|Broadcast area||Visalia-Tulare, California|
|First air date||February 1, 1948 (as KNGS)|
|Format||Punjabi language music, talk and news|
|Power||1,000 watts day and night|
|Callsign meaning||KInGS County|
|Former callsigns||KNGS (1947-1987)
|Owner||Charanjit Singh Batth
(Akal Broadcasting Corporation)
KIGS (620 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Hanford, California and serving the Visalia-Tulare and Fresno radio markets. The station is owned by Charanjit Singh Batth and it carries programming from "Radio Punjab." Radio Punjab is also heard in San Francisco, Seattle and other West Coast cities, airing Punjabi language music, talk and news for South Asian listeners.
KIGS operates at 1000 watts around the clock, using a directional antenna at night to avoid interfering with other stations on AM 620. The studios and transmitter are located on Hanford Expressway (California State Route 198) near 6th Avenue in Hanford. The station building was the basis for the cover of Journey's 1986 album, Raised on Radio.
On February 1, 1948, the station first signed on as KNGS, owned by the Pereiras Family (who's son Steve Perry was the lead singer of the rock band Journey from 1977-1987 and again from 1995-1998). Of Portuguese descent, the Pereiras first carried Portuguese-language programming in 1952, expanding to a mostly-Portuguese format (with some Spanish language programming) in 1989. A.J.Krisik and Ellsworth Peck had interests in KNGS.
Lee Smith bought the station in 1972. He acted as General Manager and aired a country music format on KIGS, with news supplied by the ABC Entertainment Radio Network. In February, 1976, Smith put an FM radio station on the air, 103.7 KKYS (today KRZR).
In 1986, the station was acquired by Bob Liggett. He kept the country music format in place but changed the call letters in 1987 to KCLQ.
In 1990, the station was bought back by the Pereira Family, licensed as P & C Broadcasting. A Portuguese music and talk format was once again heard on AM 620. The original call letters "KNGS" were no longer available so the station became KIGS.
On July 27, 2012, the license for the station was transferred from Maria Pereira, who died on February 11, 2012 (given in FCC documents as Maria O. Pereira) to John Pereira, the Special Administrator of Maria Pereira's estate. On July 31, the station temporarily left the air, pending completion of Maria Pereira's estate administration, and the beneficiary's plans for the station. In February 2013, ownership was transferred to her children, Albert Pereira and Odilia Silva. The KIGS.com website now directs listeners to rdpamerica.net RDP America in Hanford, CA, a webcast.
From May 23, 2013-October 30, 2014, KIGS returned to the air with sports programming from the Fox Sports Radio, before changing its affiliation to NBC Sports Radio soon after. During this time, KIGS served as the Hanford-Tulare affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels baseball radio network.
On October 31, 2014, New Media Broadcasting bought the station from Pereira Communications. The next day, November 1, 2014, KIGS began carrying the Radio Punjab format. The purchase closed on February 3, 2015.
- Tulare Voice: "Portuguese Radio Station Stands the Test of Time", 2006.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-20
- Kaufman, Robin (July 5, 2006). "Portuguese Radio Station Stands the Test of Time". Valley Voice Archives. Tulare Voice Newspaper. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-20
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1986 page B-51
- Greatest Singers of All Time, Rolling Stone
- FCC Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA for KIGS, July 31, 2012.
- FCC CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT for KIGS, July 27, 2012.
- Venta, Lance (May 24, 2013). "KIGS Returns". RadioInsight. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- FCC History Cards for KIGS
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KIGS
- Radio-Locator Information on KIGS
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KIGS
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