(The following was taken from a San Fernando Valley chamber-of commerce
book published in the late 80’s. Unfortunately, the title, author and publisher is
Radio Station KGIL
There were only some 350,000 residents in the San Fernando Valley when radio station KGIL first went on the air, on October 19, 1947. The 1,000 watt station’s programming included roughly 70 percent music an 20 percent news, with the remainder divided among several other features, including agricultural news. The Valley was still very much a farming area, and the orange and walnut growers would tune in to 1260 AM for the latest in forecasts of the weather that could affect their delicate crops.
The station was launched by the San Fernando Valley Broadcasting Company, which, shortly after its January 1946 founding applied to the FCC for a license to the City of San Fernando. The station chose its call letters from the nickname of its first president and general manager, J. Gilbert “Gil” Paltridge, who was one of the founders of the company.
The early years were difficult ones. Between 1947 and 1960 there were several changes of ownership and management, although programming content remained much the same. One exception was the elimination of agricultural news, reflecting the changing character of the Valley from the farmland tosuburbs.
On July 28, 1960, KGIL was purchased by its present owner, Buckley Broadcasting Corporation, then called Buckley-Jaeger Corporation. At the time of acquisition, Buckley owned two other stations, both on the East Coast.
In November 1961 Richard “Rick” Buckley, Jr. became KGIL’s
program director and made sweeping changes in traditional
programming. He put together a modern music library, featuring
contemporary selections aimed at the young adults who made
up much of the listening audience.
The concept of KGIL as The Valley Station was strongly
promoted, emphasizing the long-standing ties between the
station and the Valley, by then approaching the one million
population mark. News and traffic reports focused on local
happenings. KGIL was only the second Los Angeles-area station
to use and airplane to cover traffic, and it reported exclusively
on conditions in or leading to and from the Valley. In 1963 KGIL
built its own weather facility, again focusing on Valley conditions,
which were often different from those in other parts of the Los
That same year the FCC approved a full-time increase in power
to 5,000 watts. In 1964 the offices and studios were moved to
the transmitter site at 14800 Lassen Street in Mission Hills. It
remains at this location, although growth has dictated
In 1985 KGIL switched to an all-talk format, called NewsTalk. It has proven to be a highly popular blend of news broadcasting and on-the-air talk with listeners. The station’s music tradition
has not been abandoned, however. Its affiliated station, KGIL-FM (94.3), has a “rockin’ easy” format geared to the young adult (ages 25 to 44) market.
In 1985 KGIL switched to an all-talk format, called NewsTalk. It has proven to be a highly popular blend of news broadcasting and on-the-air talk with listeners. The station’s music tradition has not been abandoned, however. Its affiliated station, KGIL-FM (94.3), has a “rockin’ easy” format geared to the young adult (ages 25 to 44) market.
UPDATE: Things have been busy with KGIL since this article. Especially during the 90’s.
Change of management, formats and even call letters were going in and out the stations
doors almost on a regular basis. Check the LINKS page for the latest news of this station