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The new KIRO Radio logo from the station's Facebook page, Oct 2012.png
CityTacoma, Washington
Broadcast areaPuget Sound region, Washington
BrandingKIRO Radio 97.3 FM
("KIRO" pronounced as "Cairo")
SloganSeattle's News. Seattle's Talk.
Frequency97.3 MHz FM (also on HD Radio)
First air dateOctober 26, 1948
FormatFM/HD1: News/Talk
HD2: Sports (KIRO simulcast)
HD3: Conservative talk (KTTH simulcast)
ERP52,000 watts
55,000 with beam tilt
HAAT729 meters (2392 ft)
Facility ID33682
Transmitter coordinates47°30′14″N 121°58′29″W / 47.50389°N 121.97472°W / 47.50389; -121.97472 (KIRO-FM Tower)Coordinates: 47°30′14″N 121°58′29″W / 47.50389°N 121.97472°W / 47.50389; -121.97472 (KIRO-FM Tower)
Callsign meaningSee KIRO (AM)
Former callsignsKTNT (1948-1976)[1]
KNBQ (1976[1]-1988)[2]
KBSG (1988-1989)[2]
KBSG-FM (1989-2008)[2]
AffiliationsCBS Radio News
Premiere Networks
Seattle Seahawks Radio Network.
OwnerBonneville International
(Bonneville International Corporation)
Sister stationsKIRO (AM), KTTH
WebcastListen Live

KIRO-FM (97.3 MHz) is a commercial radio station licensed to Tacoma, Washington, and serving the Seattle-Tacoma radio market. It airs a news/talk radio format. The station's studios and offices are located on Eastlake Avenue East in Seattle's Eastlake district.[3]

KIRO-FM's transmitter is on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah.[4] Its effective radiated power (ERP) is 52,000 watts (55,000 with beam tilt).[5] KIRO-FM broadcasts in the HD (digital) radio format.[6] The HD-2 signal simulcasts co-owned KIRO AM 710's sports radio format. The HD-3 signal airs KTTH AM 770's conservative talk format.


For an earlier history of KIRO, see KIRO (AM).


The station was founded as KTNT-FM and was owned by The Tacoma News Tribune. It signed on the air on October 26, 1948.[7] The station was powered at 10,000 watts, a fraction of its current output, and exclusively targeted Tacoma and South Puget Sound.

The Tacoma News Tribune added an AM station in 1952, KTNT (1400 kHz, now KITZ); and in 1953, KTNT-TV (channel 11, now KSTW). The callsigns for the three stations stood for Tacoma News Tribune.


In 1976, the call letters were changed to KNBQ.[8] While the AM station carried a personality adult top 40 sound, the FM station switched to an automated music-intensive Top 40 format branded simply as "97.3 KNBQ." (The KNBQ call letters later were found on FM 102.9 and currently on FM 98.5.)

In the 1980s, the Tacoma News Tribune boosted KNBQ's power to 100,000 watts. The Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit to increase the antenna height to 1,480 feet, moving the transmitter to Tiger Mountain. That greatly increased the station's value, now able to compete in the entire Seattle-Tacoma media market. In 1987, KNBQ was sold to Viacom, a national broadcasting corporation.[9] Viacom kept the Top 40 format but used a "no talking over the music" policy to differentiate KNBQ from other Seattle Top 40 outlets.


On February 1, 1988, the station flipped to an oldies format as "K-Best 97.3." It picked up the KBSG-FM call letters.[10][11][12][13] K-Best concentrated on the biggest hits of the 1960s, with some 1970s songs with a few late 1950s hits. As the station moved into the 1990s, the 70s titles were increased and the 50s songs were removed.

Entercom bought the station in 1996. For many years, KBSG-FM was simulcast on co-owned AM 1210 KBSG in Auburn (now KMIA). This lasted until 2002, when AM 1210 was sold to Bustos Media, which specialized in Spanish language formats. On August 1, 2007, after Entercom traded KBSG, KIRO and KTTH to Bonneville as part of a multi-market station swap. KBSG was rebranded from "KBSG 97.3" to "The New B97.3," and dropped the word "oldies" from the station's title.[14][15] The station's playlist was moved to more 1970s and 80s music, with fewer 60s titles. The format moved from Oldies to Classic Hits.

Exactly one year later, on August 1, 2008, the station's call letters were switched to KIRO-FM.[16]

KIRO (AM) to KIRO-FM transition[edit]

Logo for 97.3 KIRO-FM as used from 2008 to 2012.

On August 12, 2008 at 4:23 a.m., the 97.3 frequency began to simulcast co-owned news/talk radio station AM 710 KIRO. The final song on 97.3 as a classic hits station, Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones, faded out as the FM station joined KIRO AM's Wall Street Journal This Morning in progress.[17][18][19][20][21]

On April 1, 2009, KIRO-FM became the primary station as the simulcasting on KIRO (AM) came to an end. It marked the completion of the station's transition to the FM frequency that began in August 2008.[22] KIRO (AM) is now a sports talk station, branded as "710 ESPN Seattle."

Also moved from KIRO 710 to KIRO Radio 97.3 FM were the NFL broadcasts of the Seattle Seahawks Radio Network (now named the Bing Radio Network). KIRO-FM is now the flagship station for the team's play-by-play and the pre- and post-game shows. The Seahawks have been heard on KIRO AM 710 in Seattle since the NFL franchise was launched in 1976.

KIRO-FM programming[edit]


Syndicated shows[edit]

Past programs[edit]

  • The Ron and Don Show, hosted by Ron Upshaw and Don O'Neill
  • The Jason and Burns Show, hosted by Jason Rantz and Zak Burns
  • KIRO Morning News, hosted by Bill Radke and Linda Thomas
  • Northwest Nights, hosted by Frank Shiers
  • Mike Webb Show, hosted by Mike Webb
  • John Procaccino, hosted by John Procaccino
  • Alan Prell, hosted by Alan Prell
  • Northwest Sports, hosted by New York Vinnie
  • Horses' Ass Radio, hosted by David Goldstein
  • Bryan Styble Show, hosted by Bryan Styble
  • My Northwest Weekend, hosted by Larry Rice, later hosted by Josh Kerns
  • The John Curley Show, hosted by John Curley. Dan Mitchinson News Anchor
  • The Bill Radke Treatment, hosted by Bill Radke
  • The News Chick Show, hosted by Linda Thomas
  • The Andrew Walsh Show, hosted by Andrew Walsh
  • The Dave Ross Show, hosted by Dave Ross
  • The Ross and Burbank Show, hosted by Dave Ross and Luke Burbank
  • Too Beautiful to Live, hosted by Luke Burbank (continues as a podcast)
  • On The Water hosted by Captain Bob McLaughlin.
  • Geekwire hosted by Todd Bishop and John Cook.
  • Seattle Sounds hosted by Josh Kerns.
  • the mixtape hosted by Sean De Tore


Towers: 47°30′14″N 121°58′29″W / 47.50389°N 121.97472°W / 47.50389; -121.97472 (KIRO-FM Tower), on Tiger Mountain
Headquarters: 47°38′8″N 122°19′29″W / 47.63556°N 122.32472°W / 47.63556; -122.32472 (KIRO studios), Seattle, Washington on the shores of Lake Union


  1. ^ a b History Cards for KIRO-FM, Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Call Sign History, Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-05-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) HD Radio Guide for Seattle-Tacoma
  7. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 317
  8. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1978 page C-235
  9. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1988 page B-303
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Virgin, Bill (August 1, 2007). "KBSG-FM refocuses as B97.3". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Call Sign History". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  17. ^ "KBSG-FM will stop music for news, talk".
  18. ^ Bonneville International (July 30, 2008). "KIRO Radio to begin simulcast on 710 AM and 97.3 FM". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  19. ^ Gardner, Carl. "KIRO to simulcast on 97.3FM". Bonneville International. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  20. ^ "The music died at 4:23am on 97.3". Archived from the original on August 22, 2008.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Make the Switch". News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-23.

External links[edit]