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Los Angeles Radio History: 1940s
by Alex Cosper


Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


see also American Radio History


The radio dial radically changed across American cities in the early 1940s thanks to an FCC mandate that reorganized the AM dial. In the forties four big national networks dominated the radio industry. The network affiliations were KECA (790 AM, ABC), KFI (640 AM, NBC), KNX (1070 AM, CBS) and KHJ (930 AM, Mutual-Don Lee). All four stations began in the first decade of commercial radio, the 1920s. KFI and KHJ were among the earliest licensees in 1922. KHJ's call letters originally stood for "kindness, happiness and joy."

After several years of frequent changes on the dial due partly to FCC regulations, Los Angeles AM radio began to take a more consistent shape in the the early forties. Other stations besides the big network affiliates included KMTR (570), KIEV (870), KFWB (980), KFVD (1020), KPAS (1110 AM), KFSG (1230), KPPC (1240) and KFAC (1330). Long Beach stations KFOX (1280) and KGER (1390) could also be heard in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles was an early testing ground for FM stations in the late 1930s. Some of the early FMs included KNX, which was owned by CBS and KGFJ, owned by Ben S. McGlashan. Both stations operated at low power. In 1941 the Don Lee System was granted an a frequency at 99.7 FM, marking the birth of KHJ-FM, which was the sister station to the popular AM station. Later in the decade it moved to 101.1 FM. The FM dial in 1948 also included KUSC (91.5), KNX-FM (93.1), KECA-FM (95.5), KRKD (96.3), KKLA (97.1), KMPC (100.3), KFAC-FM (104.3), KCLI (105.1) and KFI-FM (105.9). Within the next ten years the FM dial went through a complete makeover.

Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s





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