KXPA (1540 AM) is a radio station serving the Seattle metropolitan area. It is part of the much larger, nationwide Multicultural Radio Broadcasting network. It is one of 30 stations in owner Arthur Liu's empire of stations, which cater to minority and immigrant communities with programs in their native languages. Most of the stations have multi-language, "brokered" formats. That means they sell their airtime in "blocks," which are usually by the hour. The clients who buy time on the station are free to use it as they please, as long as it fits with federal regulations and restrictions.
The station first went on the air in 1965 as KBVU with a jazz format, later going dark in 1967, and then the 1540 frequency was purchased by Kemper Freeman so his KFKF (then located at 1330 AM) could move to 1540 and be a 24-hour operation, instead of the daytime-only operation of 1330. It then became KFKF, and after an ownership change to Stewart Ballinger in 1972, it became KBES, all with an MOR format, and was co-owned with 92.5 FM. In 1979, after the stations were purchased by Sandusky Newspapers, the AM became KZAM-AM with a "Rock of the 80's" (new wave) format, the first of its kind in the Seattle market. (Its notable FM sister station aired a progressive rock format until July 1983, when it flipped to adult contemporary.) In March 1981, KZAM-AM became all-jazz formatted KJZZ. In 1985, it became KLSY-AM, with a format that would now be called Hot adult contemporary, albeit automated, before becoming a simulcast of its FM sister a year later. In January 1992, due to Sandusky's purchase of KIXI, and the FCC's ownership limits enforced at the time, KLSY-AM was sold to new owners and became KBLV, with a classic country format as "Country Gold", and formed a network by simulcasting with KJUN and KJUN-FM in Tacoma, KENU in Enumclaw, KTOL in Olympia, and KWYZ in Everett. In early 1996, the Country Gold Network discontinued operations due to financial distress, with all stations being put up for sale. KBLV would be sold to new owners and flipped to an Urban AC format that year. The format wouldn't last long; in late 1996, after the station was sold to Personal Achievement Radio, 1540 AM adopted an all-advice talk format from the "Motivation Talk Network." The KXPA call letters would be adopted on January 31, 1997. It was later sold, and flipped first to the "Z-Spanish" radio network, and then, in October 2000, to its current multicultural format.