|City of license||San Antonio, Texas|
|Broadcast area||San Antonio metropolitan area|
|Branding||550 AM KTSA|
|Slogan||San Antonio's News/Talk|
|Frequency||550 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||107.1 K296GK (Pleasanton)|
|First air date||September 1922 (as WCAR)|
|Callsign meaning||Keep Talking San Antonio (Originally Kum To San Antonio)|
|Former callsigns||WCAR (1922-?)|
(Alpha Media Licensee, LLC)
|Sister stations||KJXK, KLEY-FM, KTFM, KHHL, KZDC|
The weekday schedule offers 10 hours of local talk, hosted by Trey Ware (5am Central Time - 9am), Jack Riccardi (9am - 1pm), and Sean Rima (4pm - 7pm). KTSA also carries all three hours of "The Dave Ramsey Show" live (1pm - 4pm). Evening and overnight hours include programming from Mark Levin, and Jim Bohannon. KTSA was acquired by BMP Radio in August, 2006. On July 27, 2009, Border Media Partners was taken over by its lenders in an "amicable manner," according to an FCC filing (radioink.com). Border Media had not made a debt payment in two years (San Antonio Express-News). This resulted in BMP selling the station to L&L Broadcasting (now Alpha Media) in 2013.
This radio station began as WCAR, founded by John C. Rodriguez of the Alamo Radio & Electric Company in September, 1922. WCAR was the second radio station in San Antonio, taking the airwaves shortly after WJAE which only lasted a few months.
Full-time operation of KTSA was approved April 29, 1933, when the Federal Radio Commission approved KTSA's purchase of KFUL in Galveston, Texas, and the subsequent elimination of that station. Previously, the two had shared broadcast time. KTSA, which was owned by Southwest Broadcasting Company at that time, also became a full affiliate of the Southwest and CBS networks. On October 28, 1940, KTSA played host to the first and only meeting between noted science fiction author H.G. Wells and radio dramatist Orson Welles, which occurred nearly two years after the panic created by Welles' broadcast of The War of the Worlds.
For a time the Express News Corporation owned the station. In the 1950s rock and roll radio Pioneer Gordon McLendon bought KTSA and made it one of the first Top 40 stations in America. KTSA became an overnight sensation because of the music and outrageous for the time promotions including a "Flagpole" sitter in the O. R. Mitchell Dodge Used Car lot on Broadway, and the KTSA Easter Egg Hunt which swamped San Pedro Park with thousands of listeners searching for a $1000 KTSA Golden Egg. IN 1957 KTSA got competition from KONO radio which changed to the top 40 format and hired several of KTSA's disk jockeys. By this time McLendon had successful stations in El Paso (KELP) Dallas (KLIF) and Houston (KILT) and used the El Paso and San Antonio stations as farm teams for the larger markets. Under McLendon ownership, KTSA once obtained Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permission to change its call letters from KTSA to KAKI, reportedly to honor San Antonio's military personnel (with "KAKI" meaning "khaki", a type of fabric used in military uniforms). After KAKI letterhead and promotional materials were printed, management learned that their new call letters were slang in Spanish for baby feces. The call letter change was reconsidered and the station reverted to KTSA.
McLendon sold KTSA in the 1960s but the station remained one of San Antonio's most listened-to stations until the advent of FM stereo radio. During the '60s KTSA also aired on 101.5 FM in San Antonio. This lasted until Waterman Broadcasting bought the stations from McLendon in 1965 and signed off 101.5 and started KTFM on 102.7.
KTSA was a Top 40 format "55-KTSA" until Fall 1986 when it changed to News/Talk format that it is today.
Former on-air staff
KTSA staff inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame include Ricci Ware and Brad Messer.
Early 1950s and 1960s rock and roll star disk jockeys include Don Keyes, Ricci Ware, Bruce Hathaway, Pat Tallman, and Charlie Vann.
Mark Velasco - 1986-1988 During the time KTSA was a music station.
On February 26, 2015 KTSA began simulcasting on FM translator K296GK 107.1 FM San Antonio, Texas, which was upgraded and moved from its original city of license in Pleasanton, TX.
- "KTSA Gets Full Time" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 15, 1933. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Durkee, Rob. American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century. ISBN 0-02-864895-1. New York City: Schirmer Books, 1999, p.14. Accessed December 10, 2007. The story here, however, was that KAKI's ratings ended up going down after the calls changed, bucking the trend of his other stations, which saw a rise in listeners after changes of their calls.
- KTSA San Antonio Adds FM translator
- KTSA official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KTSA
- Radio-Locator Information on KTSA
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KTSA
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K296GK
- Radio-Locator information on K296GK