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-SURF 1260 / 105.1 HD2: Oldies music
- Retro 105 105.1 HD3: Adult standards
- KKGO 105.1 HD4: soft rock "Lite FM"
- KIDD 630 (Monterey, California): Classical music
- KNRY 1240 (Monterey, California): Oldies music
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.
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. 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.
In 2007 KKGO became a country music station due to declining revenues. 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.
Levine has two children, both of whom are involved in the family business. His son Michael was marketing director for KMZT.
- 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.
- LARadio.com[dead link]
- 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"