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|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|First air date||1952|
|Power||50,000 watts (day)|
37,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||McMillan Petroleum Company|
(former owner of the original KMPC, now KSPN)
|Former callsigns||KPOL (1952-1979)|
|Owner||P&Y Broadcasting Corporation|
KMPC (1540 AM, "Radio Korea", 라디오코리아) is a radio station based in Los Angeles, California and is owned by P&Y Broadcasting Corporation. Radio Korea is a division of the Radio Korea Media Group. The station airs Korean-language programming. It broadcasts news, information, and entertainment for the largest Korean-American community in the United States, and the largest Korean community outside Korea.
The history of AM 1540 goes back to its days as KPOL, when it was clustered with KPOL-FM and KPOL-TV. It aired a wide variety of formats until the early 1980s. KPOL also advertised on the 1959 television series Home Run Derby.
Throughout the 1980s and much of the 1990s, this frequency broadcast in Spanish, first as KXEZ then as KXMG "Mega 1540." In 1997, One on One Sports Inc. of Northbrook, Illinois purchased the station and converted it to sports radio. It was part of the sale to Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures in 2001.
The station covered San Diego Chargers football (one of two flagship stations for the Chargers Radio Network, the other being KIOZ in San Diego), and selected Westwood One sports programming not carried by CBS Radio's KFWB and KLSX. Among the broadcasts that KMPC carried from Westwood One: NCAA basketball, PGA Tour golf tournament updates (mostly those covered by CBS Sports television), the Masters Tournament, NFL football (including Monday Night Football on occasion), and more.
In 2006, KMPC lost the broadcast rights to USC basketball and football to rival KSPN, and the station then acquired the local broadcast rights of the University of Notre Dame's football games from Westwood One. The station also stopped covering NASCAR races after having done so for several years.
The station's regular talk-show hosts included Tony Bruno, who began his morning show in April 2005 following the departure of Roger Lodge; long-time local sports talk host Dave Smith (whose show became part of Sporting News Radio in June 2006), and a late-afternoon show hosted by former USC football player Petros Papadakis.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter filled in for Roggin on an early-June 2005 broadcast.
In June 2006, former afternoon host and current KNBC-TV sports director Fred Roggin left KMPC and a new program, the Atlanta-based 2 Live Stews, took his place. Roggin's departure, a result of his increased commitments to KNBC and NBC Sports, triggered a shift in the station's daily programming lineup. Smith and Papadakis switched dayparts, accommodating the Los Angeles debut of the 2 Live Stews.
On September 5, 2006, KMPC's parent company, Sporting News Radio, was sold to American City Business Journals for an undisclosed price, The Sporting News magazine. KMPC, and WSNR in New York and WWZN in Boston, were briefly operated by Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. until the three stations were sold off separately.
In 2007, before the station's sale to Radio Korea, there were no local shows on the station. Bob Keisser of the Long Beach Press-Telegram said that KMPC is "on life support." (Page B2, December 29, 2006 issue).
On March 30, 2007, AllAccess.com, an online news service covering the radio and music industries, reported that Vulcan had decided to sell the station to P&Y Broadcasting, doing business as Radio Korea Media Group. Again, the price was not revealed.
Radio Korea took over the frequency on May 1, 2007.
Dispersal of former programming
- The Chargers' current local affiliate is KLAC, a change made for the 2008 season. In 2007, the Chargers had signed KSPN as the new local affiliate in the Los Angeles area. Some early season games were not available in 2007 due to KSPN's coverage of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Major League Baseball postseason. (The Angels have since changed the flagship station to KLAA.)
- Most Westwood One sporting events, including the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, NFL football, and the Summer Olympic Games, moved to KSPN in 2008. By 2010, however, KSPN terminated its deal with Westwood One to emphasize ESPN Radio and local talk shows centered on the Los Angeles Lakers and other home teams. One consequence was that the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics ice hockey tournament was not available on any local radio station in the L.A. area.
- Westwood One's NFL games have been split among four different stations at various times since 2007: KSPN, KLAC, KTLK, and KABC. KABC aired the Sunday night games in 2007 before assuming Los Angeles Dodgers broadcast rights the following year. KLAC also airs the Super Bowl on radio each year.
- Fighting Irish football, now distributed by ISP Sports Properties, debuted on KLAA in 2008; the station has carried most games since.
- No new local affiliate has been found for the Masters golf tournament.
- Roggin and Papadakis joined the lineup of KLAC, in morning drive and afternoon drive respectively. Roggin and co-hosts T.J. Simers and Tracie Simers were removed in October 2007 in favor of Dan Patrick. Papadakis remains on KLAC.
- Bruno debuted on KLAC on September 29, 2009, replacing Joe McDonnell at 7 p.m. weeknights. Bruno's program, like Patrick's, is syndicated by Content Factory.
- Neither the 2 Live Stews nor Sporting News Radio are available in the L.A. area. Some SNR shows are available via satellite on XM Sports Nation. XX 1090, broadcasting from San Diego to most of southern California, carried some SNR shows until October 2010, when it dropped those shows in favor of ESPN Radio.
- NASCAR races have not been readily available on local radio since KMPC chose not to renew the rights. The 2006 Sony HD 500 was heard on KLAC, but it was only a one-race deal with Motor Racing Network. KKGO "Go Country 105" promised coverage, but no races were ever broadcast on that station. In 2009, MRN and Performance Racing Network debuted on KFRG, which signal carries into Orange County and part of the Long Beach area, and the HD2 subcarrier of KLSX. KLSX then became KAMP-FM and within months of the change, owner CBS Radio removed KFRG from the subcarrier. The nearest radio station to carry Motor Racing Network is KPWK AM 1350 in Riverside.
Prior to November 21, 1997 the call letters KMPC were assigned to AM 710, and it was at one time one of the top AM radio stations in Southern California. In the 1960s and 70s, it used the moniker "The Station of the Stars" and featured a number of notable DJs, including Dick Whittinghill, Robert W. Morgan, Bob Arbogast, Geoff Edwards, Ira Cook, Roger Carroll, Johnny Grant, Wink Martindale, Jim Lange, Bill Leyden, Gary Owens, Johnny Magnus, Kathy Gori, Sonny Melendrez, Dave Hull and Vance Graham.
A powerhouse in local sports reporting, KMPC-710 broadcast Los Angeles Rams, California Angels, and UCLA football games. Some of the notable sports announcers were Bob Kelley, Fred Hessler, Don Wells, Bob Starr, Jim Healy, Kent Derdivanis, Dave Niehaus, Dick Enberg, Joe Torre and Ted Sobel.
KMPC-710 was also noted for its extensive use of field reporters and news/traffic aircraft. It was also the first station to issue Sigalert traffic alerts, named after one of the station's chief engineers, Loyd C. Sigmon. News personalities included Tom Weyman, Clete Roberts, Bob Steinbrink, Scott Shurian, Mike Botula, Dick Provenson, Steve Arvin, and Marv Howard.
At one time, KMPC was owned by the famous singing cowboy Gene Autry, part of his "Golden West Broadcasters" chain.