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790 KABC-AM Logo.png
City of license Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area Greater Los Angeles Area
Branding TalkRadio 790 KABC
Slogan "Talkradio with Passion"
Frequency 790 kHz(also on HD Radio)
95.5 HD2 KLOS.
First air date August 1925
Format News/Talk
Power 5 kilowatts
Class B
Facility ID 33254
Transmitter coordinates 34°01′41″N 118°22′22″W / 34.02806°N 118.37278°W / 34.02806; -118.37278Coordinates: 34°01′41″N 118°22′22″W / 34.02806°N 118.37278°W / 34.02806; -118.37278
Callsign meaning K American Broadcasting Company
(former owner)
Former callsigns KFXB (1925-1927)
KPLA (1927-1929)
KECA (1929-1954)
Affiliations ABC News
Owner Cumulus Media
(Radio License Holdings LLC)
Sister stations KLOS
Webcast Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)
Listen Live (via Rdio)
Website kabc.com

KABC (790 AM) is a Los Angeles radio station, and a West Coast flagship station for the Cumulus Media company. A pioneer of the talk radio format, the station went "all-talk" in September 1960, the second radio station to do so, a few months after St. Louis' KMOX. KABC is owned by Cumulus Media, but despite different owners, 790 KABC, KABC-TV and KSPN maintains a strong partnership (as KABC-TV is the local ABC owned-and-operated station). The station's studios and transmitter are both co-located on La Cienega Boulevard in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.

KABC broadcasts in the HD (hybrid) format.[1]


KABC began in August of 1925 as KFXB in Big Bear Lake. The station moved to Los Angeles in 1927 and became KPLA. On November 15, 1929, KPLA was sold to Earle C. Anthony, a Packard automobile dealer and owner of KFI. Anthony changed the call letters to KECA. In August of 1939, Anthony purchased KEHE-780 (formerly KTM) and took the station off the air. KECA's call sign and programming were moved from 1430 kHz to 780 kHz. KECA moved to 790 kHz as part of the NARBA frequency shifts of 1941.[2]

In 1944, new FCC rules went into effect prohibiting any entity from owning more than one radio station in the same market area. The Blue Network (which would soon become ABC) bought the station in July, 1944, for $800,000;[3] the call sign was changed to KABC in 1954, after that combination was released by a station in San Antonio.

KABC switched to a full-time talk format in 1960, becoming the nation's second talk station, after KMOX in St. Louis. Though a prominent Los Angeles news-talk station, KABC declined in the ratings following ABC's takeover by Disney in December of 1996. Disney replaced longtime management personnel (including George Green, who started as a KABC salesman in 1959 and had been general manager for 16 years) with Disney corporate selections. The station has consistently lagged behind KFI, another major talk station in Los Angeles. The station, which was owned by The Walt Disney Company's ABC Radio came under ownership of Citadel Broadcasting when the companies merged in 2006. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[4] The station remains an ABC affiliate.

In October 2011 Cumulus Broadcasting took over ownership of KABC (and sister station KLOS). Airborne traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin, son of Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, was let go after 26 years. Also fired were imaging voice Howard Hoffman and news director/morning newsman Mark Austin Thomas.

In July 2015. KABC's audience share was 0.3%, its lowest ever. Rival Salem Media's KRLA (AM 870) has pulled ahead of KABC with a 0.6% share. [5] KRLA now airs former KABC talk programs The Mark Levin Show and The Larry Elder Show. Dawn Girocco, who has worked as a sales director for Clear Channel, CBS Radio and the Los Angeles Times, became vice president of KABC and sister station KLOS in August 2015. [6]


Current KABC personalities include Doug McIntyre, Terri-Rae Elmer, Peter Tilden, Mark Levin, Jillian Barberie and John Phillips.

KABC was the flagship station of the Los Angeles Dodgers until 2011. It broadcast Dodgers games from the time when the station was outbid by KXTA (now KEIB). After some years on KFWB, the team returned to KABC in 2008.[7] Although KABC and KSPN have the different owners, "710ESPN" reached out to KABC to air Games 3 and 5 of the 2008 World Series because KSPN was committed to other live sports events.

KABC has been the base of operation for many influential radio hosts, including early talk polemicists Joe Pyne and Louis Lomax, Ira Fistel, Michael Jackson, whose talk show attracted celebrities, politicians, and newsmakers of all types, pioneering radio psychologists Dr. Toni Grant and David Viscott, and more recent syndicated hosts including Dennis Prager (now with NewsTalk 870 KRLA and the Salem Radio Network), John and Ken (on KFI before their stint on KABC and currently back on KFI) and Larry Elder (now back on KABC as a local show). In the 1980s, Jackson, Grant and Viscott were also syndicated nationwide on ABC Radio's talk radio network.

From 1974 to 1997, KABC was also the station of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their hall-of-fame broadcaster Vin Scully. In 2008, the Dodgers Radio Network returned to KABC. On September 28, 2011, the final broadcast of Dodgers Baseball on KABC was aired at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, before moving to KLAC (AM) 570 for the 2012 season.

In August 2014, the station became the flagship for the NHL Los Angeles Kings' radio broadcasts. In January 2015, Dr. Drew and Michael Catherwood began hosting a talk show from 12PM to 3PM.[8]


KABC is notable for having a diverse set of talk show hosts including Los Angeles Zagat Survey editor Merrill Shindler and automotive expert Leon Kaplan who in January, 2010, celebrated thirty years of broadcasting on KABC.

A lawsuit alleged that school employees of Academia Semillas del Pueblo (ASDP) received death threats, and that the school was the target of a bomb threat, because of Doug McIntyre's extensive on-air criticism of the school, in which he accused ASDP of espousing a racist and separatist Anti-American philosophy.[9] The suit was dismissed in January, 2008.

Broadcast Range[edit]

[citation needed]

KABC is received in the Los Angeles basin and throughout most of Southern California west of the San Jacinto mountains (partially audible in the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs), its signal reaches San Diego and as far north as Delano in Kern County. Its night-time coverage is in most of Southern California, and parts of Arizona.


External links[edit]