by Alex Cosper
see also American Radio History
STATION HISTORY: KABC KBBQ KBIG KBLA KDAY KEZY KFAC KFOX KFWB KGBS KGFJ KGIL KHJ KIEV KIIS KIQQ KKBT KKDJ KLAC KLOS KLSX KMET KMPC KNAC KNX KOST KPOL KPPC KPWR KQLZ KRLA KROQ KRTH KSRF KTNQ KTWV KUTE KWST KZLA XPRS
KZLA was a country station for many years on both AM and FM. The 93.9 frequency originally belonged to KPOL in 1958, which was a simulcast of its sister station KPOL 1540 AM. The format flipped from easy listening to soft rock as "94 FM" after the station was purchased by Capital Cities Communications in 1977. In 1978 the FM call letters changed to KZLA then in 1979 the AM also changed to KZLA as a simulcast.
In 1980 the KZLA combo shifted to country music. In 1983 country competitor KHJ flipped to adult contemporary while KLAC remained country. KZLA benefitted in the ratings from the reduced competition. In 1984 Capital Cities sold the AM to Spanish Broadcasting System, which changed the call letters to KSKQ. That same year Malrite Communications purchased KZLA FM. By 1994 KZLA was the only L.A. station playing country music.
In the 90s the FM's ownership changed from Shamrock Broadcasting in 1994 to Chancellor Media in 1996, Evergreen Media the following year due to a merger and Bonneville in 1998. The station leaned more classic country for awhile until Emmis Communications bought the station in 2000. The format flipped to rhythmic adult contemporary KMVN, "MOViN 93.9" on August 17, 2006. For awhile afterward KZLA was an internet-only station. In 2009 the format flipped to Spanish adult contemporary as KXOS, "Exitos 93.9." Branding changed to "Radio Centro 93.9" in 2014.
John Sebastian told Playlist Research on January 26, 2018, "In 1996, I was program director of KZLA. Doing country in perhaps the least 'country friendly' major market in the nation was difficult but I love big challenges. We rose from a cume, over all listenership, of 400,000 to 750,000 and had the highest shares and highest ranking in KZLA's history. And certainly country radio has never approached what we did during my 'radical' version of country. We dared to play a lot of country rock blended into the top country songs and artists of the day ... artists like The Eagles, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne and many others."
1979-1979 Brent Seltzer
1981-1994 Stoney Richards
1987-1989 John Driscoll
1995-1996 Chris Leary
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