|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Branding||97.1 AMP Radio|
|Slogan||L.A.'s New Hit Music Channel|
97.1 MHzHD Radio HD-2 for KNX simulcast
|First air date||c. 1954 (as KKLA-FM)|
|Format||Top 40 (CHR)|
|ERP||21,000 watts directional|
|Callsign meaning||"AMP Radio"|
|Former callsigns||KKLA-FM (1954-mid-1960s)
KGBS-FM (mid '60s-August 1978)
KHTZ (September 1978-November 1985)
KBZT (November 1985-September 1986)
KLSX (September 1986-June 2009)
|Sister stations||KCBS-FM, KNX, KROQ-FM, KRTH, KTWV
part of CBS Corp. cluster w/ TV stations KCBS-TV & KCAL-TV
KAMP-FM 97.1 FM, known on-air as 97.1 AMP Radio, is a Top 40 (CHR) radio station in Los Angeles, California. The station is owned by CBS Radio and as with most CBS Radio CHR's, Amp leans rhythmic being modeled after Rhythmic CHR KLUC-FM Las Vegas and Top 40 (CHR) WBBM-FM Chicago. Mediabase and Nielsen BDS lists 97-1 AMP RADIO as a CHR reporter.
The station had long been known as KLSX before the call sign changed on June 30, 2009.
The 97.1 frequency had originally signed on as KKLA-FM and operated under those call letters during the 1950s and early and mid-1960s. In the late 1960s, 97.1 FM became home to KGBS-FM, a country music station when KKLA was purchased by Storer Broadcasting. Since its AM station KGBS 1020 was only authorized to be on the air during daylight hours, this allowed the format to be broadcast 24 hours a day. In the early 1970s, the station experimented with rock 'n' roll and pop music formats before returning to country in 1973, when it adopted the name "Gentle Country". In 1976, KGBS-FM continued with its country music format while its AM sister station switched to a top-40 format. On August 28, 1978, the call letters changed to KHTZ while continuing with its country music format.
On July 31, 1979, Storer, after having sold the AM radio station which was now known as KTNQ 1020 (Ten-Q), moved its top-40 format to 97.1 FM and began broadcasting as KHTZ (K-Hits). For a few hours the two stations simulcasted the signal until KTNQ switched to Spanish language programming at noon. Within a few weeks the station evolved into a more adult contemporary station, leaving top-40 to others for almost 30 years.
On November 27, 1985, the station changed its call letters to KBZT and was known as "K-Best 97".
On September 26, 1986, the station was renamed KLSX and became a classic rock radio station. The call letters KLSX were chosen to sound like the word "classics".
In 1988, the long-running Beatles show Breakfast with the Beatles with host Deirdre O'Donoghue moved here from KNX-FM, a show which she began doing on KMET in 1983. After she died in 2001, the show was taken over by Chris Carter. On September 3, 2006, the station broadcasted the last airing of Breakfast with the Beatles which is now replaced by infomercials that has drawn some local protest. Current host Carter has stated that the departure of Howard Stern can be attributed to why the program is being dropped. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono have all called into the program. In late November 2006, local classic rock KLOS picked up the show, and broadcasts it Sundays, from 8 to 11 am.
On July 21, 1991, the station began to play the syndicated The Howard Stern Show, and took on the slogan "Howard Stern all morning, classic rock all day."
In August 1995, the station changed to an all-talk format on weekdays and went by the moniker "Real Radio 97.1", and had hosts such as Susan Olsen and Ken Ober, Scott Ferrall, Riki Rachtman, Kato Kaelin, Mother Love, Carlos Oscar, and the Regular Guys, the radio duo of Larry Wachs and Eric von Haessler. Howard Stern was critical of this format change and referred to it as "Hindenburg Radio." In 1996, the station dropped the "Real Radio" name and became known as "The FM Talk Station," hired new hosts and in 1997, the station began carrying the syndicated Tom Leykis Show, becoming its flagship station. On April 1, 2002, KLSX temporarily brought back Kato Kaelin and the "Real Radio" slogans and jingles as part of an April Fool's joke.
Tim Conway Jr. and comedy writer Doug Steckler co-hosted the evening show ("The Conway and Steckler Show") until June 2005 when Steckler's contract was not renewed. Funnyman/impressionist Brian Whitman was brought in as Steckler's replacement, and the show was renamed "The Conway and Whitman Show". In addition, two new Free FM stations opened up in California, KSCF in San Diego and KIFR in San Francisco, both of which carried The Tom Leykis Show and The John and Jeff Show. The Frosty, Heidi, and Frank Show was picked up and, until January 2007, was syndicated to the San Diego station. On October 25, 2005, it was announced that Adam Carolla would take over as the station's morning show host in January 2006 due to Howard Stern's departure to satellite radio. On that same day, the station also became known on-air as "97.1 Free FM"--so-called to highlight that its stations broadcast free-to-air, funded by commercials, whereas satellite radio requires a subscription fee.
The year 2007 saw the addition of Danny Bonaduce to The Adam Carolla Show (replacing sportscaster Dave Dameshek), marking the beginning of Bonaduce's career at KLSX. In 2008, he was given his own (local) one-hour show following Frosty, Heidi & Frank, in a timeslot that had been vacant since the departure of entertainment reporter Sam Rubin in 2003. Also in 2008, Brian Whitman unexpectedly left the station in March; as of April 2008, Tim Conway, Jr. hosted the evening show alone. Arsenio Hall was a semi regular guest host with Tim on the Tim Conway Jr show on Wednesday nights in 2008-09.
Hosts of programs under the talk radio format included former KIIS FM disc jockey The Nasty Man, Jonathan Brandmeier aka: Johnny B, KTLA morning host Sam Rubin, Doug Steckler (former partner for Tim Conway Jr.), Edward Tyll otherwise known as simply Ed Tyll, Thom (The) Looney, porn director and star Ed Powers, Sheena Metal (at one time partnered with former model Sam Phillips), comedian Jeffrey Dandurand, Galen Brown and Tina Jordan (both at one time teamed with Kerri Kasem—daughter of Casey Kasem), and Dangerous Dick and Skibba which was on 103.7 Free FM in San Diego.
Weekend programs included the syndicated motorsports show SpeedFreaks, hosted by Emmy Nominated Kenny Sargent, Crash Gladys & Statt Mann Caruthers. SpeedFreaks originated on KLSX in 2000, went to ESPN Radio 710 for 5 years with also a TV version on Speed, ESPN and presently MavTv, before returning to KLSX in 2008 syndicated on over 50 stations; Kim Komando's "tech support" radio program, a dining show hosted by Merrill Schindler, a movie review program hosted by Leo Quiñones, and a show co-hosted by actor C. Thomas Howell and Kirk Fox, and Open House Radio hosted by Howard Cohen.
KLSX was owned by Greater Media until 1997, when Greater Media swapped KLSX and sister station KRLA for three stations: WMMR in Philadelphia, WOAZ in Boston, and WBOS in Boston. The deal enabled Greater Media to operate larger clusters in these two markets while exiting Los Angeles. The swap led KLSX into the ownership of CBS Radio, where it joined radio stations KTWV and KCBS-FM.
On weekends, KLSX played alternative music from 1995 until 1997 when it was acquired by CBS radio. Instead of competing with now sister station KROQ-FM, it was asked to switch to a "Triple-A" format (a blend of album-rock and alternative music that appealed to a 35+ demographic). That format continued on weekends until 1999 when the talk format was expanded to weekends, leaving only Sunday morning's Breakfast with the Beatles as the only program that played music. During that era and prior to being sold (swapped), KLSX boasted the only late-night L.A. talk shows featuring women as hosts: "Dr. X" and subsequently a short-run of "Shrink Rap." KLSX was also the local home of the syndicated show of novelty music host Dr. Demento.
KLSX was the last station to use the Free FM branding, having abandoned the moniker in early October 2008, signaling the official desertion of the Free FM brand nationally by CBS Radio. The program director for KLSX was Jack Silver. The Assistant Program Director and Creative voice of the station was Rich Boerner, who also programmed the weekend music formats.
KLSX was the Los Angeles-area radio home of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. Previously, the station aired games from the Jones Radio Network's Sports USA service and NFL on Westwood One. In 2001, it carried the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL. KLSX has also aired a sports year-in-review show from Westwood One.
For a few weeks prior, speculation began on whether KLSX would be soon switching formats. On February 17, 2009, information started to emerge that KLSX was to drop the hot talk format on Friday, February 20, 2009 and start a Top 40 (CHR) format aimed at younger listeners, taking the 'AMP' format that was created by KROQ-FM program director Kevin Weatherly on KCBS-HD2.
The station's main line up of The Adam Carolla Show, Frosty, Heidi, and Frank, Danny Bonaduce (in a solo spot known as Broadcasting Bonaduce), The Tom Leykis Show, The Tim Conway Jr. Show and The John and Jeff Show were all given advance notice of the format shift and afforded the opportunity to host final shows to explain the situation and say their goodbyes. The last day of 97.1 FM Talk ended Friday at 5:00 PM (PT), giving longtime radio veteran Tom Leykis the final sign-off and the opportunity to "blow up the station" (a radio term for ending a particular format or station run). The AMP Radio format launched with Kanye West's "Paranoid", beginning a commercial-free block of ten thousand songs, similar to the 2004 debut of the current KDAY and Pirate Radio 100.3 (Conway would later reappeared on KFI as weekend afternoon host). The launch of AMP Radio was a clone of CBS Radio's launch of other top 40 stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (WBZW-FM), Houston, Texas (KKHH) and in San Francisco, California (KMVQ-FM).
Previously, AMP Radio was heard on KCBS-FM HD2 and also streamed online; it launched on February 21, 2008. The station had targeted teens and young audiences by playing a mix of popular child friendly artists such as Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and songs from the High School Musical soundtrack and Top 40 artists (Chris Brown, Paramore, Rihanna and Metro Station). With this, CBS Radio eventually looked at moving the AMP Radio format to mainstream radio because it felt that was more cost-effective than the talk format. Eventually, AMP more closely resembled a more mainstream Top 40 format and it was advertised the station on many of the company's radio station websites. Finally, it was launched on KLSX. The company stated that testing AMP Radio on HD 2 and online showed brand loyalty and the success of the format. However, others[who?] alleged that AMP Radio was launched directly to compete with KIIS, which was the number one rated station and top revenue billing station in Los Angeles in order for CBS to gain revenue and in order for other of CBS stations to be able to reach higher numbers, such as KRTH and KCBS. The launch of AMP Radio marks the first Top 40 radio battle since KPWR switched to Hip Hop in 1994. The station regularly pokes fun at KIIS as KQLZ had done 20 years earlier.
The station has since ended its "10,000 Songs In A Row" campaign; however, "Commercial-Free Mondays" are still on the air.
CBS Radio following the launch of AMP, launched "92.3 Now FM" on sister station WXRK in New York. Beasley Broadcasting Group launched "102.7 Now FM" KFRH in Las Vegas, both with similar sounding CHR/Rhythmic/Top 40 formats and there are speculations that many other CBS Radio stations might flip to the similar format. The AMP Radio branding was cloned for the first time on a Calgary radio station in Canada owned by Newcap Broadcasting on June 20, 2009, and in addition, CBS Radio also cloned the AMP Radio branding on a Detroit radio station on October 2, 2009 and a Boston radio station on June 28, 2012.
On June 30, 2009, the station changed its callsign from KLSX to KAMP, to go with the current format, and changed again on July 7, 2009 to KAMP-FM in order to avoid confusion with an AM station with the same callsign.
97.1 AMP Radio currently has a Top 40 (CHR) format. The format is programmed by KROQ-FM and KCBS programming director Kevin Weatherly. However, unlike most CHR/Top 40 stations, AMP Radio is dedicated to feature the most Top 40 popular current artists, an interactive website, ability to create artist specific online radio stations and the ability to use mobile applications.
Michelle from 10 am to 3 pm, Chris Booker from 3 pm to 7 pm, McCabe from 7 pm to midnight, and Seena from midnight to 6 am.
AMP Radio has been enjoying substantial ratings success. In the August PPMs, AMP Radio beat competitor KIIS-FM in the 18-34 demo. As of the November PPMs, AMP Radio is #4 overall in audience share (age 12+) with 3.7% and #3 overall in audience cume (age 12+) with 2,819,800 listeners.
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