmitter site) in San Jose.
In the late sixties and seventies, the station broadcast "oldies" pop music eventually changing into Adult Contemporary. One of the popular DJs in the late 1960s was Jon Badeaux. By the early 1980s, KLOK's parent company also owned KLOK-FM (San Francisco), KWIZ (Santa Ana) and KFIG (Fresno). According to Ad Week, all five stations eventually shared the "Yes/No Radio" format which was developed by KLOK Executive VP and GM, Bill Weaver. This allowed the station to leverage branding, advertising, and jingles. In this format, listeners would respond to the "KLOK Yes/No Music Poll" by calling into the station and vote to keep ("Yes") or remove ("No") songs in the playlist.
KLOK switched to a Spanish language format on August 9, 1988, after the station was sold to the owners of KBRG for $5M. The station maintained this format until 2009, when its sale by Univision Radio to Principle Broadcasting Network was followed by a change to a format billed as "New International Community Radio" generally consisting of South Asian music.