|Translator(s)||106.1 K291BS (Richland)|
|First air date||1950 (at 900)|
|Format||Stunting (Christmas music)|
|Power||5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
|Former frequencies||900 kHz (1950-1952)|
|Affiliations||Jones Radio Network|
(Ingstad Radio Washington, LLC)
|Sister stations||KJOX, KIOK, KUJ-FM, KEGX, KKSR|
KALE (960 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a classic hits format. Licensed to Richland, Washington, United States, the station serves the Tri-Cities, Washington area. The station is owned by James Ingstad of Fargo, North Dakota and features programing from Jones Radio Network.
KALE began broadcasting in 1950 on AM 900 kHz and was owned by Yakima Broadcasting Corp. KALE had a Top-40 radio format until the early 1980s when it switched to a more adult contemporary format. The station's first Program Director was Dave Dorris. He was also their first Chief Engineer. Notable disc jockeys who worked at KALE include Gary Crow, Bill Templeton, Chris Michaels, Chuck Bryson, Dave Bauer, Chris Bartells (deceased, 2015), Ric Hubbard (also PD), Bruce Butterfield, Gary Danielson, Tom Lacko, Dan Brown, Jim O'Brien, Tom Mann (PD early 70s, deceased), Steve Lander, Ziggy Friedman, Dean LeMaster, Barry Michaels, Bob Taylor, Dave Conrad, Jonathan Walker, Sam Cassell, Dave Victor, Tim Edwards, Damon Lord (deceased), Mark West, Steve Thomas, Hank Simon, Larry Herpel and Les Leigh. Mike Purdy (also PD), News reporters include Mike Conklin, Patricia Robbins, Kirk Williamson and Peter Nugent. Dave Dorris, Bill Glenn and Chuck Bryson were among the engineers employed at the station over the years.
KALE reached its zenith as an AM station during the early to mid-1970s under the direction of manager Rod Loudon, according to Conklin who was the station's news director from 1973 until 1977. The station was consistently at or near the top of the age 18-to-49 ratings block (as well as among teens) and frequently led the market in sales billings. The news department won numerous regional and statewide Society of Professional Journalists awards. KALE's ratings dominance waned as listeners began migrating from AM to FM during the latter 1970s and early 1980s, Conklin said.
In the 1970s the station was owned by Sterling Recreation Organization and later was owned by Revitalization Partners, before New Northwest Broadcasters purchased the station. In December 2010, Townsquare Media announced it was acquiring 12 stations owned by New Northwest Broadcasters. Since they were already owners of 11 stations in the Yakima and Tri-city areas they planned to spin off 11 stations once the sale closed. Townsquare was planning to move some formats to new frequencies and some call signs were expected to change as well but in July, 2011, the FCC stopped Townsquare Media's plan to buy 12 Tri-City and Yakima radio outlets from New Northwest Broadcasters. According to the July 30, 2011, Tri-City Herald, "An eight-page letter from the FCC to Townsquare released on the agency's website Friday said that proposed use of a divestiture trust was a substantial departure from the kinds of uses previously approved by the commission and dismissed five sets of applications that would have reassigned the radio station licenses."
On November 6, 2011, the Tri-city Herald reported that a Fargo, N.D., radio owner was paying more than $6 million to purchase 12 stations in the Tri-Cities and Yakima currently owned by New Northwest Broadcasters. Ingstad Radio Washington agreed to purchase — at a discount — more than $16 million in debt owed by Seattle-based New Northwest Broadcasters from a creditor, CIT Group. The Tri-Cities stations included in the sale are: KUJ-FM, a Top-40 hits station; KIOK-FM, a country station; KEGX-FM, a classic rock station; KTCR-AM, talk radio; KKSR-FM, a variety hits station; and KALE-AM, a FOX Sports affiliate. The Yakima stations are: KXDD-FM, a country station; KRSE-FM, a variety hits station; KJOX-AM, an ESPN affiliate; KARY-FM, an oldies station; KBBO-AM, a news radio station and KHHK-FM, a contemporary hit music station. The discounted price for Ingstad is about $6.7 million for all 12 stations.
According to the Tri-city Herald on May 16, 2012, KALE switched to a “Country Legends” classic country format and is now known as "960 Country Legends" and the sports format it had has moved to sister station AM 1340.
KALE's broadcast studios were initially at the transmitter site at Road 68 in Pasco, WA. The studios then moved to 218 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick, WA. In 1978 the studios moved again to 310 W. Kennewick Ave. when KALE's FM station, KIOK, FM 94.9, was licensed and began broadcasting. The site at 310 W. Kennewick Ave. was the former site of the historic Benton Theatre which, at the time of the move, was also owned by Sterling Recreation Organization. After broadcasting from North Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick for several years, KALE moved to its current home at 4304 S. 24th Ave in Kennewick, WA in 2012.
On February 24, 2016 KALE changed their format to adult contemporary, branded as "106.1 More FM" (also simulcast on FM translator K291BS 106.1 FM Richland, Washington).
- "KALE Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Ingstad Brings More to Tri-Cities Radioinsight - February 24, 2016
- Ingested Waps Formats in Washington's Tri-Cities Radioinsight - September 19, 2016