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|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles Area|
|Slogan||The Rock of Southern California|
|Frequency||95.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||98.9 K255BZ (China Lake)|
|First air date||December 30, 1947 (as KECA-FM)|
|Format||FM/HD1: Album-oriented rock (AOR)
HD2: KABC simulcast
|HAAT||954.0 meters (3,129.9 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||LOS Angeles|
|Former callsigns||KECA-FM (1947–1954)
(Radio License Holdings LLC)
Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)
KLOS (95.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station in Los Angeles, California debuted in 1969. It airs an album-oriented rock radio format and has broadcast rock music since 1969. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and is home to "The Frosty, Heidi & Frank" morning show, which is featured on syndicated TV show Dish Nation. KLOS has studios on La Cienega Boulevard in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, and its transmitter is based on Mount Wilson.
On December 30, 1947, KECA-FM first signed on, simulcasting the programming of AM sister station 790 KECA. The two stations were owned by ABC, and the call letters of the AM and FM stations were accordingly changed to KABC and KABC-FM in the 1954. In 1960, KABC adopted an all-talk format. On January 1, 1968, due to new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules requiring FM stations to have separate programming from their AM counterparts, KABC-FM experimented with a schedule of all-news, the first station in Los Angeles to have such a format. This experiment did not last long, and all-news was dropped on March 11, 1968, the day that 980 KFWB became an all-news station.
Switch to Rock
KABC-FM adopted a progressive rock format. It used taped programming known as "Love," also run on other ABC-owned FM stations throughout the country. The taped programming was voice-tracked by Brother John Rydgren. The taped format did not last long. Live, locally programmed free-form/progressive rock music was the norm on most ABC-FM owned-and-operated stations by mid-1970. In 1971, the station acquired the KLOS call letters to avoid confusion with its AM talk station. In the fall of 1971, the free-form progressive rock sound ended, as ABC-owned FM Stations Vice President Allen Shaw and KLOS Program Director Tom Yates launched the first album-oriented rock (AOR) format in American radio. KLOS would only play the top cuts from the best-selling rock albums. The slogan was "Rock 'N Stereo."
The initial DJ line up included Jeff Gonzer, J.J. Jackson, Jim Ladd, and Damion. KLOS promoted a huge outdoor rock concert called "California Jam" on April 6, 1974 at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California. By 1972, KLOS had become the top-rated FM rock station in Los Angeles.
The Mark & Brian Era
In the spring of 1987, VP/GM Bill Sommers hired long time rock radio programmer Charlie West to be the new Program Director for KLOS. West hired Stephanie Mondello as the Music Director for the station. By fall, West secured Mark & Brian (Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps) for morning drive. Under West's direction, the stations ratings steadily grew, and by 1988, KLOS emerged as L.A.'s album-rock leader, finishing fifth among all stations in the market with a 4.3 share, up from a 3.6 during the last ratings period.
Charlie West left KLOS in early 1989. Stephanie Mondello took over programming duties directing all key decisions and overall revenue and ratings strategies. The station maintained its fifth-place ranking overall in the market and reached the #1 position in its target young male demos; defeating main rivals, KLSX, KROQ, and KQLZ Pirate Radio. Mondello left KLOS in the fall of 1990.
In the early 1990s, with the popularity of the grunge-based alternative rock format on rival KROQ, KLOS altered its format, dropping the old DJs and most of the classic rock. This did not last long, nor was it a ratings success. Within a year, the new music was mostly jettisoned, and the classic rock brought back.
In 1997, John Duncan was hired as program director (previously at KYYS in Kansas City) and took the station in an adult rock direction. Within eight months, KLOS moved from #18 to #5 among 25-54 adults, reclaiming its status as L.A.'s #1 adult rock station. While at KLOS, Duncan hired Jim Ladd, Garth Kemp and other long-time Los Angeles radio personalities. It was also during this period that the station ran a billboard campaign with lines such as, "We lost our mind for a moment, but we're okay now." Duncan left the station in late 1998.
In 2005, KLOS became the only full-time rock station in Los Angeles when Arrow 93 KCBS-FM switched formats to become Jack FM. Jack FM is a format originating in Vancouver, British Columbia, mixing alternative, classic rock, and Top 40 songs from the 1970s to the present. It is noted for having no disc jockeys, a huge playlist, and a pseudo-renegade attitude. Jack-FM was a runaway ratings success, rocketing to the top of many key demographic areas, and continues to be a strong competitor in Los Angeles radio. Meanwhile, KLOS has stuck with its classic rock sound.
In 2006, the station came under ownership of Citadel Broadcasting after it merged with The Walt Disney Company's ABC Radio on September 16, 2011. In 2011, Cumulus Media purchased Citadel, acquiring KLOS and sister station KABC.
The Los Angeles media market got a second classic rock station in 2008, as 100.3 KSWD was launched. From 2014 to 2016, it featured former KLOS DJ Mark Thompson as its morning host.
KLOS has been home to many prominent progressive and AOR rock DJs from Los Angeles radio history. Bob Coburn, a former program director in Chicago and an assistant program director at KMET, was heard on KLOS from 1980 to 1994 and later worked at KLSX, KCBS-FM and KZLA before returning to KLOS. He also hosted the syndicated Rockline program. Coburn died of lung cancer December 17, 2016, at age 68. Other KLOS personalities were longtime morning hosts Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps, plus Geno Michellini, Joe Benson, Steve Downes and full-time fill-in Lynda Clayton. Later, Cynthia Fox held the daytime shift. She had been a long-time DJ on KMET. Ex-KMET DJ Denise Westwood was also heard on KLOS. Former program director Rita Wilde, now on KSWD, had been choosing the music on KLOS for decades. Joe Benson, who used to be an afternoon DJ, is also now on KSWD. Marc Coppola (now middays on KGB-FM San Diego) was on KLOS in 1977 and again as one of the hosts when KLOS aired Westood One's Rock 'N Roll Never Forgets. Damion and Steve Downes both co-hosted with Marc from 1986 to 1990.
Renowned veteran disc jockey Jim Ladd is another ex-KLOS employee. He was a former DJ on KNAC (in its progressive days), KMET during its glory days, and KLSX. Often dubbed "The Last DJ," after the Tom Petty song that was written about him, Jim Ladd was allowed unusual latitude in selecting the music for his show. Ladd's show was routinely the #1 music-based show in its time slot.
Joe Reiling has also recently returned to KLOS after an even longer absence. He was last heard in the early 80's. Joe started the Local Music Show (later renamed, Local Licks) He does the occasional fill-in. Most of Joe's time away from the station found him hosting his own Alternative Rock show worldwide on AFN (American Forces Network and formerly AFRTS, Armed Forces Radio and Television Services) Joe was also involved in managing, producing and programming the in-flight audio entertainment for many domestic and international airlines, and, Air Force One.
Dion was another part-time DJ at KLOS that had been on overnights for several years. Dion was also at KLSX when it played classic rock. In 2005, long-time DJ Al Ramirez, who also worked the night shift, died at the age of 54 of natural causes.
Sunday nights/Monday mornings KLOS used to air a public affairs call-in talk show hosted by longtime KLOS personality, Frank Sontag. Frank was part of the Mark & Brian morning team as well and ran the control board, also contributing to the show at times. In 2009, Frank left the station and in 2013, became the host of a Christian talk and discussion program, The Frank Sontag show on KKLA-FM 99.5 FM, the Intersection of Faith and Reason.
KLOS also airs a midday show hosted by veteran KMET and KLSX DJ Cynthia Fox, called "In Tune at Noon," where she features a daily celebration of events in Rock n Roll History and events in the News.
In October 2006, KLOS restructured its daily lineup of radio hosts, following Mark & Brian's show. Cynthia Fox, "Uncle Joe" Benson and Jim Ladd saw each of their daily air shifts increased by one hour. However, this has resulted in the (temporary) dismissal of former evening DJ Gary Moore (returning in the Fall of 2007 and now can be heard weekday evenings). Former overnight jock (ex-KQLZ Mark Miller was only heard hosting Saturday morning's "The Best of Mark & Brian Saturday Special" shows, from 6-10 a.m. Miller's daily shift was replaced with automated programming, billed as "KLOS, After Hours", which runs from 1-5 a.m., Tuesday through Friday mornings. Although the same classic rock format is generally followed, occasionally KLOS delves into deep cuts & live versions of songs that are not usually played during the daytime.
The long-revered "Breakfast With The Beatles", hosted by Chris Carter, is heard on Sunday mornings from 9 am to 12 pm. Prior to hosting Breakfast With the Beatles, Carter was heard on Channel 103.1/KACD-FM in 2000, when it played Adult Alternative music. He is also the former bass player & producer for Dramarama, and produced and supervised the music for the film Mayor of the Sunset Strip, a rock documentary about influential LA DJ Rodney Bingenheimer of KROQ-FM. In 2003, it was nominated for Best Documentary by the Independent Spirit Awards.
Periodically, KLOS abandoned its format with an "A to Z" special, where songs from the KLOS library were played alphabetically by title. Running 24 hours a day (with breaks only for the Mark & Brian show, and Jim Ladd's show), it generally lasted about 2 weeks with no repeated songs. Unlike many similar specials, the KLOS A to Z unearthed a large number of rarely heard songs. This marked a stark contrast with KLOS' regular playlist. In its final years the A to Z special aired around the Christmas holidays. Since the firing of program director Rita Wilde, the A to Z countdown has not aired on KLOS. However, competitor KSWD revamped the idea with a very similar, though shorter, A to Z countdown of familiar and deep tracks.
Former Shows on KLOS
Jim Ladd used to bring his brand of free-form radio, interrupting the regular classic rock radio format, Monday through Thursday from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. and Sundays from 9 P.M. to Midnight, with Ladd picking the music personally, often based on listener requests, and playing it in thematic sets. Listeners call in requests/ideas or post them on Ladd's MySpace page. Every Wednesday night at midnight, Ladd devotes an hour to Headsets, which combines music with a slightly more "sonic" quality (designed to be listened to in headphones, or with no background noise interfering), spoken-word poetry, and audio clips from movies & TV. On Sundays, Ladd brings "Theme of Consciousness", with the entire content of the 3-hour show devoted to a singular word or "theme", and chosen entirely by the listening audience, by phone or by MySpace.
"Mark & Brian" was a sketch comedy show. It aired Monday through Friday mornings, 6 to 10 A.M., from 1987 until August 17, 2012. Highlights from the show aired weekdays from 5-6 A.M., and a recap of the week, featuring the best of Mark & Brian, aired Saturdays from 6 to 10 A.M.
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=2 HD Radio Guide for Los Angeles
- "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.com. 1971-04-10. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.com. 1972-03-11. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- "Background: The history of "Free-form" FM Radio in L.A.". Michael Bloom Photography.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- http://laradio.com December 17, 2016
- "Frank Sontag Joins KKLA".
- "Legendary DJ Jim Ladd is out at KLOS". Orange County Register. October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- 95.5 KLOS Online
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KLOS
- Radio-Locator information on KLOS
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KLOS
- List of "grandfathered" FM radio stations in the U.S.