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US radio station question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Today for the first time I decided to become truly global, and I've been listening to a US radio station called KKJZ which broadcasts out of Long Beach in CA (the wonders of broadband internet connection . . .) It's really weird coz they're talking about morning rush hour traffic and it's half past 3 in the avvie here.

Well when I was searching for a suitable station to listen to, I noticed that ALL the radio stations seem to be a collection of letters.

Do these abreviations stand for something or are they just random letters. Also, a lot of the stations seemed to be affiliated to colleges. Is a lot of radio broadcast out of college campuses?

Is there a 'national' US station (like the BBC in the UK) or are they all just regional?
post #2 of 11
It's 2.37pm actually Sorry had to say that
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Smart Ass!!

Just coz I forgot to turn the clock back on my PC the other week . . . and you had to go and tell the world what a donkey I am

post #4 of 11
The call letters are somewhat random, but the letter W is used as the first letter in the east, and K is used as the first letter in the west. Most colleges have radio stations, but their power is limited as compared to the commercial stations. There is no "national" station like the BBC, but most of the commercial stations in the US are owned by a small number of companies. So, stations across the nation will have the same playlist, the same promotions, etc. I guess it is getting pretty close to being a "national" station.
post #5 of 11
Yes I'm sorry...erm.....yeah I am. :tounge2:
post #6 of 11
That's odd that KKJZ is in Long Beach, as we also have KKJZ here in portland. It's a jazz station. I think the companies may be able to pick the call letters, as in KKJZ=Jazz. Most use their call letters to form a name anyway, like KPMX = Mix 107.5 (80's music)
post #7 of 11
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanx Lhezzza - I'll check that out tomorrow.
post #9 of 11
Yola, I can explain the "K" and "W" thing. KDKA in Pittsburgh was the very first radio station. Why they chose those letters I don't know. However, eventually, all new stations east of the Mississippi River were designated as "W" stations, and those west were to use "K." Those who already had been assigned (or had chosen) their letters were allowed to keep them. So, KDKA kept it's name, despite the new rule.
KDKA, which is 100,000 watts clear air, can be received at night as far as Australia, without shortwave. The first commerical program ever broadcast was the Harding-Cox presidential election in 1920 on KDKA, Pittsburgh. We are quite proud of that accomplishment.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jeanie. I will be trawling the US airwaves (via PC) to check out various stations.

Very few good ones in the UK - Jazz FM, Virgin (sometimes) and good old Radio 4 (for the 'oldies')!!

Hopefully the US has a more diverse selection on offer!
post #11 of 11
Whoops! I exaggerated, but not on purpose. KDKA is 50,000 watts clear channel at 1020 on the AM dial. It's mostly talk radio, which I like. I don't agree with all the daytime guys though, especially Rush Limbaugh. There is KDKA FM also, but I just listen to the classical station, so I can't make any recommendations.
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