KCMO (710 kHz) is an AM radio station licensed to Kansas City, Missouri. Owned by Cumulus Media, the station's studios are located in Mission, Kansas, and the transmitter is in the Kansas City's Northeast side. The station airs a Conservative Talk format. The station broadcasts with 10,000 watts by day and 5,000 watts at night, covering the Kansas City metropolitan area. With a good radio, the station can be heard not just in sections of Missouri and Kansas but also parts of Iowa and Nebraska.

710 AM is a United States clear-channel frequency, on which KIRO and WOR are the dominant Class A stations.

On April 30, 2012 KCMO-AM began simulcasting on FM translator 103.7 K279BI via KCFX-HD2.

Programming

KCMO airs two local shows on weekday mornings and nationally syndicated talk shows the rest of the day, most of which come from the Westwood One Network, a subsidiary of parent company Cumulus Media. Mornings are hosted by Greg Knapp, 6 to 9 a.m., with Tom Becka heard 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The rest of the weekday schedule comes from syndicated shows: Dave Ramsey, Phil Valentine, Mark Levin, John Batchelor, Red Eye Radio, First Light and America in The Morning. Weekends feature shows on money, health, religion, gardening and horses, some of which are brokered programming. Syndicated shows heard on weekends include Larry Kudlow and Bob Brinker.

At various times in its recent history, KCMO has carried hourly newscasts from either CBS Radio News or Fox News Radio. At the beginning of 2015, KCMO and most Cumulus talk stations switched to Westwood One News, a Cumulus network.

History

Early Years

The station started in 1925 by Wilson Duncan Broadcasting on 1370 AM as KWKC. In 1936 it changed its call letters to KCMO (Kansas City Missouri). In 1939 it moved to 1450 AM and then 1480 AM in 1941. In November, 1947 it moved to 810 AM.[2]

Walter Cronkite was a sports announcer at the station in 1936 with the on air name of "Walter Wilcox". While at KCMO, Cronkite met his wife, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell, and later left to become a reporter for United Press International, before becoming a long-time TV anchor for CBS News.

Acquisition by Meredith Corp.

In 1953, television station KCMO-TV (now KCTV) was launched. Meredith Corporation acquired both the radio and television stations in October 1953, less than a month after the television station went on the air. Meredith later acquired what became KCMO-FM, 94.9 FM. In 1978 Meredith built a new facility for its broadcasting stations in Fairway, Kansas. The radio stations were spun off from the television station in 1983. Later, the TV station changed its call letters to KCTV. (Meredith continues to own KCTV to this day.) That year, Richard Fairbanks (a one-time owner of what is today WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia) bought both KCMO and KCMO-FM. The stations were then sold to the Summit Communications Group in 1985, then to the Gannett Company in 1986. Bonneville International, which already owned rival stations KMBZ and KLTH (now KZPT), acquired both KCMO stations in 1993.

Sale to Entercom & Switch to AM 710

In 1997, Bonneville sold its entire Kansas City cluster plus three radio stations in Seattle to Entercom Communications. On October 3, 1998, shortly after Entercom assumed control of the KCMO stations, KCMO-AM swapped frequencies with WHB, with KCMO moving to its present-day dial position of 710 AM and WHB relocating to 810 AM. Due to the way the switch was structured, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers KCMO to be legally the same station as the old WHB. In 2000, Entercom was forced to sell both KCMO stations to Susquehanna Radio after its purchase of Sinclair Broadcasting's Kansas City properties, KQRC-FM, KXTR-FM and WDAF-FM. The acquisition left Entercom two stations over the FCC's single-market ownership limit. Cumulus Media became the owner of both KCMO and its FM sister station in 2006 with its acquisition of Susquehanna.

Changes under Cumulus Ownership

When Cumulus assumed control of the station in mid-2006, local morning host Van Patrick quit on air, apparently upset over the firing of his producer as well as others in the building, during a national layoff of Cumulus employees. On September 12, the station began a new morning show, hosted by Chris Stigall. Stigall has since left the station, being replaced by Rob Carson. Carson was later replaced by Gregg Knapp as morning host.

Former hosts

Controversy

In light of Michael Savage's controversial remarks concerning Islam, a group of 70 representatives from various religious groups including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam gathered in a May 2008 interfaith meeting against alleged bigotry and urged KCMO to drop Savage's program.[3]