|Broadcast area||Orange County, California|
|First air date||May 18, 1959|
|Power||20,000 watts day|
1,300 watts night
|Former callsigns||KEZY, KNWZ, KPZE, KORG, KXMX|
|Owner||Korean Gospel Broadcasting Network|
KGBN (1190 kHz) is a Korean ethnic brokered time AM radio station licensed to Anaheim, California, broadcasting to the Orange County, California area. From 1997 to 2010, it was owned by Salem Communications as a sister station to KFSH-FM and KRLA. In August 2010 the station was sold to Korean Gospel Broadcasting Network.
It is one of four radio stations in the Greater Los Angeles area — the others are KYPA, KMPC, and KFOX — that broadcast in the Korean language around the clock. However, KGBN is the only religious station among them; the others have secular programming.
The station signed on May 18, 1959 as KEZY, an easy listening station known as "K-Easy". However, during construction and prior to its on-air debut, it was legally known by the call letters KDOG. The first voice heard over the 1,000-watt signal was that of K-9 TV star Lassie. Lassie's owner, Rudd Weatherwax, was an investor in both the station and the Disneyland Hotel where its studios were located. In the late 1960s, KEZY became an Orange County top 40 powerhouse featuring such disc jockeys as Mark Denis and Mike Wagner. Accompanying the format flip was a move off the Disneyland campus to a larger facility at 1190 East Ball Road in Anaheim — an address corresponding to the station's frequency.
In the late 1970s, programmer Dave Foreman dropped top-40 in favor of an album-oriented rock format. The slogan was "1190 KEZY, Anaheim's Kick-Ass Rock and Roll!", which contrasted with KEZY 96 FM's adult contemporary format and a related slogan, "While 96 KEZY-FM kicks back, 1190 KEZY-AM kicks ass!" The oft-repeated bumper played during non top-of-the-hour breaks was a group of people shouting, "K-E-Z-Y 11-90 Rock, Southern California kicks ass!" After a few years the station once again changed formats, first to news (as KNWZ), then to an adult rock format known simply as "12" ("KEZY Anaheim is 12.") This format was abandoned in the early 1980s and it briefly became a top-40 station again.
Around 1984, KEZY changed its call sign to KPZE (K-Praise). It featured a blend of Christian teaching–preaching programs, contemporary Christian music, and live broadcasts of the games of the Long Beach State and Notre Dame football programs. The Program Director was Bill Gutelman, and the Operations Director was Gil Perez. Other staff–air personality included Pam Sanchez (mornings-air name Stephanie Rose), Paul Walkewicz (weekends), Bill Smith (weekends), Liz Altamirano, and former KYMS personality Bob Turnbull. Turnbull hosted an evening program called "Ministry And More," similar to his "Music and More" program on KYMS. In addition to playing music, he would have "Thoughts To End A Busy Day," and book reviews.
From 1986 to late 1988 Operations Manager and air personality Robin Keith hosted an afternoon drive talk show called "Drivetime 1190" along with co-host Steve DeSaegher. The show featured talk and call-ins, comedy, frequent traffic, news and weather reports as well as interviews with celebrities and experts. Ollie Collins, Jr., of KTYM Inglewood, brokered most of the Sunday hours on KPZE. The morning consisted of a Gospel music show hosted by Collins. Most of the afternoon programs were recorded church services. A good majority of the commercials used his voice. Al Gross (formerly of KBRT AM 740), eventually hosted the morning show. His was mostly talk. He even joked one morning at 6:00 AM sign-on, as the previous program was ending with its closing theme, "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies, "KPZE, Anaheim, playing more music than any other talk station."
Around 1988, the call letters were changed to KORG (K-Orange). It broadcast a few games of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team during conflicts with KLAC, the Kings' flagship station at the time. In fact, in one of those games (October 15, 1989), Wayne Gretzky established the National Hockey League's all-time point-scoring record. In 1987 and '88, KORG was an affiliate of RTV Sports, one of the first all-sports radio networks in America. Steve DeSaeger provided local sports updates during RTV programs, which aired seven nights a week.
In the mid-1990s, Anaheim Broadcasting, a local company that had been the owner, sold the station to Jacor, which later merged with Clear Channel Communications. In 1997, Clear Channel sold KXMX to Salem because it had exceeded the Federal Communications Commission limit as to how many stations it could own in the greater Los Angeles market. (Anaheim is still in business as the owners of FM stations KOLA and KCAL in the Inland Empire.)
The KXMX call sign was derived from KXMX, a sister adult contemporary station that was the aforementioned KEZY-FM. When that outlet became KFSH (the Fish) in 2001, the calls were reassigned to 1190 AM. Today, KEZY can be found on 1240 AM in San Bernardino, California under separate ownership. As of 2008, the KPZE call letters are assigned to 106.1 FM in Carlsbad, New Mexico. As KXMX, it aired shows in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.
On March 29, 2011 KXMX changed their call letters to KGBN and changed their format to Korean.
On April 16, 2017 Rev. Young Sun Lee became president of KGBN AM1190.
- "Directory of Radio Stations in the United States and Canada" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. 1976. p. C-15. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
- Oda, Alan; Hilliker, Jim. "KEZY AM: THE MIGHTY 1190". SoCalRadioHistory.com. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KGBN
- Radio-Locator Information on KGBN
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KGBN