Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc

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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.[1]

They own the following radio stations:

An affiliate organization, Global Jazz, Inc., is the programmer of the California State University, Long Beach Foundation-owned jazz and blues public radio station KKJZ 88.1 FM.

In 2004, Levine filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission 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.[2]

Biography[edit]

Saul Levine was born 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.[3]

He founded KKGO in 1959 (originally KCBA) 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.[3] He cleared brush with a 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 the station was unable to compete for advertising. As a result, it changed to an all-jazz format and remained jazz until 1989 when it switched back to classical as a result of KFAC going off the air.[3]

In 2007 KKGO became a country music station due to declining revenues.[3] Although the station is now worth $100 million or more, Levine has refused to sell the business saying that his wife doesn't want him sitting around the house all day.

In 1963 Levine donated a transmitter and antenna to Valley State College's student-operated station KEDC.[4]

In 1974 Levine participated in Los Angeles Jazz Week which was proclaimed by Mayor Tom Bradley.[5]

In 1984 Levine founded the now-defunct AM all-news station KKAR in Hesperia, California.[6]

Levine has two children, both of whom are involved in the family business. His son Michael was marketing director for KMZT.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Satzman, Darrell (May 5, 2003). "Little guy won't fold in format scrap with Clear Channel station". Los Angeles Business Journal. 
  2. ^ "Indecency standards won't apply to satellite radio". USA Today. December 15, 2004. 
  3. ^ a b c d LARadio.com[dead link]
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times (Dec. 9., 1963)
  5. ^ Los Aangeles Times (Nov. 21, 1974) "Dec 6-12 Declared Jazz Week"
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times (Jan. 22, 1984) "L.A. Radio News War Heating Up"

External links[edit]