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KDIS is a Radio Disney-affiliated radio station licensed to Pasadena, Californiamarker, broadcasting to the Los Angelesmarker area on 1110 kHz AM.

History

The station initially signed on as KPAS in 1942, a station featuring a popular music. In 1945 they took the call sign KXLA, playing country music. On-air personalities included Tennessee Ernie Ford and Stan Freberg. The station originally broadcasted from its El Monte transmitter site, near Santa Anita Ave and the Pomona, or "60" Freeway, in the vicinity of the Peck Road exit.

KRLA (1959-2000)

The station would later become KRLA, "The Big 11-10", on September 3, 1959 and became one of the top radio stations in the Los Angelesmarker area, competing with KFWBmarker and KHJ to be L.A.'s dominant top 40 station. KRLA featured local DJs like Dave Hull (The Hullabalooer), Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg, Emperor Bob Hudson, Ted Quillin, Bill Ballance, Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Sam Riddle, Dick Moreland, Jimmy O'Neill, Wink Martindale, Johnny Hayes. In 1968, news director Lew Irwin created The Credibility Gap which broadcast topical comedy along with the news. In 1969, John Gilliland debuted the Pop Chronicles music documentary. The 1969 film The Model Shop features a radio newscast by Ralph Thompson, KRLA. During the 1960s, the KRLA studio was just off the parking lot of the old Huntington Sheraton Hotel on Paso Robles in Pasadena, making it possible to drop by and watch the on-air DJ do his show. When the station switched to oldies, KRLA was noted for its prominence in Southern California Chicano culture.

The station evolved to an Adult contemporary format by 1982 and focused on Oldies by 1983. They dropped current music in 1984, electing to play the oldies of the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. By the late 1980s the station played many songs recorded prior to 1964 and by the early 1990s played many songs from the 1960s.

During the 1990s, KRLA was authorized to increase nighttime power from 10,000 to 20,000 watts. When the power increase went into effect, KRLA started broadcasting from a new transmitter site in Irwindale, Californiamarker. This is a few miles north of the old El Monte site.

By 1994 KRLA leaned to an Urban Oldies format. KRLA abandoned music entirely in 1998, and went all talk. As a talk station, KRLA featured many cast-offs from KABCmarker, such as Michael Jackson and Ken Minyard.

KSPN (2000-2002)

However, the format was low-rated and the station was sold to Disney, which at first programmed the ESPN Radio format (as KSPN) on December 1, 2000.

KDIS (2003-present)

The station moved to the Radio Disney format from AM 710 to 1110 on January 1, 2003 (a change made reportedly because the 1110 signal could not be heard in Orange County at night, when Anaheim Angels games are played).

Transmitter

The El Monte transmitter building still stands as a shell. The entire inside is burned out, however there are still clues to its' historic past. There are numerous ducts to keep the equipment cool and an underground channel to divert the cooling water for the transmitters. A well nearby supplied the water. Still visible is the wooden archway where the transmission cables gently bent toward underground conduits running to the transmission towers in the nearby field. All that remains of these towers are the 4 concrete bases, still lined in a perfect row.

References

  1. Best of www.laradio.com 1998, by Don Barrett. Valencia, CA: db Marketing, 1999.


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