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KOMO (AM)

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KOMO
City of license Seattle, Washington
Broadcast Seattle Metropolitan Area
Branding KOMO 1000 News Radio
Slogan The Northwest's News, Traffic & Weather Station
Frequency 1000 (kHz)
First air date 1926
Format All News
ERP 50,000 Watts
Class A
Facility ID 21647
Former callsigns KGFA
Affiliations ABC Radio
Owner Fisher Communications
(Fisher Broadcasting - Seattle Radio, L.L.C.)
Webcast Listen Live to KOMO 1000 News Radio
Website KOMO 1000 News Radio's Website

KOMO (1000 AM) is a radio station based in Seattle, Washington. It's format is primarily news & it's also the flagship station of the Seattle Mariners Radio Network. A 50,000 watt clear-channel station, KOMO can be heard across much of the Western USA & as far north as Fort McMurray, Alberta @ night.

History Edit

In July 1926, KOMO was founded on Harbor Island as KGFA 980 by Birt F. Fisher, whose lease on Seattle radio station KTCL was about to run out & the Fisher brothers of Fisher Flouring Mills (no relation), who had been on the island since 1911. In preparation for the switch to the new station, he changed KTCL's call letters to KOMO. In December, his lease ended & he took the call letters with him to KGFA. KOMO 980's 1st 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 & settled @ 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 @ 1000 kilocycles) & sold KJR off 2 years later. At it's new frequency, KOMO began broadcasting with 50 kilowatts of power from it's current transmitter site on Vashon Island in 1948. New studios @ the corner of Fourth & Denny, near what is now the Seattle Center, were also inaugurated that year & included space for an expansion into TV broadcasting.

In 1953, KOMO-TV took the air on Ch. 4 as an NBC affiliate. Ch. 4 swapped affiliations with KING-TV in 1958 & became an ABC station. KOMO radio followed suit the next year. By 1964, old-line network programming had been phased out & KOMO carried a MOR music format. Long-time morning drive personality Larry Nelson began in 1967. From 1967-1978, KOMO was the original flagship station of the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA with Bob Blackburn on play-by-play. Norm Gregory, formerly of KJR & KZOK, joined the staff as afternoon disk jockey in 1984. KOMO carried a full-service diet of music, personality, news & Washington Huskies sports well into the early '90s. Dayparts gradually changed from music to talk & by 1995, the conversion to news-talk was complete.

In January 1981, former FM Rock Programmer Ken Kohl joined the team @ KOMO & put a fresh coat of paint on this gray lady of the Pacific Northwest. When Kohl arrived the station had fallen from grace & it's ratings languished in the middle of the pack. After building the station's news commitment & implementing KOMO's 1st major marketing effort, Kohl & 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 @ 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 6-year contract for Seattle Mariners play-by-play rumored to be worth @ least $10 million annually, a record for any MLB radio broadcast agreement. To shore up the surrounding broadcast schedule, KOMO dropped it's talk shows & became an all-news station with reports from an enlarged radio news staff & material from KOMO-TV newscasts. Some notable anchors include Bill Yeend, Manda Factor, Eric Slocum (who formerly anchored KOMO-TV's weekend newscasts), Lisa Brooks, Bill Rice & Sue Romero.

Marketing Edit

Slogans Edit

Early 1970s: "From Vancouver (B.C., Canada) to Vancouver (Washington) & from the Olympics to the Cascades, this is KOMO Radio 1000!"

(also) "You're in KOMO Country". Slogan was used with a heavily orchestrated instrumental jingle package from a Canadian studio. The package was called "Big Timber" & was commissioned exclusively for KOMO.

Early 1980s: "A taste of what you're living for, KOMO AM 1000, Seattle!"

Early 1990s: "The station you depend on!"

2002-2005, 2006-2007: "First For Local News, Traffic & Weather." Similar to KOMO-TV's past slogan of "First 4 Local News."

2005-2006: "The commuter's best friend."

2007-present: "The Northwest's News, Traffic & Weather Station."

TV advertising Edit

KOMO regularly advertises on Seattle-area TV stations, including both KOMO-TV & competing stations. KIRO-TV & KING-TV apparently have no issue with the fact that the radio station is owned by the same company that owns Ch. 4, but do take issue with the use of the "KOMO" call sign as an implicit promotion of KOMO-TV. The radio station instead promotes itself as "AM 1000" in ads on KIRO & KING. Some such ads make tongue-in-cheek references to the restriction KOMO "AM 1000" ad on YouTube

External links Edit

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