|City||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Broadcast area||Albuquerque metropolitan area|
|Slogan||The Talk Monster|
|Translator(s)||94.5 K233CG (Sandia)|
|First air date||April 5, 1922 (as KOB, in Las Cruces, moved to Albuquerque in 1933)|
230 watts (experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
(experimental synchronous operation in Santa Fe)
|Callsign meaning||Extra K to KOB|
|Former callsigns||KOB (1922–1986)|
CBS Radio News
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||KTBL, KNML, KKOB-FM, KRST, KMGA, KDRF|
KKOB (770 kHz) is an 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 770 KKOB." Its studios are located in Downtown Albuquerque and the transmitter tower is located in North Valley, New Mexico. It is also broadcast on the FM band at 94.5 K233CG Sandia, covering the Albuquerque metropolitan area.
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. Many nights, with a good radio, it can be heard across much of the western half of North America. At night it uses a directional antenna to protect the Class A radio station on 770 kHz, co-owned WABC in New York City.
KKOB is the local outlet for nationally syndicated talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Red Eye Radio and America in The Morning, the latter three distributed by the Westwood One Network, a subsidiary of parent company Cumulus Media. On weekdays, the station features local hosts Bob Clark (5 to 10 a.m.) and Scott Stiegler (4 to 7 p.m.). Weekend programming includes shows on money, home repair, gardening and computers. Syndicated shows on weekends include John Batchelor, Ric Edelman, Bob Brinker and Bill Cunningham. The station also provides local news and weather updates around the clock, traffic "on the 7's" and national news updates from CBS Radio News hourly.
The station was founded at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces (now New Mexico State University) by Ralph Willis Goddard, and began broadcasting tests in 1919 under the call letters 5XD. On April 5, 1922 the station began regular operation as KOB, a callsign which had belonged to marine radio aboard the Princess Anne before its February 2, 1920 shipwreck on Rockaway Shoals, Long Island. New Mexico A&M sold the station after Goddard was electrocuted while adjusting the transmitter on December 31, 1928. In 1933 the station moved to Albuquerque, and was later bought by the Albuquerque Journal.
In 1948, Tom Pepperday, owner and publisher of the Journal, signed on KOB-TV, the first television station between the Mississippi River and the West Coast. The stations passed to Time-Life in 1952 and to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1957. Hubbard Broadcasting sold the radio stations in 1986. In order to trade on the well-known KOB calls, the new owners simply added an extra "K" to the radio station's call letters; the change took place October 28 (the change was necessitated due to FCC regulations at the time forbidding TV and radio stations with separate owners from sharing the same call letters).
KOB was involved in a 38-year-long dispute with New York City station WABC (originally WJZ) over the use of the 770 kHz frequency. KOB was moved there from 1030 to make room for WBZ in Boston. While the Federal Communications Commission requested that WJZ install a directional antenna to allow the stations to interoperate over large areas, 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. KKOB and WABC became sister stations when Citadel Broadcasting purchased ABC Radio in 2007; Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011. Under Cumulus ownership, the station has dropped some shows such as Coast-to-Coast AM and Sean Hannity which are syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks and replaced with programming from the parent company owned Cumulus Media Networks.
Other stations known as KKOB
KKOB-FM is one of KKOB's sister stations in the Albuquerque Media market. KOB television, also in Albuquerque, is still commonly confused with the two radio stations because it was co-owned with them for many years. When the TV station and the radio stations were sold to different owners, the radio stations added an extra "K" to their call letters to differentiate between them and KOB-TV. Despite their different ownership, KKOB-AM still has a news partnership with KOB-TV.
Hot-air balloon accident
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 on that balloon—Albuquerque pilot Bill Chapel and young passengers Aaron Whitacre of Tucson, Arizona and Troy Wells Rio Rancho, New Mexico—climbed down the tower to safety. KKOB signed off the air and shut down its transmitter following the accident in order to enable the passengers to climb down safely—the tower was energized and could have led to electrocution once the passengers set foot on ground.
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.
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.
- Jim 'Noochie' Villanucci, afternoons 1999 – February 28, 2013
- Billy "Fatback" Cornelius, evenings 2013-2014
- Terrie Q. Sayre, weekends 2007-2015, died on January 22, 2015
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. 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.
|City of license||Facility
|K233CG||94.5||Sandia, New Mexico||88468||250||D||FCC|
- "KOB Will Move" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 15, 1932. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Associated Press, via Albuquerque Journal: "Final Day of Fiesta Ends With Dramatic Balloon Accident", October 10, 2004.