Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters
Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc., a subsidiary of Mt. Wilson Broadcasting Inc., is a Los Angeles-based radio broadcasting company owned by Saul Levine. The company was founded in 1959, and Levine is the only independent operator of an FM commercial radio station in Los Angeles, that being KKGO, today.
Mount Wilson owns the following radio stations:
Levine established KKGO in 1959 (originally KCBA) 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 tractor on land that he rented from the U.S. Forest Service for $350 a year. Initially, KKGO was a classical station and the first broadcast was a selection from Franz Lehár's Land of Smiles. But the station was unable to compete for advertising. As a result, it changed to an all-jazz format and remained jazz until 1989 when it switched back to classical as a result of KFAC going off the air.
In 2004, Levine filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission to force the government to impose indecency standards on satellite radio, a move Levine alleged would "level the playing field" between terrestrial and satellite radio. Ultimately, this failed.
In 2007, KKGO adopted a country music format due to declining revenues. Although the station is now worth at least $100 million, Levine has refused to sell the business, saying that his wife doesn't want him sitting around the house all day.
Levine has two children, both of whom are involved in the family business. His son Michael was marketing director for KMZT.
- "Saul Levine: FM Radio Pioneer". The Telos Alliance. Cleveland, Ohio: TLS Corp. July 31, 2004. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Satzman, Darrell (May 5, 2003). "Little guy won't fold in format scrap with Clear Channel station". Los Angeles Business Journal.
- LARadio.com[dead link]
- Los Angeles Times (Dec. 9., 1963)
- Los Angeles Times (Nov. 21, 1974) "Dec 6-12 Declared Jazz Week"
- Los Angeles Times (Jan. 22, 1984) "L.A. Radio News War Heating Up"
- "Indecency standards won't apply to satellite radio". USA Today. December 15, 2004.