KNWN – New Call Letters for AM 1000 / 97.7 FM

Northwest News station AM 1000 & 97.7 FM will no longer be K-O-M-O. The radio station retires their legacy call letters after Sinclair sold the stations to Lotus.

1000 KOMO (News–ABC) Lotus Communications -SEATTLE
“What happens NEXT, happens HERE.” KOMO positioner [2012] – KTCL, leased by Birt Fisher in early 1925, using the old KFQX facilities. [1926 KTCL became KOMO in preparation of Fisher’s lease on another station in Seattle. KOMO then moved to a new frequency, replacing what had been KGFA. Then, the KTCL call letters were assigned again to the old KFQX facilities. KTCL went dark, shortly thereafter – KTCL was purchased and renamed KXA, by Vincent Kraft in 1927, after he sold KJR. The new station, with new state of the art studios and equipment, operated from the Bigelow Building in Seattle. The closer tie to bootlegger Roy Olmstead’s KFQX, was that Birt Fisher leased the old KFQX facilities for his station, KTCL “The Charmed Land.” KTCL became KOMO, until those call letters were moved to replace Harbor Island station KGFA. There were several frequency, facility and call letter changes for the old KFQX. If any station is more directly tied to Olmstead’s KFQX, it might be KOMO. KOMO 980’s first broadcast was December 31, 1926. Studios moved to Downtown in 1927. The station also began a long-running affiliation with NBC that year as well, primarily with the Red Network, but also with the short-lived west coast Orange Network from 1931 to 1933. Over the following years, KOMO’s frequency would go from 980 to 1080, back to 980, down to 920, up to 970, then back to 920, and settled at 950 after the NARBA frequency shakeup in 1941.
Fisher’s Blend Station, owner of KOMO, bought NBC-Blue affiliate KJR from the network in 1941. In 1944, KOMO switched frequencies with KJR (then at 1000 kilocycles) and sold KJR off two years later. At its new frequency, KOMO began broadcasting with 50 kilowatts of power from its current transmitter site on Vashon Island in 1948. New studios at the corner of Fourth and Denny, near what is now the Seattle Center, were also inaugurated that year and included space for an expansion into television broadcasting. KOMO eventually moved to Fisher Plaza, near the intersection of 4th Avenue North and Denny Way. Fisher Communications sold their TV and radio properties to Sinclair Broadcast Group in August 2013. Sinclair sold KOMO A/F, KVI-A, KPLZ-F to Lotus Communications in June 2021.

This building was completed in 1948, expanded in 1975, and demolished in 2000 to make way for building 2 of the Fisher Plaza complex.In 1953, KOMO-TV took the air on Channel 4 as an NBC affiliate. Channel 4 swapped affiliations with KING-TV in 1958 and became an ABC station. KOMO radio followed suit the next year. By 1964, old-line network programming had been phased out and KOMO carried a MOR music format. Long-time morning drive personality Larry Nelson began in 1967. From 1967 to 1978, KOMO was the original flagship station of the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association with Bob Blackburn on play-by-play. Norm Gregory, formerly of KJR and KZOK, joined the staff as afternoon disk jockey in 1984. KOMO carried a full-service diet of music, personality, news and Washington Huskies sports well into the early ’90s. Dayparts gradually changed from music to talk and by 1995, the conversion to news-talk was complete.
In January 1981 former FM Rock Programmer Ken Kohl joined the team at KOMO and put a fresh coat of paint on this gray lady of the Pacific Northwest. When Kohl arrived the station had fallen from grace and its ratings languished in the middle of the pack. After building the station’s news commitment and implementing KOMO’s first major marketing effort, Kohl and his KOMO team inched to within a tenth of a point of market leader KIRO. In January 1987 Kohl departed Seattle for KFI Los Angeles. For the next several years, KOMO unsuccessfully attempted to directly compete with market leader KIRO. Following an outcry from loyal fans following his firing at KIRO-FM (“The Buzz 100.7”) in 1999, local comedian Pat Cashman took over as morning-drive host. In late 2002, Fisher Communications announced a six-year contract for Seattle Mariners play-by-play rumored to be worth at least $10 million annually, a record for any Major League Baseball radio broadcast agreement. To shore up the surrounding broadcast schedule, KOMO dropped its talk shows and became an all-news station with reports from an enlarged radio news staff and material from KOMO-TV newscasts. Some notable anchors include Bill Yeend, Manda Factor, Brian Calvert (who also works as a reporter and weathercaster on KOMO-TV), Lisa Brooks, Bill Rice, Art Sanders, Nancy Barrick.
It was announced on May 11, 2009 that KOMO will be simulcast on KFMY, an FM station in Oakville, starting on May 15, 2009. The station is now known as “KOMO Newsradio.” KFMY changed its call letters to KOMO-FM in August 2009 to reflect the new ownership of the station and the simulcast. The move was made to improve KOMO’s daytime coverage in the southern part of the market. Fisher Broadcasting has stated that there are currently no plans to move KOMO Newsradio to the FM band only, as Bonneville did with KIRO earlier in the year. [wikipedia] 97.7 eventually began simulcasting AM 1000 News. Fisher Communications sold their TV and radio properties to Sinclair Broadcast Group in August 2013. Sinclair sold all the Seattle radio holdings to Lotus Communications in June 2021. Those stations were KVI 570, KOMO 1000/KOMO FM 97.7 and 101.5 KPLZ. The deal did not include use of the KOMO call letters for radio. As of June 2021. it is speculated that Lotus, being heavily into support of Spanish language stations, might flip one of the Seattle stations to a Regional Mexican format.
Personalities: KOMO: Personalities: KOMO: Bruce Vanderhoof, Gil Henry, Larry Nelson, Dick Cross, Al Cummings, Bill McDonald, Bill Chase, Don Allen, Jay Ward, Rod Hammett, Nick Lacy, Larry Walker, Eric McKaig, Don Cannon, Don Chapman, Katherine Wise, Lisa Foster, Keith Jonasson, Norm Gregory, Joe Coburn, Bob Rondeau, Gary Johnson, Keith Shipman, Clint Jones, Bob Gillespe, Buddy Webber, Jaynie Dillon, Jon Ballard, Harry Sloane (News), Ed Ives, Dick Goodman, Dick Courier, Lloyd Allan, Gary Hoffman, Mike Hamilton, Stan Orchard, Gina Tuttle, Lee Sommerstein, Heather Bosch, Lee Duncan, Brian Gregory, Bill Yeend, Manda Factor, Lee Hall, Tom Hood, Tim Hunter, Bob Mathers, Bryan Johnson [news], Bill Rice, New York Vinnie Richichi, Gregg Hersholt, Herb Weisbaum, Jane Shannon, John Carlson, Ken Schram

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks
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14 thoughts on “KNWN – New Call Letters for AM 1000 / 97.7 FM

  1. You know I like the idea of Como radio becoming a new station at that time period what basically how this is all going to work out is simple I’m glad to see that their retiring the old call letters KOMO you know after 95 years. I think it is time for a fresh change. As in new call letters and basically the same format. I think it would be better for everyone. And I cannot wait until they put up the information about this because come February 2nd 20/22 which is a Wednesday I’ll be prepared to listen in for the new format or shall we say the new callers what I was trying to say. I think it should be the way they are. But basically we’ll still have the same personalities that we’re all accustomed to. And that’s what I like about the old station. But with new call letters and a new name northwest news radio it should sound a whole lot better, 1000 news and 97 7 fm.

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