World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ktar (am)

City of license Phoenix, Arizona
Broadcast area Phoenix metropolitan area
Branding ESPN Phoenix 620 AM
Frequency 620 kHz
First air date 1922 (as KFAD)
Format Sports
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 52515
Callsign meaning Keep Taking the Arizona Republic (reference to co-ownership with The Arizona Republic at one point)
Former callsigns KFAD (1922-1929)
KREP (1929-1930)
Affiliations ESPN Radio
Owner Bonneville International
Sister stations KMVP, KMVP-FM, KTAR-FM
Webcast Listen Live

KTAR (620 AM) is the callsign for a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona. It airs programming from ESPN Radio, in addition to KMVP-FM-acquired broadcast rights for local teams, and became a full affiliate of ESPN Radio effective September 15th. KTAR is owned by Bonneville International Corporation. Its studios are located in Phoenix near Squaw Peak and its transmitter is near the corner of 36th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix.

KTAR was the exclusiveflagship station of the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona State University Sun Devils' football games, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. KTAR airs certain local teams games in case of conflict of games with KMVP-FM.


  • History 1
    • KTAR 1.1
      • 1920s to 1979: Early history 1.1.1
      • 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s 1.1.2
      • 2006: Move to FM 1.1.3
      • 2007 onward: Sports 620 KTAR 1.1.4
  • Awards 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4



1920s to 1979: Early history

KTAR began in June 1922 as KFAD, Arizona's first radio property. In 1929, the station was purchased by the owners of the major newspaper in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic, who changed the call letters to KREP (for REPublic). In 1930, the call letters changed to the present KTAR (for "Keep Taking the Arizona Republic"). [1][2]

In the early 1930s, KTAR collaborated with the Phoenix Union High School and the Phoenix Adult School to present the KTAR School of the Air. An article in Broadcasting magazine recognized the program's success after two years' operation, noting that in 1932 students "were scattered in 61 Arizona cities and towns and in California, New Mexico, Utah and other adjacent areas in the southwest ... [including] many of the disabled World War veterans quartered in the veterans' hospitals at Prescott and Tucson."[1]

From 1939 to 1975, KTAR was the flagship of a statewide radio network called the "Arizona Broadcasting System"; this network had affiliates in key Arizona towns and cities such as Tucson, Globe, Prescott and Yuma.

In 1944, the Republic sold KTAR to Chicago, Illinois advertiser John J. Louis, Sr. In 1955, Louis bought two-year-old KTYL-TV (channel 12), Phoenix' second television station, from Harkins Theatres, and changed the call letters to KVAR-TV. In 1959, KVAR-TV became KTAR-TV. The same year, the stations moved to a new studio on Central Avenue in Phoenix. The Louis family bought several other broadcasting interests in the 1960s. Eventually, the Louis broadcasting interests became known as Pacific & Southern Broadcasting, headquartered in Phoenix with KTAR-AM-FM-TV as the flagship stations.

In 1968, Pacific & Southern merged with a local billboard advertising business owned by Karl Eller and became known in 1973 as Combined Communications Corporation. John J. Louis Jr. was Chairman of the new Company and Karl Eller the CEO.

In 1979, after Louis and Eller merged their media empire with Gannett in what was then the largest media merger in U.S. history. The FCC barred Gannett from keeping both the radio stations and KTAR-TV (now KPNX). KTAR was acquired by Pulitzer Publishing Company, the then-owners of Tucson's major morning newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star. KPNX kept the Central Avenue studio.

At the start of 2011, KPNX moved from its location on Central Avenue, where the station had been since 1959, to the building that houses the Arizona Republic at 200 East Van Buren in downtown Phoenix.

1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s

The station was purchased by Hearst-Argyle in 1999, then Emmis Communications in 2001, and in 2004 by Bonneville as part of a multi-station swap with Emmis. [3] Ironically, when it was sold to Bonneville, it began a news-sharing relationship with KPHO-TV: it was once sister to rival KPNX.

2006: Move to FM

In 2006, Bonneville bought another Emmis property, CHR formatted KKFR-FM 92.3, licensed to Glendale, with intents to simulcast the AM property. KKFR would become KTAR-FM to match its new ownership. On 18 September of that year, KTAR started the simulcast.[2][3] KKFR's intellectual property was sold to Riviera Broadcast Group. In turn, Riviera bought KKLD in Prescott Valley, which was moved to Mayer in order to put in a better signal to Phoenix. The result was a new KKFR on 98.3 FM. The simulcast continued until 1 January 2007, when 92.3 became the home of the news/talk format and the format of ESPN Radio-affiliated KMVP moved to 620.[4] Both stations retained the KTAR call letters.

2007 onward: Sports 620 KTAR

The last sports event carried on News 620 KTAR was the Arizona Cardinals facing the San Diego Chargers on 31 December 2006. In contrast, the first event carried on Sports 620 KTAR was the Fiesta Bowl between the Boise State Broncos and the Oklahoma Sooners on 1 January 2007.

Until April 14, 2007, KTAR used to simulcast on KMVP at 860 kHz, also owned by Bonneville.

While KMVP aired an extensive lineup of shows from ESPN Radio, KTAR has decided to air mostly local shows. For example, only the first two hours of Mike and Mike in the Morning is aired on Sports 620. KTAR does air ESPN Radio play-by-play if the schedule allows.

On January 6th, 2014, KPKX became an FM simulcast of KTAR, and 620 AM changed its name to Arizona Sports Now On 98.7. Due to there already being a KTAR-FM on 92.3, the callsign of 98.7 was changed to KMVP-FM about a week later. On July 10th, 2014, owners Bonneville Broadcasting announced Arizona Sports would move exclusively to 98.7 effective September 15th. KTAR-AM then became a full affiliate of ESPN Radio as ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.


The station was one of ten stations awarded the 2007 Crystal Radio Award for public service awarded by the National Association of Broadcasters.[5] Winners were honored at the Radio Luncheon on April 17, 2007, during the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.


  1. ^ "Radio Education That Has Succeeded". wpbc. August 15, 1932. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Arthur, Diane (12 July 2006). "KTAR plans September launch of AM-FM simulcast". 
  3. ^ [4]
  4. ^ [5]
  5. ^ "NAB Announces Crystal Radio Awards Winners". National Association of Broadcasters. 2007-04-17. 

External links

  • KTAR official website
  • Bonneville International
  • Query the FCC's AM station database for KTAR
  • Radio-Locator Information on KTAR
  • Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KTAR

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.