On November 14, 1988 it was announced “The Flatiron Building” built in 1916 and housing KEY Studios was recently declared a Portland Landmark. In December 1988 Carl Daly was on KEY 1:00pm to 4:00pm and Mike Lee 4:00pm to 7:00pm. On February 4, 1989 “Sue ‘The Astrologer’ (Owens) began her new show on Saturdays 2:00pm to 4:00pm. On March 16, 1989 “The Flatiron Building” was placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. On November 21, 1989 it was announced Ed Anderson (formerly on KEX) would begin doing Middays. By February 1990 Carol Simitachi was on KEY Radio 9:00am to Noon, Sylvester Hendricks 2:00pm to 4:00pm & Robert Allen 6:00pm to 8:00pm. KKEY slogan: Talk of The Great Northwest.
On April 9, 1990 KKEY began carrying CBS Radio Sports, Major League Baseball’s “Saturday Game of The Week” and later the “World Series”. Locally on KEY Pat Bladorn did a 50 minute sports talk show before the games. In 1991 Jim MkKey (spelling correct) was on KEY 6:00am to 9:00am weekdays and KKEY added affiliations with NBC & DayNet. By November 1991 KKEY had shut down its Portland studios at 1223 S.W. Stark St. KEY slogans: Portland’s Conversation Station. People Power. By 1992 Tim Jordan was doing a morning talk show on KEY. The show was later moderated by Pam Parson. By July 1992 Roy Masters was on KEY Radio 8:00am to 9:00am via KOPE Medford. By February 1993 KEY was carrying old time radio drama’s evenings. By this time Stephen Bradley was Promotions Manager.
On February 15, 1993 KKEY picked up Mutual’s “The Larry King Show” Noon to 3:00pm, after KEX refused to carry King after his program was switched to daytime. On June 6, 1994 two syndicated programs began on KEY. Chuck Harder’s “For The People” taking over the Larry King slot. King had moved to TV exclusively. “For The People” came from PRN – Peoples Radio Network. From 3:00pm to 4:00pm KEY ran its old time radio programs. Also picked up on this date from Talknet was “Bruce Williams” (formerly on KXL), 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
On July 4, 1994 KKEY celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a special program of remembrances and also broadcast recordings of old KEY Radio talk shows. By September 1994 “Love Makes A Family” with host Bonnie Tinker was on Wednesday mornings. Chastity Bono was once a guest her show. By December 1994 “The Italian Hour” was hosted Lucia Galizia (later on KBOO) Sundays 10:00am to 11:00am. By 1995 KEY had added an affiliation with Westwood One. By April 1995 “The Birdwell & White Show” hosted by Robert Birdwell & Jamison White was on KEY weekdays at 3:00pm.
By August 1995 “The Voice of Homeland” with host Pervez Saleem was on Sundays 1:00pm to 2:00pm. By September 1995 Chuck Harder’s “For The People” show had expanded 11:00am to 3:00pm weekdays. KEY Slogans: This is Talk Radio 11-50. KEY Talk Radio. By December 1996 Ronald Hudson was Chief of Operations in addition to Chief Engineer. On January 20, 1997 KEY Radio debuted “Stanford & Friends” weekdays Noon to 2:00pm. The show was hosted by Phil Stanford (formerly with The Oregonian newspaper) with sidekick Mike Johnson (standup comedian). By September 1997 KKEY had traffic reports weekdays on the hour and half hour. KEY slogan: More two-way telephone talk radio continues.
On September 24, 1997 KKEY was purchased by Jeannine J. Wells, aka J.J. McKay (formerly on KWJJ, KATU), President & G.M. and the new licensee of Western Broadcasting Co. for $345,000. (FCC approval on 3-1-98). The Studio building and towers were on leased land from Linda Weagant. J.D. Fort (formerly KUIK Asst. ND, KMJK; later aka Jon Davenport on KEX, as well as J.D. Fort) became Chief of Operations; Stephen Bradley was Public Affairs Director; Theodore J. “Ted” Piccolo, Sales Manager & Michael Anthony, Production Manager. The station employed 5 full-time & 7 part-timers. On February 28, 1998 KKEY became KKGT. Call slogan: Great Talk 11-50, the evolution of Portland Talk Radio. The format was: Conservative Talk. NBC & DayNet affiliations were dropped, as was “The Scandinavian Hour” which was later picked up by KXYQ.
In March 1998 new shows began on KKGT. “Daybreak” from USA Radio Network began the broadcast day, followed by “Bruce Williams”, by now on Westwood One and continuing on KKGT. “The Mary Matalin Show” from CBS Radio was picked up. KKGT also had its own show called “Local Lalapalooza” 3:00pm to 5:00 pm weekdays. It featured different hosts each day: J.J. McKay, Bill Sizemore, Dave Anderson (later on KXL, KEX, KATU), Harry Lonsdale & Kevin Starrett.
On November 17, 1998 KKGT ownership was transferred to Frank A. Eisenzimmer (founder of Oregon Taxpayers United) & Myrna M. Eisenzimmer. By February 1999 Bill Deiz (formerly on KCBS-TV, co-currently on KEX, KGW-TV, KEWS, KKSN-FM, KBNP, KVAN-1550) was doing traffic reports for KKGT. On April 18, 1999 Westwood One owned Mutual Broadcasting System was shut down after 62 years of service to the Pacific Northwest. Mutual programming became part of Westwood One.
On June 8, 1999 it was announced Frank Eisenzimmer & Bill Sizemore would form a partnership in KKGT and that KKGT studios would move to Clackamas, Oregon. On June 28, 1999 “The Bill Sizemore Morning News Program” began 7:00am to 9:00am. Studios were moved to 15240 S.E. 82nd Dr. in Clackamas, Oregon. KKGT also installed a new ??????? transmitter. Syndicated shows on KKGT included Ken Hamblin & Neil Boortz.
On July 29, 1999 William L. “Bill” Sizemore & Cynthia B. Sizemore purchased 50% of KKGT for $165,000. from Frank & Myrna Eisenzimmer. Bill Sizemore became KKGT General Manager and is Executive Director of Oregon Taxpayers United. On September 2, 1999 Jeannine J. Wells & Theodore J. “Ted” Piccolo became the other 50% owner of KKGT with Bill & Cynthia Sizemore. These were the new licensees of Western Broadcasting Co. Total estimated station transaction: $330,000. The towers were on leased land from Linda Weagant.
Jeff Mitchell (formerly on KRWQ, KYOS, KCMX, KTMT, KBOY AM/FM, KGON) was Chief of Operations, P.D. & Public Affairs Director; John White, Chief of Engineering & Steve Albrecht (formerly on WNOE, KILO, KAAT, KKGD/KZKS GM, KUPL/KBBT) General Sales Manager. KKGT began 24 hour operation and affiliated with Jones Radio Network, USA Radio Network, Talk Radio Network & Radio America. KKGT slogan: Great Talk all day long.
On March 25, 2000 Kermit Washington (former Portland Trail Blazer) began his Saturday Sports Talk Show 10:00am to Noon. On December 4, 2001 Bill Sizemore purchased KGUY Milwaukie, OR for $750,000. KGUY moved into the KKGT studios. On January 13, 2002 Dave Collins died at 78. By March 2002 Jim Greenfield was doing a talk show on KKGT 2:00pm to 4:00pm weekdays. On May 25, 2002 “Scandinavian Hour” host Bob Anderson died at 83. Also in 2002 Kenneth “Ken” Inlow became KKGT General Manager. On December 8, 2002 Al Emrich died at 89.
On April 29, 2003 KKGT was purchased by Bustos Media Holdings of Oregon, LLC, (group owner: Bustos Media, LLC; Amador S. Bustos, Chairman & CEO; brother, John S. Bustos, Operative Vice-President ) for $1.25 Million. (FCC approval on 8-21-03). The towers were on leased land from Linda Weagant. KKGT moved studios to 24 South A. St., Suite C. in Washougal, Washington. Spencer French (formerly KWBY/KCKX GSM) Vice-President & G.M.; Tom Trullinger became Station Manager; Emilio Barrales, Program Director & Tom Oberg, General Sales Manager. On May 30, 2003 Bustos purchased KMUZ Gresham OR for $1.13 Million. KKGT moved into studios with KMUZ at 24 South A. St., Suite C. in Washougal, Washington.
On August 1, 2003 at 12 Noon KKGT began playing Spanish love songs and became “Romance 11-50”. On October 29, 2003 Bustos purchased KKSN Oregon City for $2.8 Million, becoming KZNY. On October 30, 2003 it was announced Portland Trail Blazer games would air on KKGT in Spanish with Arnulfo Alvarez doing play-by-play and analyst with Emilio Barrales.
On November 18, 2003 KKGT became KRMZ reflecting “RoMance” in the call letters. On November 19, 2003 Bustos purchased KGUY Milwaukie OR for $1 Million. In July 2004 Humberto C. Perez became Corporate Controller. KRMZ moved studios to the Mount Tabor District of Portland at 5110 S.E. Stark St. (former studio home of KPDQ AM/FM). On February 2, 2005 Addie Bobkins died at 72.
On February 3, 2005 KRMZ became KXMG reflecting in call letters the new “MaGia” format of Spanish Adult Contemporary music. In August 2007 Gabriel Nacht became Senior Vice-President. On February 1, 2008 KXMG switched to a Regional Mexican format called “Ke Buena”. By March 2008 Rick “Ricky” Tatum (former KKHI-FM VP&GM) was Vice-President & G.M.
On May 1, 2008 KXMG switched format once again, this time to “Radio Mison Cristiana” which is Religious Spanish music. On October 20, 2008 it was announced Spencer French had become Vice-President & G.M. for the Northwest Region. In early 2009 KXMG went 5kw non-directional. On April 14, 2009 KXMG became KLPM which means: La PolaMa or “The Dove”. On April 26, 2010 Bill Sizemore (former KKGT Co-owner) announced he would be running for Governor for the 2nd time. By October 2010 Juan Carlos Salceda, Program Director.
On October 1, 2010 Bustos Media Holdings of Oregon, LLC began an LMA merger with Adelante Media of Oregon License LLC. On January 17, 2011 KLPM switched format to “Exitos” Regional Mexican. On January 25, 2011 KLPM changed calls to KXET, reflecting its new slogan “Exitos.” On August 13, 2011 KXET was knocked off the air when metal thieves broke into its Vancouver transmitter site and sole equipment. On October 26, 2012 KXET returned to the air after 14 months, simulcasting sister station KGDD’s “La Gran D” Regional Mexican format. Power was reduced to 1kw non-directional.
A Special Thanks to: Steve Bradley, Tom Cauthers, Jerry Dimmit, Brad Eaton, Roger Hart, Robin Mitchell, Tom Murphy, Steve Taylor, Todd Weagant, Warren Weagant, Johnny Williams & Fred Hobbs.
This history is not complete as of yet. We need your input for the up coming final posting. If you have any information you think should be included, post it here or E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be added to the “Special Thanks” listing above.
[Various paragraphs in this comprehensive KKEY history have been updated or amended to incorporate additional information as of Dec 11, 2012]