KKOB (AM)

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KKOB
Newsradio kkob logo.png
City Albuquerque, New Mexico
Broadcast area Albuquerque metropolitan area
Branding 94.5 and AM 770 News Radio KKOB
Slogan Your Breaking News Station
Frequency 770 kHz
Translator(s) 94.5 K233CG (Sandia)
First air date April 5, 1922 (as KOB, in Las Cruces, moved to Albuquerque in 1933)
Format News/Talk
Power 50,000 watts
230 watts (experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
Class B
Facility ID 11251
Transmitter coordinates 35°12′9″N 106°36′41″W / 35.20250°N 106.61139°W / 35.20250; -106.61139
35°40′56″N 105°58′21″W / 35.68222°N 105.97250°W / 35.68222; -105.97250 (experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
Callsign meaning Extra K to KOB
Former callsigns KOB (1922–1986)
Affiliations Westwood One
Premiere Networks
Westwood One News
Owner Cumulus Media
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
Sister stations KDRF, KKOB-FM, KMGA, KNML, KRST, KTBL
Webcast Listen Live
Website newsradiokkob.com

KKOB (770 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Albuquerque, New Mexico. KKOB is owned by Cumulus Media and is the oldest and among the most powerful AM radio stations in New Mexico. The station's format is News/Talk, using the brand "News Radio 94.5 FM and AM 770 KKOB." Its studios and offices are located in Downtown Albuquerque. The transmitter towers are located off Second Street NW in North Valley.[1] KKOB is also heard on the FM band, via translator station 94.5 K233CG in Sandia, covering the Albuquerque metropolitan area.[2]

KKOB is a Class B radio station, operating with 50,000 watts around the clock, the maximum allowed by the Federal Communications Commission. It uses a non-directional signal during the daytime, reaching most of New Mexico's populated area, as well as parts of Colorado and Arizona. At night it uses a directional antenna to protect the Class A radio station on 770 kHz, co-owned WABC in New York City. But with a good radio on many nights, KKOB can be heard across much of the western half of North America.

Programming[edit]

KKOB's weekday schedule features mostly local talk shows in the daytime including Bob Clark in morning drive time, Pat Frisch middays, Scott Stiegler afternoons and Brandon Vogt in the evening. The rest of the schedule is nationally syndicated talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Red Eye Radio and America in The Morning. Weekends includes shows on money, health, home repair, gardening and technology, some of which are paid brokered programming. Syndicated shows on weekends include Chris Plante, Bob Brinker, Ric Edelman and Bill Cunningham. KKOB also provides local news and weather updates around the clock, traffic "on the 7's" and national news updates from Westwood One News.

Sports[edit]

KKOB broadcasts University of New Mexico Lobos basketball and football games. Some other Lobo sports can also be heard on co-owned sports radio station KNML AM 610.

History[edit]

KKOB logo as an AM only station

Early Years[edit]

The station was founded by Ralph Willis Goddard at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University). It began test broadcasts in 1919 under the call letters 5XD.

On April 5, 1922, the station began regular operation as KOB, a call sign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island.[3] New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928.

Albuquerque Journal Ownership[edit]

In 1933, the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.[4] KOB was an NBC Red Network affiliate, carrying its schedule of dramas, comedies, news, sports, soap operas, game shows and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio."

In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on Channel 4 KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations were acquired by Time Life in 1952. In 1957, they were sold to Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. On August 1, 1967, 93.3 KOB-FM first signed on.[5] At first it simulcast AM 770 but it soon began its own format of beautiful music. In the 1980s, KOB-FM switched to adult contemporary music.

Separating KOB-TV from KOB Radio[edit]

Hubbard Broadcasting sold KOB-AM-FM in 1986. At that time, stations could not share call signs if they were not co-owned. With Hubbard keeping the TV station as KOB-TV, new owner Southwest Radio had to find new call letters for the radio stations. In order to trade on the well-known KOB identity, Southwest simply added an extra "K" to the radio stations' call letters: KKOB and KKOB-FM. The change took place October 28. Despite their different ownership, KKOB AM 770 still has a news partnership with KOB-TV.

In 1994, KKOB-AM-FM were sold to Citadel Broadcasting for $7.8 million.[6] In 2011, Citadel was acquired by current owner Cumulus Media. Under Cumulus ownership, the station has dropped some shows syndicated by Premiere Networks, such as Coast-to-Coast AM and Sean Hannity. Premiere is owned by Cumulus rival iHeartMedia. The only Premiere Networks show remaining on KKOB is Rush Limbaugh. KKOB now mostly airs programs syndicated by co-owned Westwood One, a subsidiary of Cumulus Media.

Legal Dispute with WABC New York[edit]

KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute over the use of the 770 kHz frequency with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ), a Class I-A clear-channel station. KOB was moved to AM 770 from AM 1030 to allow WBZ in Boston to have that frequency. The Federal Communications Commission requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to stop the two stations from interfering with each other over large areas of the middle of the country. But WJZ refused to comply, encroaching on the range KOB was intended to cover.

Only after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court was the issue settled, when the FCC assigned KOB to a new license class. Decades later, KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[7]

Hot Air Balloon Accident[edit]

On October 9, 2004, a Smokey Bear hot air balloon participating in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta collided with one of KKOB's transmitter towers. Three people were on the balloon, Albuquerque pilot Bill Chapel and young passengers Aaron Whitacre of Tucson, Arizona and Troy Wells Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Luckily they were able to climb out of the basket and onto the tower.

KKOB signed off the air and shut down its transmitter following the accident in order to enable the passengers to climb down to safety. The tower was energized and could have led to electrocution once the passengers set foot on ground.[8]

The accident was featured on World's Most Amazing Videos, Shockwave (TV series), Against The Elements, Destroyed in Seconds, Extreme Peril, Weather Caught On Camera, MSNBC's Caught On Camera & the December 26, 2010 episode of the Travel Channel series, When Vacations Attack. It was also featured on the Weather Channel.

Awards[edit]

770 KKOB has been awarded four Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters. One in 1997, "Talk Station of the Year" in 2001, "Medium Market Station of the Year" in 2009 and "Legendary Station" in 2010. The station has received 13 nominations. KKOB was awarded "Station of the Year" honors from Radio & Records magazine in 2009. From the New Mexico Broadcasters Association the station has received numerous awards including "Station of the Year" 12 times since 2000.

Former Personalities[edit]

  • Jim 'Noochie' Villanucci, afternoons 1999 – February 28, 2013[citation needed]
  • Billy "Fatback" Cornelius, evenings 2013-2014[citation needed]
  • Terrie Q. Sayre, weekends 2007-2015, died on January 22, 2015[9]
  • Mike Roberts, voice of University of New Mexico football and basketball games on KKOB from 1966 until 2007. Also did the morning sports news for many years, and broadcast Albuquerque Dukes games on KKOB for many years. Died in 2015.[citation needed]

FM Translator[edit]

Beginning on September 1, 2016, KKOB (AM) began to broadcast its programming on the FM band on translator 94.5 K233CG Sandia. The translator is currently owned by Martha Whitman, who owns smooth jazz outlet KOAZ 1510 and K279BP 103.7. Cumulus announced that it will purchase K233CG for $425,000.[10] The FM signal had previously broadcast a 1980s hits format from KRKE (now KQNM) until late September 2015, when that station had been put up for sale. KQRI had rebroadcast on the translator from December 1, 2015 until mid August 2016.

Broadcast translators of KKOB (AM)
Call sign Frequency
(MHz)
City of license Facility
ID
ERP
W
Class FCC info
K233CG 94.5 Sandia, New Mexico 88468 250 D FCC

References[edit]

  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KKOB
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/K233CG
  3. ^ "Broadcast Station Calls With a Past" by William Fenwick, Radio Broadcast, July 1928, page 150.
  4. ^ "KOB Will Move" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 15, 1932. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1968 page B-106
  6. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1996 page B-272
  7. ^ "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  8. ^ "Associated Press, via Albuquerque Journal: "Final Day of Fiesta Ends With Dramatic Balloon Accident", October 10, 2004". abqjournal.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  9. ^ Ryan Boetel, Journal Staff Writer. "Radio personality Terrie Q. Sayre dies". www.abqjournal.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  10. ^ "KKOB Albuquerque Adds $425,000 FM Signal - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2018.

External links[edit]