|City of license||Los Angeles|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Branding||94.7 The Wave|
|Slogan||A Southern California Original|
|Frequency||94.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
94.7-2: Wave Classics
|First air date||1961 (as KLAC-FM)|
|Format||FM: Urban AC (Smooth AC-leaning)
HD2: Smooth Jazz
HD3: Country (KFRG simulcast)
|Callsign meaning||Katch The WaVe!|
|Former callsigns||KLAC-FM (1961–1968)
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
|Sister stations||KAMP-FM, KCBS-FM, KNX, KROQ-FM, KRTH|
KTWV is a commercial radio station located in Los Angeles, broadcasting to the Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside–San Bernardino and Ventura County areas on 94.7 FM. KTWV airs an Urban Adult Contemporary radio format branded as "94.7 The Wave". The station has studios on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, and its transmitter is based on Mount Wilson.
From 1968 until 1987, the 94.7 frequency was home of KMET, a very popular album-oriented rock station owned by Metromedia. Prior to KMET, the station was called KLAC-FM; the call letters KLAC are currently used for a station which broadcasts at 570 AM. KMET's ratings were high until the early 1980s when it lost ground to the competition. Many observers believe the station's ratings struggles were in large part caused by embracing the advice of New York music consultants and abandoning its identity as the "Soundtrack for Southern California." Specifically, it abandoned the spontaneity of having disc jockeys pick the music to be played on the air. Together with reduced advertising budgets, this resulted in significant ratings drops.
Metromedia sold its TV stations in 1986 and restructured and became known as Metropolitan Broadcasting. By the end of 1986, the rock format on KMET had very low ratings and as a result, the format would end on February 14, 1987.
The station changed to a new age music/soft rock/contemporary jazz format with the nickname "The Wave," with initial focus primarily on non-vocal new-age music. Its first song played on the relaunched format was Sting's "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free". During the Wave's new age music period, management told the station employees to refer to The Wave as a "mood service" rather than a "radio station". For the first 19 months, there were no live Disc Jockeys; instead, there were "vignettes" done by actors, informing listeners of the time, where the current hour was a part of the dialog. Ratings were weak, and John Sebastian was hired as the new Program Director. On September 19, 1988, live jocks were back. Sebastian hired Don Burns, Talaya Trigueros, Keri Tombazian, Amy Hiatt and China Smith.
The Wave is often regarded as the first NAC station in the United States. But some media writers disagree, preferring to award that title to KLRS in Santa Cruz, California. KLRS went on the air one month after The Wave, but was the first station in North America to play a true new-age music format, continuing to do so until its demise in 1990.
The era of The Wave has the distinction of being the only time legendary disc jockey J.J. Jackson has ever worked at the station. Jackson was a veteran of then-rival rock station KLOS (while The Wave was still rocker KMET) for ten years, before becoming one of the original VJ's" (video jockeys) on MTV when the channel debuted in 1981. Jackson was a DJ for a brief time at The Wave in 2004.
KTWV is currently owned by CBS Radio and for a time was located in the largest market with a Smooth Jazz station, thanks to the demises of WQCD in New York City, WNUA in Chicago, and KOAI in Dallas/Fort Worth. It was also the last CBS Radio-owned Smooth Jazz-formatted radio station still in operation (WSJT in the Tampa Bay Area was the other, but it flipped on August 31, 2012). However, the station has eliminated the term "Smooth Jazz" from its on-air positioning and added more Urban AC and soft-rock vocals and instrumental covers to its music mix (see below).
When competitor Citadel Broadcasting switched Washington, D.C.'s WJZW from smooth jazz to oldies in 2008, CBS Radio began running ads promoting KTWV on CBS owned stations in the area such as WJFK-FM. There was a Canadian radio station that was named after KTWV (CIWV-FM, which used the "Wave" moniker and was located on 94.7 FM), which ran from 2000 until 2011, when it flipped to Country.
In February 2010, veteran Los Angeles programmer Jhani Kaye, who also programs Classic Hits-formatted sister station KRTH, took over programming of KTWV from the departed Paul Goldstein. Kaye, who previously programmed crosstown mainstream AC competitor KOST, made immediate changes to KTWV's format, increasing the amount of R&B and soft-pop vocals in the station's playlist and reducing the number of smooth jazz instrumentals played (with most of the remaining instrumentals being cover versions of pop hits), transitioning into a smooth adult contemporary direction. In addition, all references to the term "smooth jazz" have been eliminated from the station's web site and on-air positioning, as the station has been reformatted to become a direct competitor to Kaye's former station, KOST.
As of May 28, 2010, longtime on-air personality Don Burns is no longer heard afternoons every weekday. His show had been voice-tracked; the station says Burns will be replaced with a new and local host.
KTWV's morning program, "The Wave Morning Show with Pat Prescott", is hosted by Pat Prescott. Between May 2010 and June 2012, Prescott hosted the show with Kim Amidon. Kim, a former morning DJ at adult contemporary station KOST, replaced departing host and musician Brian McKnight as of the summer of 2010. (In turn, McKnight's predecessor on The Wave's morning show was saxophonist Dave Koz, who has a successful syndicated radio show of his own). Prescott has co-hosted the morning program since 2001.
In November 2013, the station introduced a revamped logo still utilizing the same font and branding, as well as a format tweak and a slogan change from "Southern California's Place to Unwind and Relax" to "Smooth R&B." This move makes KTWV one of the two stations with an Urban Adult Contemporary format to be owned by CBS Radio, the other being WBAV in Charlotte, North Carolina (which will be sold to Beasley Broadcasting in 2014). As of June 2014, KTWV has begun to reintroduce mainstream AC pop crossovers into the playlist and updated its website, which dropped the "Smooth R&B" tag from its logo.
On September 15, 2010, KTWV launched "Wave Classics", an HD Radio format featuring older smooth jazz instrumentals no longer heard on the main station, on its digital HD2 sub-channel. As a result, the FM simulcast of sister station KNX was moved from HD2 to HD3, ending the Los Angeles simulcast of another sister station, Country-formatted KFRG in Riverside, California. And shortly after, the KNX simulcast moved to KAMP-FM 97.1 HD2 marking the short return of KFRG which only lasted a few months.
- Balfe, Judith H. (1993). Paying the piper: causes and consequences of art patronage. University of Illinois Press. pp. 279–281. ISBN 0-252-06310-4.
- "Making Moves: Monday, May 18, 2010". Radio-Info.com. May 18, 2010.
- "Radio host Don Burns leaves KTWV". Orange County Register. May 18, 2010.
- 94.7 The Wave
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KTWV
- Radio-Locator information on KTWV
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KTWV