|Branding||AM 620 KPOJ|
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|Power|| 25,000 watts (day)|
10,000 watts (night)
|Slogan||"Portland's Progressive Talk"|
|Airdate||March 21, 1922|
|Format launch||March 31, 2004|
KPOJ (620 AM) is a news/talk-formatted radio station licensed to Portland, Oregon. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications.
Progressive talk programming
The station carries a full-time progressive talk format and is an original Air America Radio affiliate. Thom Hartmann originates his syndicated show from the KPOJ studios, and is a frequent contributor to the station's morning show.
Influence on other radio stations
The station is noteworthy because it was the first Air America affiliate to be owned by Clear Channel Communications. Its schedule, which also features non-Air America syndicated host Ed Schultz, has served as a template for progressive talk stations nationwide. KPOJ was the first station to call its format "Progressive Talk", a tag that is often used.
Prior to adopting the present format, KPOJ was an oldies station with low Arbitron ratings. Immediately after picking up talk, KPOJ quadrupled their number of listeners, and in its first Arbitron ratings book became the most-listened AM station in the market, particularly among younger listeners coveted by advertisers. Following their success in Portland, Clear Channel rolled out the format and a nearly identical on-air lineup on many of their struggling AM stations in other markets, to mostly modest success.
With the switch to its current format, KPOJ, in just two years, has gone from a low-rated afterthought, with many format and call letter changes over the years, to one of the most influential stations in the country.
Many progressive talk stations around the country, both owned by Clear Channel and by other companies, air a near-identical weekday lineup, consisting of Ed Schultz live, followed by Randi Rhodes via tape delay. Mornings often feature either local (like KPOJ's Thom Hartmann Show) or syndicated programming.
For many years, the station at AM 620 was KGW, founded in 1922 by The Oregonian newspaper and owned and operated by it until 1953, when it was sold to King Broadcasting. KGW affiliated with the NBC network in 1927 and stayed for 29 years until joining ABC Radio in 1956.
Among KGW's early personalities was Mel Blanc, a musician and vocalist featured on the "Hoot Owls" variety program from 1927 to 1933. Here Blanc discovered a talent for character voices that would win him stardom as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and many other Warner Brothers cartoon features.
Under The Oregonian the station gained an AM sister, KEX, in 1933, and the Northwest's first FM station, KGW-FM (now KKRZ), in 1946. King Broadcasting founded KGW-TV in 1956. All three stations continue to exist in Portland, but none have any remaining connection to AM 620.
In 1993, the call letters changed to KINK, then KOTK in 1995, KEWS in 1997, KDBZ in 2000, and KTLK in 2002. The station picked up the current KPOJ call letters on August 18, 2003. For many years and with various formats, the station called itself "Super 62".
The KPOJ call sign originated at what is now KKPZ AM 1330, which for many years was the Mutual Broadcasting System's Portland affiliate. In the 1970s, that station changed its call letters to KUPL. The call letters stand for Portland Oregon Journal, the now-defunct newspaper that once owned AM 1330.
Italics denote ratings under previous format
- Label for KPOJ at ltradio.blogspot.com
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KPOJ
- Radio Locator Information on KPOJ
- Query Arbitron's AM station database for KPOJ
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