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|City||KNWZ: Coachella, California
KNWQ: Palm Springs, California
KNWH: Yucca Valley, California
|Broadcast area||Coachella Valley|
|Frequency||KNWZ: 970 kHz
KNWQ: 1140 kHz
KNWH: 1250 kHz
|Translator(s)||102.1 K271CI (Banning, relays KNWZ)
94.3 K232CX (Desert Hot Springs, relays KNWQ)
103.7 K279CO (Yucca Valley, relays KNWH)
|First air date||KNWZ: 1954
5,000 watts day
360 watts night
10,000 watts day
2,500 watts night
800 watts day
77 watts night
|Facility ID||KNWZ: 12130
|Callsign meaning||KNWZ: K-NeWs Z
KNWQ: K-NeWs Q
KNWH: K-NeWs H
|Owner||Alpha Media LLC
(Alpha Media Licensee LLC)
KNWZ/KNWQ/KNWH is a simulcast news/talk station owned by Alpha Media LLC and operated by the Desert Radio Group in Palm Springs, CA. The stations combine to serve the Coachella Valley area of Palm Springs, California, Yucca Valley area, and surrounding desert cities.
KNWQ's transmitter is in Palm Springs (for the Western Coachella Valley and Banning area), while KNWZ is in Coachella 25 miles to the east (for the Eastern Coachella and Imperial Valleys). KNWQ was originally on 1340 kHz and moved to 1010 kHz in 1958. It moved to 1140 kHz in 1984.
"K-News" also owns and operates KNWH 1250 in the town of Yucca Valley serving the sparsely populated Morongo Basin area in a 30-mile radius. As of October 2009, K-News operates a FM radio translator on 94.3 MHz from Desert Hot Springs covering the entire Coachella Valley. In 2016, KNWZ airs on 103.7 in the Twentynine Palms area.
KNWZ/KNWQ/KNWH carries such programs as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Chad Benson, Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory as well as the locally-produced “Bulldog” Bill Feingold show.
KNWZ's call letters were originally KGUY (a Country station located at 1270 AM) when it started the "all news format" in late 1974 or early 1975. Before that the call letters were KGOL and was owned by Harry Triner. Harry and Son Doug also owned 1350 KCKC in San Bernardino. Jerry Jolstead was the GM of KMEN 1290 a crosstown top 40 rival also in San Bernardino and their relationship was formed in the years prior to 1973. The Palm Springs market had 11 radio stations in the 1970s. The region's first all news radio station was 1270 KGUY Newsradio in Palm Desert. Owned by Jerry Jolstead, the last-place station had a daytime-only signal and was an affiliate of the NBC/NIS network, which provided wall-to-wall news and sports coverage to complement the station's local coverage. Bill Lorin was hired as program director when the format was originally changed, prior to the call letter change.
Jolstead recruited newscaster Terry Corbell in December 1975 to be the station's news director to enhance its local news coverage and ratings. (A Palm Springs native, Corbell had been a newscaster at KPRO in Riverside, California, which had been owned by broadcasting icon Dick Clark.) When the NBC/NIS network defaulted in 1976, Jolstead asked Corbell to design an all-news format. Corbell hired Del Sharbutt to record station IDs and imagery. About 60 days later, Corbell's news format proved to be enormously successful and received a 14-share (Hooper), for second place in the ratings, one point behind KDES. The station ratings revealed that 9 out of 10 men favored KGUY Newsradio.
For national coverage, the station used feeds from the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Corbell covered the region's top stories: Fundraising visits to Palm Springs by Ronald and Nancy Reagan; the retirement plans of former President Gerald Ford when he lost his bid for re-election; Frank Sinatra's marriage to Barbara Marx; and many other top stories. He also covered the Bob Hope Desert Classic, the Dinah Shore Winners Circle and the American Airlines Tennis Games.
Most of Corbell's news reports were exclusive in nature, which he fed to KNX in Hollywood; NBC; and Mutual Broadcasting. In 1977, Corbell left KGUY to be news director at KPLM-TV in Palm Springs.
KNWZ debuted at 1270AM in 1988 under the ownership of William Hart, a former Reagan cabinet member as the area's second attempt at an all-news format in the style of KNX and others, but soon converted to a talk radio format. Jerry Jolstead had sold the station and Hart purchased it from Mary and Kate Neiswender. The morning drive slot was occupied from 1994-2000 by Luigi Rossetti under the air name of "Lou Penrose." Rossetti left the station at the height of his popularity to accept a position as District Director for Congresswoman Mary Bono. The Lou Penrose Morning Talk Show was followed from 9-11a.m. by former television newsman Ron Fortner. Poor ratings led to Fortner's dismissal by 1998 immediately after the purchase of the station by Morris Communications as part of the new Desert Radio Group.
The station had been simulcast on two FM repeaters and one other station (94.3, 103.9 and 106.9) from April 1995 to October 1998, when Morris purchased the stations; it then converted all three of the FM stations to music formats.
Morris then moved KNWZ to 970/1140AM on January 1, 2001. It then bought KCMJ, which had moved to 1270AM, in August 2004 and made it KNWT, "K-News 2." 1270AM was KFUT "Recuerdo", featuring Spanish oldies, became a FOX sports station in 2013 and now is KVGH an oldies station.
Morris sold the three stations, along with thirty others, to Alpha Media LLC for $38.25 million, effective September 1, 2015.
- K-News radio website
- FCC History Cards for KNWZ
- FCC History Cards for KNWQ
- FCC History Cards for KNWH
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KNWZ
- Radio-Locator Information on KNWZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KNWZ
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KNWQ
- Radio-Locator Information on KNWQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KNWQ
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KNWH
- Radio-Locator Information on KNWH
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KNWH
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K232CX
- Radio-Locator information on K232CX