KGW (radio)

For the original KPOJ at 1330 AM from 1948-1970, see KKPZ. For the radio station in Portland, Oregon at 98.7 FM known as KPOJ-FM from 1948-1968, see KUPL.
KPOJ
City of license Portland, Oregon
Broadcast area Portland metropolitan area and Salem, Oregon
Branding Fox Sports Radio 620
Slogan Portland's Sports Radio
Frequency 620 kHz
First air date March 21, 1922 (as KGW)
Format Sports
Power 25,000 watts (daytime)
10,000 watts (nighttime)
Class B
Facility ID 53069
Transmitter coordinates

45°25′20″N 122°33′57″W / 45.42222°N 122.56583°W / 45.42222; -122.56583Coordinates: 45°25′20″N 122°33′57″W / 45.42222°N 122.56583°W / 45.42222; -122.56583

Callsign meaning Portland Oregon Journal, after the newspaper which once held the callsign.[1][2]
Former callsigns KGW (1922-1993)
KINK (1993-1995)
KOTK (1995-1997)
KEWS (1997-2000)
KDBZ (2000-2002)
KTLK (2002-2003)
Former frequencies 832.7 kHz (3/1922-11/1922)
749.4 kHz (1922-1923)
609.3 kHz (1923-1925)
610 kHz (1925-1928)
Affiliations Fox Sports Radio
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations KKRZ, KKCW, KFBW, KLTH, KXJM, KEX
Webcast Listen Live
Website foxsports620.com

KPOJ (620 AM) is a radio station serving the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Oregon and neighboring Washington. It airs a sports talk format, and is affiliated with Fox Sports Radio. Prior to November 9, 2012, the station aired an influential progressive talk format.[3][4]

History

For more than 70 years, the station at AM 620 was KGW, founded in 1922 by The Oregonian newspaper and owned and operated by it until 1953, when it was sold to King Broadcasting. KGW affiliated with the NBC network in 1927 and stayed for 29 years until joining ABC Radio in 1956.

Among KGW's early personalities was Mel Blanc, a local musician and vocalist featured on the "Hoot Owls" variety program from 1927 to 1933. Here Blanc discovered a talent for character voices that would win him stardom as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and many other Warner Brothers cartoon features.

Under The Oregonian the station gained an AM sister, KEX, in 1933, and the Northwest's first FM station, KGW-FM (now KKRZ), in 1946. King Broadcasting founded KGW-TV in 1956. All three stations continue to exist in Portland, but none have any remaining connection to AM 620.

"62 KGW", as it called itself during its later years under those call letters, was one of the most popular radio stations in Portland in the 1960s and 1970s, but its ratings declined during the 1980s,[5] and on August 28, 1989 the station changed from a Top 40 music format to a talk format, using primarily local hosts.[5] The change did not produce the hoped-for ratings turnaround, and in July 1991 the talk programming was replaced by a simulcast of sister station KINK-FM's programming, but retaining the longstanding and locally well-known call sign, KGW, until 1993, when the call letters were changed to KINK. In 1995, KINK-AM changed back to all-talk, now airing nationally syndicated talk radio programming instead of local talk,[6] and the call letters changed to KOTK. The frequent changing of call letters continued, with the station becoming KEWS ("K-News") in 1997, KDBZ ("The Buzz") in 2000, and KTLK in 2002. The station picked up the current KPOJ call letters on August 18, 2003. For many years and with various formats, the station called itself "Super 62".

The KPOJ call sign originated at what is now KKPZ AM 1330, which for many years was the Mutual Broadcasting System's Portland affiliate. In the 1970s, that station changed its call letters to KUPL. The call letters stand for Portland Oregon Journal, the now-defunct newspaper that once owned AM 1330.

On March 31, 2004, KPOJ flipped to progressive talk. The station was one of the first Air America affiliates, when the political talk network launched in that same month, running the standard Air America rotation of Marc Moran's "Morning Sedition" and other shows featuring Rachel Maddow, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and others, serving as broadcast home for Thom Hartmann with Carl Wolfson and Christine Alexander doing a locally-focused morning show for a time.

The progressive talk format was replaced by sports talk at 5:30 PM on November 9, 2012,[4] three days after the 2012 general election. Fans of the progressive talk radio format immediately started a campaign to "Save KPOJ", with thousands of listeners signing a petition to Clear Channel.[7]

In 2013, KPOJ became the flagship station of the Portland Trail Blazers, replacing sister station KEX. The station had already aired some Blazers games during the 2012–13 season if there were conflicts with KEX's broadcasts of the Oregon State Beavers.[8]

KPOJ is owned by Clear Channel Communications.[4]

File:KPOJ06.png (KPOJ's logo under previous progressive talk format)

References

External links

  • KPOJ Website
  • FCC History Cards for KGW
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for KPOJ
  • Radio-Locator Information on KPOJ
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KPOJ
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