Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc
Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc., a subsidiary of Mt. Wilson Broadcasting Inc., is a Los Angeles-based company owned by Saul Levine. Levine is the only independent operator of an FM commercial radio station in Los Angeles today.
They own the following radio stations:
- KKGO FM 105.1: Country music
- Go Country NY: Country music (Internet-only stream)
- K-Mozart 1260 / 105.1 HD2: Classical music
- K-Mozart 97.9: Classical music
- Retro 105 105.1 HD3: Adult standards
Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc. has done several format changes on its radio stations, most notably AM 1260 and AM 540.
In 2004, Levine filed a complaint with the FCC to force the government to impose indecency standards on satellite radio, a move Levine alleged would "level the playing field" between terrestrial and satellite radio. Ultimately, this failed.
Saul Levine was born in 1926 in Cheboygan, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, USC Graduate School of Social Work and the University of California School of Law[disambiguation needed].
He founded KKGO (at first the call letters were KBCA) in 1959, on limited funds, helped greatly by the fact that he was able to buy a used FM transmitter for $1500 from a Michigan station which had gone off the air. The station's original antenna was built in a garage for $300. He cleared brush with a rented tractor on land that he rented from the U.S. Forest Service for $350 a year.
Initially, it was a classical station and the first broadcast was a selection from Franz Lehár's Land of Smiles, but they were unable to compete for advertising. As a result the station changed to an all-jazz format and remained as such until 1989 when it converted to classical as a result of KFAC going off the air.
In 2007 KKGO became a country music station due to declining revenues. Although the station is now worth $100 million or more, due in part to the fact that the station has an unusually high-powered output owing to its coming into operation prior to 1962 when U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules were introduced limiting the power of radio transmitters, Levine has refused to sell the business saying that his wife doesn't want him sitting around the house all day.
- Satzman, Darrell (May 5, 2003). "Little guy won't fold in format scrap with Clear Channel station". Los Angeles Business Journal.
- "Indecency standards won't apply to satellite radio". USA Today. December 15, 2004.
- Los Angeles Times (July 19, 2006) "U S A. Classical Station Owner Sticks To Playing Solo"
- Los Angeles Times (Dec. 9., 1963)
- Los Aangeles Times (Nov. 21, 1974) "Dec 6-12 Declared Jazz Week"
- Los Angeles Times (Jan. 22, 1984) "L.A. Radio News War Heating Up"