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City Berkeley, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Slogan "The Voice of the Orient"
Frequency 1400 kHz
First air date 1922
Format Chinese
Power 1,000 watts
Class C
Facility ID 28681
Transmitter coordinates 37°50′58″N 122°17′44″W / 37.84944°N 122.29556°W / 37.84944; -122.29556Coordinates: 37°50′58″N 122°17′44″W / 37.84944°N 122.29556°W / 37.84944; -122.29556
Callsign meaning K Voice of The Orient
Former callsigns KRE (1922-1963)
KPAT (1963-1972)
KRE (1972-1986)
KBLX (1986–1989)
KBFN (1989–1990)
KBLX (1990–1994)
Affiliations Sing Tao Chinese Radio
Bay Area Metro Radio
Bay Area Chinese Radio
Global Chinese Radio
Owner Phuong Pham
(Pham Radio Communication LLC)
Sister stations KVVN
Website kvto.net

KVTO (1400 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a Chinese format. Licensed to Berkeley, California, United States, the station serves the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is currently owned by Phuong Pham, through licensee Pham Radio Communication LLC.[1] Its tower is located in Berkeley, California and is shared with KEAR.

It is affiliated, majorly, by Sing Tao Chinese Radio in Cantonese. There are some other groups which also played their air time in Cantonese.

Prior to the early 1990s when KVTO was launched, the 1400 AM frequency was a simulcast of KBLX-FM 102.9, which was a sister station of KVTO until May 1, 2012 when Entercom Communications officially took over KBLX-FM.

The station began in Berkeley in 1922 as KRE, the former callsign of a marine radio station aboard a World War I merchant marine steamship, Florence H.,[2] destroyed in an April 17, 1918, explosion at Quiberon Bay, France.[3] Later programming was simulcast on KRE-FM and there were occasional AM/FM stereo broadcasts, including some classical music programming. KRE's call letters changed to KPAT in 1963, then back to KRE in 1972. The call letters KBLX were adopted in 1986, then changed to KBFN in 1989 and back to KBLX in 1990. The current call letters, KVTO, were adopted in 1994.[4]

The Maxwell Electric Company put KRE on the air on March 11, 1922, with studios and transmitter at the Claremont Resort Hotel. In May of that year, KRE was sold to the Berkeley Daily Gazette. It was bought in January 1927 by the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, which moved the studios and built a new transmitter. In January 1930, the Chapel of the Chimes (an Oakland funeral home) bought KRE. Ownership passed in December 1936 to Central California Broadcasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chapel of the Chimes. New studios and transmitter were built at 601 Ashby Avenue from 1937 to 1938. KRE-FM went on the air on February 14, 1949, with a transmitter on Round Hill Mountain, which was moved to the Ashby Avenue near Berkeley's Aquatic Park site in 1950. In March 1963, KRE was taken over by the Wright Broadcasting Company of Paterson, New Jersey.[5]


  1. ^ "KVTO Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ Fenwick, William (July 1928). "Broadcast Station Calls With a Past". Radio Broadcast page 150. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  3. ^ Husband, Ensign Joseph. "World War 1 - Contemporary Accounts; The Story of the United States Naval Forces in French Waters". naval-history.net. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The San Francisco Radio Dial on Various Dates 1922-1941". Bay Area Radio Museum. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ Schneider, John F. "The History of KRE Berkeley, California". Bay Area Radio Museum. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 

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