|Broadcast area||Southwest Arizona - Southeast California|
|Branding||"News Talk Radio 560"|
|Slogan||"Talk, News, Sports"|
|First air date||March 3, 1940 (KYUM)|
September 6, 1959 (KBLU)
Westwood One News
|Owner||El Dorado Broadcasters LLC |
(EDB VV License LLC)
|Sister stations||KTTI, KQSR|
|Webcast||(restricted apart from morning show)|
KBLU (560 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Yuma, Arizona. It is owned by El Dorado Broadcasters and airs a talk radio format. The studios and offices are on West 28th Street in Yuma. The transmitter is off South 20th Avenue in Yuma, at West Main Canal Road.
KBLU is powered at 1,000 watts, non-directional by day and using a directional antenna at night. With its low dial position, KBLU can be heard around much of Southwest Arizona and Southeast California, including the communities of El Centro, Brawley and Blythe. It also covers parts of Baja California and Sonora, Mexico.
Weekday mornings begin with a local news and conservative talk show hosted by Russ Clark. The rest of the weekday schedule is made up of syndicated talk shows, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey, Clyde Lewis, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal. Weekends include shows on money, health, pets, law, real estate, house repair and technology. Weekend syndicated hosts include Kim Komando, Bill Handel, Leo Laporte and Bill Cunningham. Some hours are paid brokered programming. Most hours begin with world and national news from Westwood One News.
The station is descended from two early radio stations. KBLU holds the oldest active radio license in the Yuma market, first signing on March 3, 1940, as KYUM at 1210 kilocycles. It was an NBC Red Network affiliate, with secondary affiliation with the NBC Blue Network (after 1945 ABC). It operated with 250 watts during the day and 100 watts at night. KYUM carried NBC and ABC's dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio."
With the enactment of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA), KYUM moved to 1240 AM on March 29, 1941. The Yuma Broadcasting Company got permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move KYUM to 560 AM with 1,000 watts full-time, on March 29, 1951. By the late 1960s, the station had come under the ownership of Combined Communications, which also owned KTAR-AM-FM-TV in Phoenix, Arizona.
Another Yuma radio station signed on September 6, 1959, as a 500 watt, daytime-only station at 1320 AM, with the call sign KBLU. It was owned by the Desert Broadcasting Company, founded by Robert Crites, who served as the first General Manager. KBLU began airing a Top 40 format.
In 1969, Eller Telecasting sought to merge with Combined Communications. The FCC approved the merger on October 22, 1969, but required that Combined Communications divest itself of either KBLU or KYUM. Due to a stronger signal and favorable dial position, the parent company chose to keep the 560 AM license and to donate the 1320 AM license to Arizona Western College. Arizona Western used the facility to start its own public radio station. AM 1320 took the call letters KAWC.
Two Stations Merge
The KBLU call sign and intellectual property transferred to 560 AM. Crites became the owner of KBLU again. The station was sold by Crites to Sun Country Broadcasting of Texas in 1983. Sun Country also bought country music station 95.1 KTTI at the same time.
Changes in Ownership
In a quick succession of owners, Commonwealth was acquired by Capstar in 1997. Capstar merged with Chancellor Broadcasting to form AMFM in 1998. San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications acquired AMFM in 1999.
In 2017, KBLU became one of the few local stations that broadcast its content on line. In 2018, the webcast was restricted to only the Russ Clark Show, which through its Washington DC Bureau Chief, George Braun, features interviews with members of Congress, administration officials and political commentators.
Past Air Personalities
- Dr. Don Sainte-Johnn
- Dan Clancey
- Robert Crites
- Dick Davis
- Gary Anderson
- Lou Dobbs
- Lee Smith
- Hank Tester
- Lee Poole
- Larry Klein
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1941 page 104
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1952 page 76
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1971 page B-12-13
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1960 page A-112
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1968 page B-12
- Bob Werley (1983-05-18). "Two radio stations purchased". The Yuma Daily Sun. Yuma, Arizona. p. 1.
- "RKO Sells NY & L.A. Properties Separately For $136.6 Million" (PDF). Radio & Records. 1988-09-02. p. 8.
- Joyce Christie (1995-06-11). "Owner adds two radio stations". The Yuma Daily Sun. Yuma, Arizona. p. 22 – via NewspaperArchive.
- Reuters (1997-02-05). "CAPSTAR BROADCASTING IN DEAL FOR 20 RADIO STATIONS". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- Bodipo-Memba, Alejandro; Journal, Carlos Tejada Staff Reporters of The Wall Street (1998-08-28). "Hicks Muse Plans to Combine Radio Firms Chancellor, Capstar". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- HOFMEISTER, SALLIE (1999-10-05). "Clear Channel to Buy Radio Leader AMFM in $15.9-Billion Deal". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- "Price For 16 AZ, CA Clear Channel Stations: $40 Million". All Access. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- Official Website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KBLU
- Radio-Locator Information on KBLU
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KBLU
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