KMJ

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KMJ
KMJ NOW 105.9.jpg
City of license Fresno, California
Broadcast area Fresno, California
Branding KMJ Now
Slogan "News/Talk Radio"
Frequency 580 kHz
First air date 1922
Format Talk radio
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 26923
Owner Cumulus Media Inc.
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
Webcast Listen Live
Website http://www.kmjnow.com

KMJ (580 AM, "KMJ 580") is a radio station located in Fresno, California, owned by Cumulus Media.

Programming[edit]

KMJ broadcasts on both 580 AM and 105.9 FM in Fresno, California, with some programming simulcast live on both frequencies. The station focuses primarily on locally-produced news/talk programming.

History[edit]

KMJ first began broadcasting in March 1922, and was originally owned by the San Joaquin Light and Power Corporation. It was later acquired by the McClatchy Newspaper Company in 1925. It is also the 38th oldest licensed, and continuously operated radio station in the United States.

When the station first began broadcasting, it was licensed as an "E & M" station, and shared those frequencies with every other E & M station in existence at the time.

KMJ operated on a number of other frequencies between 1925 and 1932; some of the frequencies used included 820 and 1350 kHz. In 1931, KMJ operated on 1210 kHz, with a power of 100 watts (cf. White's Radio Log, Spring / Summer 1931). In 1935, KMJ was on the current frequency of 580 kHz, with a power of 500 watts (cf. White's Radio Log, Nov. 1935).

McClatchy was intent on improving the signal, and competed with KTAB in Oakland for a new frequency (580 kHz), which was being made available by the newly created FCC.

Eventually, they were awarded the new channel, and KMJ moved to 580 kHz in 1932, operating with 1 kW non-directional from a building rooftop in Downtown Fresno.

In 1936, a new 5,000-watt non-directional transmitter site was constructed, which utilized a 5/8 wave antenna, and was located 5 miles east of Fresno, at the northeast corner of the Kings Canyon Road and Fowler Avenue intersection.

The station was an affiliate of the Don Lee Network, and also carried CBS network broadcasts until 1936, when they collaborated with NBC. They remained a NBC affiliate until NBC ceased hourly newscasts in the 1990's. They were then associated with ABC, before rejoining CBS when Westinghouse Electric Corporation (later be renamed CBS Corp.), acquired the station from American Radio Systems in 1998.

Until 1936, and the arrival of KARM, it was the only radio station in Fresno.

Modern studios were constructed as an addition to the Fresno Bee Building on Van Ness Avenue. The studios were subsequently used by Valley Public Radio, and later, McClatchy donated the entire building to the Fresno Metropolitan Museum (the addition was demolished in 2007, as part of a renovation of the main building).

In 1941, Hammer Field (which later became Fresno Air Terminal) was constructed, as a training base for the Army Air Corps. The KMJ tower was directly in line with the runway, and the Army wanted the site relocated. The site was then moved some 16 miles west of Fresno, to the intersection of Madera and North Avenues (south of Kerman). The transmitter building was moved to the Kerman site, and the existing tower was unstacked and moved as well; however, it was only 660 feet in height. The remaining 330 feet were stored on the site, with the intention of creating a directional array, although World War II interrupted the project and it never resumed. The extra portion was eventually moved to Sacramento, and used in the construction of the KFBK transmitter site in 1945.

At the outset of World War II, the Department of War selected KMJ as the primary medium for alerting Central California residents.

From 1925 until 1987, KMJ was owned by McClatchy Company, who also owned KFBK in Sacramento, KBEE in Modesto, KERN in Bakersfield, and KKOH in Reno. McClatchy Newspapers also owned three daily newspapers in Fresno, Sacramento, and Modesto. In 1953, McClatchy signed on KMJ-TV on channel 24. The television station would be sold off in 1981 to become KSEE.

In November 2006, KMJ and its sister stations KFPT (AM), KWYE (FM), KSKS (FM), KFJK (FM), KOQO (FM), and KMGV (FM) were sold by CBS Radio to Peak Broadcasting, for $90 million.

In March 2009, Peak Broadcasting replaced the KFJK Jack FM format on 105.9 FM, with KMJ-FM; it is a partial simulcast of KMJ-AM.

In the fall of 2012, Premiere Radio Networks exercised a termination clause and ended its relationship with both the AM and FM KMJ stations. As of January 1, 2013, all Premiere-controlled syndicated shows were moved to Clear Channel-controlled stations in the greater Fresno area. From 6:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, KMJ-AM broadcasts all live and local talk shows.

On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Townsquare Media would purchase Peak Broadcasting, and then immediately swap Peak's Fresno stations, including KMJ, to Cumulus Media in exchange for Cumulus' stations in Dubuque, Iowa and Poughkeepsie, New York. The deal is part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global. Peak, Townsquare, and Dial Global are all controlled by Oaktree Capital Management.[1][2] The sale to Cumulus was completed on November 14, 2013.[3]

In September of 2013, a Special Temporary Authority was granted by the FCC that authorized KMJ to use the auxiliary site in Kerman at 5,000 watts, while one of its directional antennas at the 50,000 watt site in Orange Cove underwent repairs. [4]

Transmitter[edit]

KMJ uses a 50,000 watt transmitter. It has a directional antenna consisting of 4 mast radiators situated at 36-39-37.2 N 119-20-52.8 W, 36-39-29.2 N 119-20-52.8 W, 36-39-27.9 N 119-20-48.3 W, 36-39-36.5 N 119-20-47.1 W; each of the towers is 256.1 metres (840 ft) tall. On a clear night, signals can be picked up as far south as Santa Clarita, and as far north as San Francisco; it can widely be heard in Hawaii, Australia and Japan at night. [1]

Additionally, the 50,000 watt site develops an effective radiated power of 250,000 watts, at a bearing of 270 degrees true. That, and the extremely good ground conductivity of the San Joaquin Valley, allow KMJ to produce a signal strength of 50-100 mv/m over the city of Fresno, which is located at a distance of 26 miles (42 km) west of the 50,000 watt transmitter site.

The former main transmitter site at Kerman remains licensed as an auxiliary transmitter site.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 36°39′33″N 119°20′47″W / 36.65917°N 119.34639°W / 36.65917; -119.34639