|City||Canyon Country, California|
|Branding||KHTS AM 1220|
|Slogan||Your Hometown Station|
|Power||1,000 watts (day)
500 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Your HomeTown Station|
|Former callsigns||KBET (1988-1999)
|Affiliations||CNN Radio, Westwood One, Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network|
|Owner||Jeri Lyn Broadcasting, Inc.|
KHTS is an AM radio station in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. It is owned by Jeri Lyn Broadcasting (formerly Sattleback Broadcasting). It broadcasts at the frequency of 1220 kHz with 1,000 watts during the daytime and 500 watts at night. The station is nicknamed Your Hometown Station. The broadcast day consists of a combination of local talk shows and time-brokered programs.
KHTS airs play-by-play coverage of six area high school football teams and the football program at the College of the Canyons, as well as high school basketball. KHTS also has an extensive pro sports lineup, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Kings, and NASCAR auto racing.
When a major disaster hits the Santa Clarita Valley, KHTS pre-empts regular programming for non-stop coverage.
The station has won numerous awards over the years, including Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award in 1995.
1220 AM debuted on the air in Canyon Country in July 1989, under the call letters, KBET, "The Beat of Santa Clarita." The station was founded by a local television engineer, Larry Bloomfield. Bloomfield teamed up with his certified public accountant, Howard “Scott” Howard, who along with other investors, formed Canyon Broadcasters. Andrew Castiglione was the first Chief Engineer that signed KBET 1220 AM Stereo on the air. Andrew Castiglione received from "Radio World Annual Magazine Award" Dated Feb. 1990 as being the 1st Digital, Tapeless, Paperless Radio Station in the World!!! After having difficulty turning KBET into a profitable enterprise, the company filed for bankruptcy in July 1990. Carl Goldman & Jeri Seratti Goldman, took over operation of the station in July 1990. They, along with several other investors, formed Saddleback Broadcasting, the parent company of KBET through 1998.
In January 1994, KBET became the emergency outlet for the Santa Clarita Valley during the Northridge earthquake. After the Interstate 5 and State Route 14 Freeway interchange collapsed, the Santa Clarita Valley was sealed off from Los Angeles. The station provided around the clock news, traffic and emergency information for the many months it took for Santa Clarita to recover. The station also provided psychological comfort to local residents, who could call in and express their feelings and concerns on the air and realize their fears were not unique or isolated. Needs such as diapers, portable heaters, water, and other essential items were instantly met as appeals were broadcast over the KBET airwaves and listeners would respond with assistance.
As the disruption of the earthquake settled down and the interchange reopened in June 1994, KBET evolved from a news/talk format, into a full service radio station, blending in adult contemporary music, along with news, traffic, weather and sports. Many local features were also part of the programming.
In September 1998, Saddleback Broadcasting sold KBET to Jacor Communications. Jacor was purchased by Clear Channel Communications before the sale was finalized. KBET became XTRA Sports 1220, simulcasting KAVL 610 AM in Lancaster. Sharon Bronson, who was the station’s sales manager under the Goldmans became the general manager. Barry McKeever remained on board to continue to head up the station’s local programming and sports.
In June 1999, XTRA Sports 1220 became 1220 KIIS, weaving in a mixture of local programming and simulcasts of KAVS/97.7 KIIS-FM (now KVVS) and KAVL-XTRA Sports 610 (now Fox Sports 610). The call letters were changed to KIIS in August 1999 (which had previously belonged to a Los Angeles station which also simulcast the AM signal in the mid-1980s).
In early 2001, Clear Channel closed the offices located at Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, and moved the operation up to the Antelope Valley, as part of the Clear Channel Lancaster/Palmdale cluster of stations. The station had difficulty maintaining a local identity, despite opening a small studio on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. Most of the station's programming was eliminated; most of its lineup consisted of the live sports game coverage from KAVL, Rick Dees' morning show, and Rush Limbaugh's syndicated program. The rest of the time, the station ran on automation with an adult contemporary format playlist. Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 and Leeza Gibbons' Hollywood Confidential ran on Sunday mornings. They also had a "Santa Clarita Real Estate Show," Santa Clarita Golf Talk, "God is God and We're Not" hosted by local representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and "Music & Message" with Ron Fisher.
In November 2001, the station flipped to News/Talk 1220 for a brief time, playing Rick Dees in the morning, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Reagan, and CNN Headline News the rest of the time. During this time, they still carried sports game coverage from XTRA Sports 610.
In March 2002, Clear Channel decreased the station's power to 500 watts full-time and flipped 1220 back to 1220 KIIS as a full-time simulcast of 102.7 KIISFM.
During the years Clear Channel operated AM 1220, the Goldmans remained residents of Santa Clarita and committed to the Valley. Their children attended local schools and they remained active with many local charities and organizations. They sensed a need for a local station, and approached Clear Channel to repurchase AM 1220.
In October 2003, the Goldmans repurchased AM 1220 from Clear Channel, under their personal corporation, Jeri Lyn Broadcasting. The station went back to full power (1,000 watts day/500 watts night). They tried to get back the original KBET call letters, but the call letters had made their way out to a station in Nevada. The decision was made to make the new call letters KHTS, and new studios were opened at Soledad and Camp Plenty in Canyon Country. The transmitter site and towers still remain at their original location on Sierra Highway, north of Vasquez Canyon in Canyon Country.
KHTS was recently featured on an episode of Animal Planet's reality show Pit Boss, where Shorty Rossi discusses with KHTS morning show personnel Brandon Gibson about pit bulls and to better educate the public about the breed.
- "KHTS Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "KHTS Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- KHTS Morning Host To Appear On Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss” - KHTS Hometown Station AM 1220 (released August 11, 2010)