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KTSA-AM logo.png
City San Antonio, Texas
Broadcast area San Antonio metropolitan area
Branding 550 AM KTSA
Slogan Stay connected San Antonio
Frequency 550 kHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s) 107.1 K296GK (Pleasanton)
First air date 550: September 1922 (as WCAR)
107.1: March 13, 2015
Format News/Talk
Language(s) English
Power 550: 5,000 watts
ERP 107.1: 250 watts
HAAT 107.1: 186 m (610 ft)
Class 550: B
107.1: D
Facility ID 550: 71087
107.1: 140646
Transmitter coordinates 29°29′47.5″N 98°24′57.5″W / 29.496528°N 98.415972°W / 29.496528; -98.415972
Callsign meaning Keep Talking San Antonio (Originally Kome To San Antonio)
Former callsigns WCAR (1922-?)
Owner Alpha Media
(Alpha Media Licensee, LLC)
Sister stations KJXK, KLEY-FM, KTFM, KHHL, KZDC
Webcast Listen Live
Website ktsa.com

KTSA (550 AM & 107.1 FM) is a news-talk formatted radio station in San Antonio, Texas. 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.[1] 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.[2]

McLendon sold KTSA in the *late 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 bought in late 1967, not 1965, by Boerne Waterman from the northeastern part of the United States. The FCC had a rule at that time that a single owner could not own more than 7 radio stations. Gordon McLendon had bought another radio station, increasing his number to 8, and San Antonio was one of his smallest markets, so he sold KTSA. Gordon McLendon owned it until late 1967.* [3]

KTSA was a Top 40 format "55-KTSA: until Fall 1986 when it changed to News/Talk format that it is today. *In the 1960s, the station played the "top 55 hits" to go along with its location as 550 on the dial.*

Since then KTSA has been criticized as being a hateful right-wing radio station.[4] KTSA has right-wing blogger Eugene Volokh as a frequent guest.[5]

Former on-air staff[edit]

KTSA staff inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame include Ricci Ware and Brad Messer, and Don Keyes.

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.

FM Translator[edit]

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.[6]


  1. ^ "KTSA Gets Full Time" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 15, 1933. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "World's Greatest Radio Entertainers!". www.sanantonioradiomemories.com. 
  4. ^ "Talk radio has become hate radio". 
  5. ^ "What You Must Know If You Own "Don't Tread On Me"! - KTSA". 5 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "KTSA San Antonio Adds FM Translator - RadioInsight". 26 February 2015. 

External links[edit]