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City Seattle, Washington
Broadcast area Seattle metropolitan area
Frequency 1300 kHz
First air date 1922 (as KDZE)
Format Silent
Power 50,000 watts (day)
47,000 watts (night)
Class B (regional)
Facility ID 20355
Transmitter coordinates 47°14′56″N 122°24′18″W / 47.24889°N 122.40500°W / 47.24889; -122.40500Coordinates: 47°14′56″N 122°24′18″W / 47.24889°N 122.40500°W / 47.24889; -122.40500
Former callsigns KDZE (1922-1924)
KFOA (1924–1928)
KOL (1928–1975)
KMPS (1975–1997)
Former frequencies 833 kHz (1922–1923)
660 kHz (1923–1927)
670 kHz (1927-1928)
1270 kHz (1928–1941)
Owner Salem Media Group
(sale to Intelli LLC pending)
(Inspiration Media, Inc.)
Sister stations KNTS, KGNW, KKMO, KLFE

KKOL AM 1300 is a radio station located in Seattle, Washington. The station went silent on February 28, 2018 following the loss of its transmitter site, and is in the process of securing a new site in order to resume broadcasting.[1]

KKOL is one of the oldest radio stations in the United States. It was first licensed, as KDZE, in May 1922.



KKOL was first licensed, with the sequentially assigned call letters KDZE, on May 23, 1922 to the Rhodes Company department store at 1321 Second Avenue in Seattle, Washington.[2] C. B. Williams, the department store's advertising manager, coordinated the installation of the initial 50-watt transmitter.[3] The station's glass-enclosed studio was located on the second floor of the store, where shoppers could observe its operation.[4]

At this time there was only a single wavelength, 360 meters (833 kHz) available for "entertainment" broadcasts, so KDZE was required to make a time-sharing agreement with the other stations already in operation. On June 23 Seattle stations were scheduled to operate from noon to 10:30 p.m., with KDZE assigned the 3:30 to 4:15 p.m time period.[5]

In May 1923 the U.S. Commerce Department, which regulated radio at this time, made a range of frequencies available to "Class B" stations that had higher powers and better programming. The Seattle region was initially assigned 610 kHz, with 660 kHz assigned to Portland.[6] These two assignments were soon swapped, and in the summer of 1923 KDZE moved to 660 kHz.[7]


In early 1924, in conjunction with an upgrade in facilities, the station's call letters were changed to KFOA.[8] At this time the department store was issued a license to operate a second raido station, with 100 watts on 1110 kHz, which inherited the original KDZE call letters.[9] This second KDZE was primarily used to broadcast the weekly Chamber of Commerce luncheons,[10] and was deleted in March 1925.[11]

On November 11, 1928, under the provisions of a major reallocation resulting from the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC) General Order 40, KFOA was reassigned from 660 kHz to 1270 kHz, sharing the assignment with KTW (now KKDZ).[12]


KOL radio broadcast with announcer Dudley Williamson and Seattle City Light Superintendent Eugene Hoffman, 1939

The next month the station was sold to the Seattle Broadcasting Company, headed by Archie Taft, at which time the call letters were changed to KOL, and its studios were moved to the Northern Life Tower.[13] In 1931 KTW moved to 1220 kHz, giving KOL unlimited use of 1270 kHz.[14]

From 1930 to 1938, KOL was Seattle's CBS affiliate.[15] In 1934 the station replaced the T-wire antenna on the Rhodes Department Store building's roof, moving to a new transmitter site on Harbor Island, which featured a 490-foot (150 m) self-supporting tower, which at the time was the tallest of its type in the United States.[16] The studios were moved to the transmitter site in 1952.[17]

On March 29, 1941 the station, along with all the other stations on 1270 kHz, moved to 1300 kHz, the frequency KOL and its successors have occupied ever since, as part of the implementation of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement.[18]

In 1962, the Taft interests sold KOL to television producers and game show moguls Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.[19] The station briefly adopted a top 40 format which was dropped within a year due to a perceived failure to compete with KJR, and reverted to an MOR format.[20][21][22] By 1965 the top 40 format had returned.[23] In 1967, the station was sold to Buckley Broadcasting.[24] From 1965 to 1975, KOL battled KJR as the number-one top 40 music station in Seattle.


The call letters were changed to KMPS (for "Kountry Music Puget Sound") in 1975 following another change in ownership.[25][26] During its days as KMPS, it simulcasted KMPS-FM (94.1), the former frequency of KOL-FM. The Harbor Island studio and transmitter site was demolished in 1981.[27]


After then-owners EZ Communications sold KMPS to Salem Communications in December 1996, the station's call letters were changed to KKOL in 1997, and a conservative talk format was adopted at that time.[28][29]

In 2002, after losing its transmitter site, KKOL installed a temporary 1,000-watt transmitter on a moored 175-foot (53 meter) cargo ship, and began to operate from a Seattle waterway. This was the only floating broadcasting station antenna in the U.S.,[30] and this unique configuration was used for almost five years. In 2007 the station started a news/talk format, and began use of a new broadcast facility and 50,000-watt transmitter. However, there was a complaint from a nearby U.S. Oil and Refining petroleum facility about the transmitter. There was concern that its proximity to the refinery produced electrical fields that exceeded safe limits at the loading docks, creating a potential source of ignition for the combustibles handled there. In particular, there was concern that a spark caused by the flow of radio frequency (RF) energy (a high-frequency alternating current) within cranes, acting as receiving antennas, could trigger an explosion.[31] (This issue is a rarity in broadcast engineering, though a similar situation regarding fuel occurred at KIQI in Oakland, California.)[32]

U.S. Coast Guard standards specified that materials may not be handled with a signal strength of greater than 0.7 volts per square meter (700mV/m²), while the industry recommendation is 0.5V/m². U.S. Oil's request was for the station to introduce a null toward the facility. However this was in the direction of downtown Seattle, which would necessitate a waiver of the regulation which requires radio stations to cover their community of license with a grade A "city-grade" signal. In addition, the proposed pattern had the effect of reducing that station's potential audience by 700,000 listeners.[33]

On November 3, 2008, KKOL switched from its news/talk format to all-business radio.[34] A portion of the station's programming was derived from Bloomberg L.P. and CNBC.

In May 2018, Salem agreed to swap KKOL to Tron Dinh Do's Intelli LLC in exchange for 860 KPAM in Troutdale, Oregon. Salem had been operating KPAM via a local marketing agreement since March 2018. KPAM is conservative talk "860 The Answer" and simulcasts with "1590 The Answer" KLFE in Seattle.[35]


  1. ^ "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. March 5, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  2. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, June 1, 1922, page 4. Limited Commercial license, serial #417, issued May 23, 1922 for a three month period for operation on 360 meters to the Rhodes Company in Seattle, Washington.
  3. ^ "KFOA, Seattle, Toastmaster of Northwest", Radio Digest, January 16, 1926, page 6.
  4. ^ "Rhodes Radio Unique in N.W.", Seattle Star, May 20, 1922, page 2.
  5. ^ "Radio Broadcasts", Seattle Star, June 23, 1922, page 2.
  6. ^ "Radio Conference Recommendations: New Wave Lengths", Radio Age, May 1923, page 11. Beginning with these assignments radio stations ended the practice of broadcasting their market reports and weather forecasts on the separate 485 meter wavelength.
  7. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, August 1, 1923, page 8.
  8. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, February 1, 1924, page 10.
  9. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, February 1, 1924, page 3.
  10. ^ "Radio Program", The Seattle Times, 18 January 1924, p. 24.
  11. ^ "Strike out all particulars", Radio Service Bulletin, April 1, 1925, page 11.
  12. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, November 30, 1928, page 7.
  13. ^ "KFOA is Sold, Call Letters Changed to KOL", The Seattle Times, 9 December 1928, p. 20.
  14. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, June 30, 1931, page 22.
  15. ^ John F. Schneider, Seattle Radio, (Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013), p. 64.
  16. ^ "Radio Antenna of KOL Now is Tallest in U.S.", The Seattle Times, 18 November 1934, p. 32.
  17. ^ Schnieder, p. 104.
  18. ^ Radio Broadcast Stations, Federal Communications Commission (March 29, 1941 edition), page 23.
  19. ^ "Changing Hands", Broadcasting, 29 October 1962, p. 62.
  20. ^ Warren Guykema, "KOL is Swinging Station With Some Serious Aims", The Seattle Times, 17 November 1963, TV Section, p. 4.
  21. ^ Marty Loken, "Like It or Loop It, KJR's Still No. 1", The Seattle Times, 12 April 1964, p. 19
  22. ^ Schneider, op. cit., p. 108.
  23. ^ Marty Loken, "KOL's New Sound-Rock and Roll from the Mudflats", The Seattle Times, 13 June 1965, TV Section, p. 17
  24. ^ S.J. Skreen, "Leathernecks Land Again", The Seattle Times, 21 March 1967, p. 23.
  25. ^ Victor Stredicke, "Multiple Messages behind Radio Station Call Letters", The Seattle Times, 15 June 1975, TV Section, p. 26.
  26. ^ Victor Stredicke, "Country air staff, others get Labor Day Workout", The Seattle Times, 1 September 1975, p. B-6.
  27. ^ Schneider, op. cit., p. 103.
  28. ^ Chuck Taylor, "Summertime and News Just Keep Dribbling In", The Seattle Times, 8 August 1997, p. F-3
  29. ^ "Transactions: Washington", Radio & Records, 12 December 1996, page 9.
  30. ^ "Aboard the Coastal Ranger: Seattle's KKOL Goes Maritime Mobile", December 17, 2002 (radioworld.com)
  31. ^ "KKOL moves to bolster its signal power, format and market share" by Bill Virgin, April 18, 2007 (seattlepi.com)
  32. ^ "Big Oil: Primary Issue Is Public Safety", November 6, 2007 (radioworld.com)
  33. ^ "KKOL Fights to Keep Transmitter Site" by Scott Fybush, June 19, 2007 (radioworld.com)
  34. ^ Virgin, Bill (November 5, 2008). "On Radio on Radio: KKOL-AM shifts to business news; Owner sees a market for new format". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  35. ^ "Salem Swaps KKOL/Seattle To Intelli For KPAM/Portland" May 15, 2018 (allaccess.com)

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