KFI (AM)

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(Redirected from KFI AM 640)

KFI is an AM radio station that began operating on March 15, 1922 as one of the United States' first high-powered, "clear channel" stations. The original station used a 50-watt transmitter built by Earle C. Anthony, who operated it from his garage. In its early days, it was typically on the air only four and a half hours a day. The "FI" segment of its call sign was an abbreviation of "farmer's information."

For nearly 20 years during the 1970s and 1980s, KFI boasted one of the most listened-to shows in Los Angeles radio history, "The Lohman and Barkley Show," featuring the comedy duo of Al Lohman and Roger Barkley. During this time, throughout the day the station featured a hybrid format combining middle of the road music with comedian hosts. Other hosts included Hudson and Landry (of "Ajax Liquor Store" fame), Charlie and Mitzi (Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall of Laugh-In), and Gary Owens.

Contents

Programming

KFI's current programming is a talk radio format and is owned by Clear Channel Communications. Syndicated personalities who began on KFI include Bill Handel, Phil Hendrie, and Doctor Laura Schlessinger. Hendrie is now heard on fellow Clear Channel station KLAC. Local programs include Leo Laporte and John and Ken. John and Ken was once syndicated but the show has reverted to being a local program. KFI carries other syndicated programs such as "The Rush Limbaugh Show" and "Coast-to-Coast AM."

Broadcasting

Today, KFI broadcasts from its Burbank, California studios on 640 KHz on a 50,000-watt non-directional AM transmitter which is located in nearby La Mirada. As a class A signal, KFI can be heard throughout Southern California and some distance into Nevada, Arizona, northwestern Mexico, and, at night, in some parts of Hawaii and most of the western United States. According to a May 1, 2004 broadcast by Art Bell, this station can even be heard by sensitive receivers in parts of the Eastern United States. In Summer 2004, KFI became the most listened to talk radio station in the United States, beating New York City's WABC in cumulative audience during the rating period.

FEC Complaint

KFI programming is generally conservative. However, in 2004, the John and Ken show was the subject of a Federal Election Commission complaint filed by the National Republican Congressional Committee alleging that John and Ken engaged in an illegal campaign against Congressman David Dreier. Although the large amount of publicity received was quite amazing, the "Political Human Sacrifice" as they dubbed it was not successful, since David Dreier was re-elected, albeit by a substantially smaller percentage than past terms.

Tower Destroyed

On Sunday, December 19, 2004 at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Jim and Mary Ghosoph were killed when their rented Cessna 182P single engine airplane travelling from the El Monte Airport to Fullerton Municipal Airport struck KFI's 760' Ideco transmission tower, originally erected in 1948. The solid steel truss collapsed upon itself, mostly landing in a parking lot to the north of the site. KFI's signal was knocked off the air for approximately one hour. Pilots have complained for years to KFI management that it needs to put strobe lights on the tower and highly reflective balls on the guy wire, KFI and Clear Channel Communications management responded by saying the tower was in compliance with FCC and FAA regulations and that it did not need to make any changes. Until a replacement tower is erected, the station is transmitting from a 250-foot auxiliary tower at a power of 22,500 watts.

Former hosts and on-air alumni

April Winchell - Hosted a variety talk show from 2000 until 2002

Scott and Casey- A live call-in talk show, hosted by Scott Hasick and Casey Bartholomew, aired from 1994-1997, and again from 1998-1999. They exited KFI in 1999, for weekday afternoons on New Jersey 101.5

External links

Transmission Tower: Template:Mapit-US-cityscale

Template:US-bcast-stub

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