KAMP-FM (97.1 FM, 97.1 AMP Radio) - is a Top 40 (CHR) radio station in Los Angeles, California. The station is owned by CBS Radio and currently programmed by Kevin Weatherly. The station has studios at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles, and the transmitter is based on Mount Wilson. The station also broadcasts an HD2 subchannel and simulcasts sister station KNX (AM).
KAMP-FM is one of two Top 40 stations in the Los Angeles area, the other being KIIS-FM.
The station had originally signed on as KKLA-FM and operated under those call letters during the 1950s and early mid-1960s. In the late 1960s, 97.1 FM became home to KGBS-FM, a country music station when KKLA was purchased by Storer Broadcasting. Since its AM station KGBS 1020 was only authorized to be on the air during daylight hours, this allowed the format to be broadcast 24 hours a day. In the early 1970s, the station experimented with rock 'n' roll and pop music formats before returning to country in 1973, when it adopted the name "Gentle Country". In 1976, KGBS-FM continued with its country music format while its AM sister station switched to a top-40 format. On August 28, 1978, the call letters changed to KHTZ while continuing with its country music format.
97.1 K-Hits/K-Best 97
On July 31, 1979, Storer, after having sold the AM radio station which was now known as KTNQ 1020 (Ten-Q), moved its top-40 format to 97.1 FM and began broadcasting as KHTZ (K-Hits). For a few hours the two stations simulcasted the signal until KTNQ switched to Spanish language programming at noon. Within a few weeks the station evolved into a more adult contemporary station, leaving top-40 to others for almost 30 years. On November 27, 1985, the station changed its call letters to KBZT and was known as "K-Best 97".
To demonstrate the vastness of the station's on-air library, they advertised no-repeat workdays. The correct caller could win a prize for identifying the one song per day that was intentionally played twice. Additionally, the station hosted an annual event where the entire library was played by artist A-Z during weekday hours, a playlist that ran about 100 hours.
Whenever Neil Young's song "Southern Man" was played, it was always followed by Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home, Alabama".
In 1988, the long-running Beatles show Breakfast with the Beatles with host Deirdre O'Donoghue moved here from KNX-FM, a show which she began doing on KMET in 1983. After she died in 2001, the show was taken over by Chris Carter. On September 3, 2006, the station broadcast the last airing of Breakfast with the Beatles which is now replaced by infomercials that has drawn some local protest. Current host Carter has stated that the departure of Howard Stern can be attributed to why the program is being dropped. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono have all called into the program. In late November 2006, local classic rock KLOS picked up the show, and broadcasts it Sundays, from 8 to 11 am.
On July 21, 1991, the station began to air the syndicated The Howard Stern Show, and took on the slogan "Howard Stern all morning, classic rock all day."
Real Radio/Free-FM/97.1 FM Talk
On July 31, 1995, the station changed to an all-talk format on weekdays and went by the moniker "Real Radio 97.1", and had hosts such as Susan Olsen and Ken Ober, Scott Ferrall, Riki Rachtman, Kato Kaelin, Mother Love, Carlos Oscar, Voxx, and the Regular Guys, the radio duo of Larry Wachs and Eric von Haessler. Howard Stern was critical of this format change and referred to it as "Hindenburg Radio." In 1996, the station dropped the "Real Radio" name and became known as "The FM Talk Station," hired new hosts and in 1997, the station began carrying the syndicated Tom Leykis Show, becoming its flagship station. On April 1, 2002, KLSX temporarily brought back Kato Kaelin and the "Real Radio" slogans and jingles as part of an April Fool's joke.
KLSX was owned by Greater Media until 1997, when Greater Media swapped KLSX and sister station KRLA for three stations: WMMR in Philadelphia, WOAZ in Boston, and WBOS in Boston. The deal enabled Greater Media to operate larger clusters in these two markets while exiting Los Angeles. The swap led KLSX into the ownership of CBS Radio, where it joined radio stations KTWV and KCBS-FM.
On weekends, KLSX played alternative music from 1995 until 1997 when it was acquired by CBS. Instead of competing with now sister station KROQ-FM, it was asked to switch to a "Triple-A" format (a blend of album-rock and alternative music that appealed to a 35+ age demographic). That format continued on weekends until 1999, when the talk format was expanded to weekends, leaving Sunday morning's Breakfast with the Beatles as the only program that played music. During that era and prior to being sold, KLSX boasted the only late-night L.A. talk shows featuring women as hosts: "Dr. X" and subsequently a short-run of "Shrink Rap." KLSX was also the local home of the syndicated show of novelty music host Dr. Demento.
Tim Conway Jr. and comedy writer Doug Steckler co-hosted the evening show ("The Conway and Steckler Show") until June 2005, when Steckler's contract was not renewed. Funnyman/impressionist Brian Whitman was brought in as Steckler's replacement, and the show was renamed "The Conway and Whitman Show". In addition, two new Free FM stations opened up in California, KSCF in San Diego and KIFR in San Francisco, both of which carried The Tom Leykis Show and The John and Jeff Show. The Frosty, Heidi, and Frank Show was picked up and, until January 2007, was syndicated to KSCF.
KLSX was the Los Angeles-area radio home of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. Previously, the station aired games from the Jones Radio Network's Sports USA service and NFL on Westwood One. In 2001, it carried the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL. KLSX has also aired a sports year-in-review show from Westwood One.
On October 25, 2005, it was announced that Adam Carolla would take over as the station's morning show host in January 2006 due to Howard Stern's departure to satellite radio. On that same day, the station also became known on-air as "97.1 Free FM"—so-called to highlight that its stations broadcast free-to-air, funded by commercials, whereas satellite radio requires a subscription fee.
2007 saw the addition of Danny Bonaduce to The Adam Carolla Show (replacing sportscaster Dave Dameshek), marking the beginning of Bonaduce's career at KLSX. In 2008, he was given his own (local) one-hour show following Frosty, Heidi & Frank, in a timeslot that had been vacant since the departure of entertainment reporter Sam Rubin in 2003. Also in 2008, Brian Whitman unexpectedly left the station in March. Tim Conway, Jr. ended up hosting the evening show alone. Arsenio Hall was a semi regular guest host with Tim on the Tim Conway Jr show on Wednesday nights in 2008-09.
KLSX was the last station to use the Free FM branding, having abandoned the moniker in early October 2008, signaling the official desertion of the Free FM brand nationally by CBS Radio. The program director for KLSX at this time was Jack Silver. The Assistant Program Director and Creative voice of the station was Rich Boerner, who also programmed the weekend music formats.
97-1 AMP Radio
For a few weeks prior, speculation began on whether KLSX would be soon switching formats. On February 17, 2009, information started to emerge that KLSX was to drop the hot talk format on February 20 and flip to a Top 40 (CHR) format aimed at younger listeners, taking the 'AMP' format that was created by KROQ-FM program director Kevin Weatherly on KCBS-HD2.
The station's main line up of The Adam Carolla Show, Frosty, Heidi & Frank, Danny Bonaduce (in a solo spot known as Broadcasting Bonaduce), The Tom Leykis Show, The Tim Conway Jr. Show and The John and Jeff Show were all given advance notice of the format shift and afforded the opportunity to host final shows to explain the situation and say their goodbyes.
"97.1 FM Talk" ended on February 20 at 5:00 PM (PT), giving longtime radio veteran Tom Leykis the final sign-off and the opportunity to "blow up the station" (a radio term for ending a particular format or station run).
"AMP Radio" then launched with Paranoid by Kanye West (which coincidentally was also playing on its new rival KIIS at the same time), beginning a commercial-free block of 10,000 songs, similar to the 2004 debut of the current KDAY and Pirate Radio 100.3 (Conway would later reappear on KFI as a weekend afternoon host). The launch of AMP Radio was a clone of CBS Radio's launch of other top 40 stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (WBZW-FM), Houston, Texas (KKHH) and in San Francisco (KMVQ-FM). The launch of AMP Radio marked the first Top 40 radio battle in Los Angeles since KPWR switched to Hip Hop in 1994.
On June 30, 2009, the station changed its callsign to KAMP to go with the current format, and changed again on July 7, 2009 to KAMP-FM in order to avoid confusion with an AM station with the same callsign.
AMP Radio currently ranks at #11 (2.9 share) in the Los Angeles market according to the December 2015 PPM Ratings release.
On-air staff & programming
The current lineup (as of August) is as follows: