||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2014)|
|City of license||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Branding||The Big 5-50, KTRS|
|Slogan||"The Talk of Saint Louis|
|Frequency||AM 550 kHz|
|First air date||June 26, 1922 (as KSD)|
|Former callsigns||KSD (1922-1982)
|Affiliations||NBC News (1939-1994)
ABC News (1994-present)
|Owner||CH Radio Holdings and the majority owner, the St. Louis Cardinals|
KTRS (550 AM) in an American radio station licensed to serve the community of Saint Louis, Missouri that carries a News/Talk format. The station is owned by the St. Louis Cardinals and CH Radio Holdings. It broadcasts with 5,000 watts of power, day and night.
Weekday programming includes Coast to Coast AM, "Farmer Dave" Schumacher on early mornings, McGraw Milhaven in morning drive, Martin Kilcoyne on mid-days, John Carney on early afternoons, The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon, & The Big Sports Show with John Hadley and Jim Heuer.
Weekend programming consists of how-to, advice, and trivia shows with occasional sports events. National news is provided by ABC. Local news is presented by Victoria Babu, Michael Golde, Colin Jeffery, and Susan Smith-Harmon.
- Missouri Tigers basketball, football, Tiger Talk, and Tiger Update.
- Saint Louis FC soccer (United Soccer League)
- Memphis Redbirds minor league baseball
- Missouri Turkey Day Game (high school football, Thanksgiving)
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KSD, owned by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, began broadcasting experimentally in 1921 at 833 kc. with 27 watts of power. The official sign-on didn't take place until June 26, 1922. KSD moved to 550 kc. in 1923, with an increase in power to 5,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts nighttime taking place in 1934. With a new transmitter in place, in November 1948 KSD increased its night output, reaching a status of 5 kW (fulltime).
KSD was one of the first eight radio stations of the NBC Radio Network in 1926. That association lasted until the early 1980s. Sister station KSD-TV (now KSDK) went on the air February 8, 1947. KSD radio also played standards and classical music, before moving to a Top 40 format in early 1971.
After eventually settling on an all-news format in early 1980, KSD switched to country music the following year, and in 1983, KSD-AM became KUSA. The year 1993 saw the restoration of the KSD call letters and a switch to standards music, which was its format before 1971. The station was purchased by its current owners, CH Radio Holdings, in 1997. 1997 was also the year the station became KTRS and the current News/Talk format was put in place.
KUSA started AM stereo broadcasts in 1983 after rebuilding most of their transmitter to accommodate stereo transmissions. Stereo broadcasts continued throughout most of the 1990s, using the C-QUAM standard. In 1997, KTRS stopped sending stereo programming to the transmitter but continued broadcasting the stereo pilot signal. In 2001, the stereo pilot was silenced.
KTRS is the home of The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon, which features host Frank O Pinion (John Craddock), the highest rated, as well as the highest paid radio personality in St. Louis. Along with Frank are Dan Strauss (producer), Ian Geisz, and, at one time, Tina Dalpiaz. Tina Dalpiaz left the show in October, 2012.
Pinion is one of the few on-air personalities to survive a major change in personnel announced in December 2005. KTRS Morning Show hosts Bill Wilkerson and Wendy Wiese, sports director Jim Holder (at the time the public address announcer at the Edward Jones Dome for the NFL Rams' games), Randy Karraker, McGraw Milhaven, Kevin Horrigan, Scott St. James and Meme Wolff were all fired. Management, including program director Al Brady Law, announced plans to bring in a new lineup beginning in January 2006. Milhaven, however, was reinstated during the spring of 2006. Law was fired on December 11 of that year. KTRS broadcast the St. Louis Blues from 2000-2007. In 2007, the Blues moved to competitor KMOX.
After five years (2006–10), KTRS sold the rights of the St. Louis Cardinals to KMOX starting in 2011. (The Cardinals nonetheless retained their ownership stake in KTRS and still airs the games of its owned-and-operated top farm club, the Memphis Redbirds, on KTRS.) Since then, the focus has been on personalities. With the elimination of the Cardinals, KTRS now airs the Missouri Tigers athletics as well as their weekly sports show, along with occasional high school football contests.
KTRS announced on October 6, 2010, that it had hired the well-known radio personality J.C. Corcoran to fill its midday, weekday slot starting October 25, 2010; Corcoran was fired on April 27, 2012 and later joined KXFN. Trish Gazall, who had been John Brown's co-host, joined JC in January 2011 as his producer; Trish Gazall left the station in October 2012 for KEZK
Steve Cochran, currently of WGN in Chicago, hosted a weekday evening talk show on KTRS from 2010 until 2013. .
The studios are in Westport Plaza.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KTRS
- Radio-Locator Information on KTRS
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KTRS