Saul Levine: L A radio's independent voice

Saul Levine was born in 1926 in Cheboygan, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, USC Graduate School of Social Work and the University of California School of Law.
He founded KKGO (at first the call letters were KBCA) in 1959, on limited funds, helped greatly by the fact that he was able to buy a used FM transmitter for $1500 from a Michigan station which had gone off the air. The station's original antenna was built in a garage for $300. He cleared brush with a rented tractor on land that he rented from the U.S. Forest Service for $350 a year. Initially, it was a classical station and the first broadcast was a selection from Franz Lehar's Land of Smiles, but they were unable to compete for advertising. As a result the station changed to an all-jazz format and remained as such until 1989 when it converted to classical as a result of KFAC going off the air. In 2007 KKGO became a country music station due to declining revenues. In spite of the fact that the station is now worth $100 million or more, due in part to the fact that the station has an unusually high-powered output owing to its coming into operation prior to 1962 when U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules were introduced limiting the power of radio transmitters, Levine has refused to sell the business saying that his wife doesn't want him sitting around the house all day.
History of KKGO |
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