Classic LA radio station KFWB sold, to go foreign language

kfwb-jack-harry-warner.jpgThe KFWB call letters have been heard in Los Angeles since 1925, when the AM station was owned by Warner Bros and housed on the Warner studio lot on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The sale reported tonight by Tom Hoffarth in the Daily News says that the station, currently branded as The Beast 980, will become a foreign language station in Mid-February, without other details. That likely means the Clippers and Galaxy will have to find a new radio home, and the end of sports-talk shows featuring Fred Roggin, Jeanne Zelasko, Bill Plaschke, Chris Myers and others. Jim Rome's syndicated sports show also airs on The Beast.

The staff was notified this morning, Hoffarth writes.

KFWB was in a number of AM radio slots before finally landing in 1941 at 980 on the dial, according to LA radio historian Jim Hilliker. Ronald Reagan used to report and announce for the station, and his brother Neil Reagan was for a time the program director. The station at AM 980 became the first Top 40 rock and roll station in Los Angeles after a 1958 format change, featuring deejays such as Bill Ballance, B. Mitchell Reed and Gene Weed, and later familiar LA radio names such as Gary Owens, Sam Riddle, Wink Martindale and Lohman and Barkley, Hilliker writes. KFWB went all-news in 1968, with slogans such as "you give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world," back when the all-news format on AM radio actually tried to deliver a fairly complete local news roundup. Newscasters such as Cleve Hermann, Charlie Sergis and Gary Franklin gave KFWB's news a strong personality in its heyday.

In 2009 KFWB went over mostly to call-in talk radio and in 2014 re-launched as a sports talk station.

Photo of Jack and Harry Warner from Hilliker's online history.

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