Reader DT checks in with a “hi dee hi dee hi dee ho” to 1090 radio in Seattle…
It was 24 years ago today that at 12 Noon, KING-AM dropped it’s talk programming & turned on AP All-News Radio while it was in the process of being sold to KIRO Radio. I do remember when it was a Top-40 station in the ’70s & was known as “Musicradio 11”. It was “Soft Rock & more…” from 1980-82. It was the home of Murdock in the Morning.
Wikipedia history of KING-AM, from about the time the Bullitt’s sold the stations:
On September 2, 1994, at Noon, the station fired all on-air personalities and began carrying AP News’ radio service “All News Radio.” In February 1995, the Bullitts sold the station to Bonneville (the family sold their TV sister station to the Providence Journal Company in 1991), who would then sell it to EZ Communications later that year. The long-running KING call letters would be dropped for KINF, then KKNG shortly after, followed by KNWX. In November 1995, the station swapped formats (but not call letters) with KULL (who was simulcasting KRPM) and became KRPM-AM, an AM simulcast for KRPM-FM/KCIN (now KBKS-FM). The simulcast would continue after KCIN’s flip to Rhythmic AC in March 1996, as well as their shift to Top 40 (CHR) in May 1997. (EZ would merge with American Radio Systems in July 1997; ARS merged with Infinity Broadcasting just two months later in September; Infinity would be renamed CBS Radio in December 2005.) The simulcasting stopped on February 1, 1999, and 1090 flipped to a locally programmed Classic Country station (with a simulcast of KMPS’s morning show). 1090 also carried the call letters KMPS, and then KYCW. The station began broadcasting in AM Stereo in March 2001.
Beginning August 4, 2001, the station ran promos promoting a new format that advised listeners to “listen at their own risk”. At 5 a.m. on Monday, August 6, the station flipped to hot talk as “Extreme Radio 1090” featuring Bob Rivers’ “Twisted Radio” in mornings (who was also simulcasted on KZOK-FM), Jim Rome, Ron and Fez, Opie & Anthony, Don and Mike, and Phil Hendrie. The station was also a Sporting News Radio affiliate. The station’s ratings were abyssmal, usually peaking at a 0.4 share. KYCW would return to classic country at 11 p.m. on May 19, 2002. The station’s second version would include the return of personalites previously heard on the first incarnation of the format, including “Tall” Paul Fredericks from 5-9 AM, Mike Preston from 9-noon, PD Becky Brenner from Noon-3 PM, “Buffalo” Phil Harper from 3-7 PM, and Sheldon Smith from 7-Midnight. The station, however, still had low ratings, usually peaking at a 1.3.
On October 25, 2004, at Midnight, the station flipped to progressive talk and changed call letters to KPTK days later. During its tenure as “Seattle’s Progressive Talk,” KPTK broadcast syndicated progressive/liberal talk programs hosted by personalities such as Ed Schultz, Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman, Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Miller, Leslie Marshall, and Bill Press. KPTK was also the flagship station of Air America Radio’s Ron Reagan Show. Beginning in 2011, KPTK became the flagship station of Seattle Storm and Seattle Thunderbirds broadcasts, though it was met with some controversy. The station’s weekend programming included a mix of specialty syndicated and local programs, such as “The Ric Edelman Show” (a financial advice show), “Ring of Fire”, “Democracy Now!”, “Swirl Radio” (a show targeting the LGBT community), “Community Matters” with CBS Seattle’s director of public affairs and morning traffic reporter Lee Callahan, “Gardening In the Northwest with Scott Conner”, “The Tina and Drew Show”, and “Crash Talk with Mike Harber”.
Logo as “1090 The Fan”, used from January 2, 2013 through February 8, 2018
In July 2012, CBS and Cumulus Media announced a new sports radio network dubbed “CBS Sports Radio” to be launched in January 2013. The initial affiliate list that would carry the network’s full lineup included most of CBS O&O low-performing AM stations (predominantly talk radio stations), while others would be affiliates and carry certain programs and hourly “CBS Sports Minute” updates. After much speculation, on November 14, 2012, CBS announced that KPTK would flip to the new network on January 2, 2013, branded as “1090 The Fan” (this would be further confirmed by the station changing call letters to KFNQ on the same day). This was met with much controversy on the station’s Facebook page, as well as being brought up by several of the station’s hosts. To please displaced listeners, Lakewood radio station KLAY (1180 AM) would announce they would carry Ed Schultz’ and Stephanie Miller’s programs after the station’s flip, as well as KBCS (91.3 FM) picking up Thom Hartmann’s program.
Since the station’s flip to sports, the station aired a local afternoon show hosted by Steve Sandmeyer and Bill Swartz (later replaced by Jason Churchill). However, on July 11, 2015, the show was cancelled, resulting in KFNQ airing the entire CBS Sports Radio program lineup around the clock.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom (which locally owns KHTP, KISW, KKWF, and KNDD). On October 10, CBS Radio announced that as part of the process of obtaining regulatory approval of the merger, KFNQ would be one of sixteen stations that would be divested by Entercom, along with sister stations KJAQ and KZOK (KMPS-FM was retained by Entercom). On November 1, iHeartMedia announced that they would acquire KFNQ, KJAQ and KZOK. To meet ownership limits set by the FCC, KFNY (formerly KFOO) and KTDD (formerly KUBE) were divested to the Ocean Stations Trust in order to be sold to a different owner. Until the completion of the divestment of KFNY and KTDD to the trust, CBS placed KFNQ, KJAQ and KZOK into the Entercom Divestiture Trust. The merger of CBS and Entercom was approved on November 9, and was consummated on the 17th. iHeart then began operating KFNQ under a local marketing agreement. The sale to iHeart was completed on December 19. On February 8, 2018, the station relaunched as a brand extension of sister station KJR and added the Fox Sports Radio programs The Dan Patrick Show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and The Doug Gottlieb Show.
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