KRTF AM 1040 / KKTO AM 1200 Pioneering Low Power AM stations
KKTO began operation on April 5, 1983 in the back of a house on Old Farm Rd. in the heart of Thousand Oaks, California. In 1983 computers in a radio station were unheard of, instead we program KKTO the old fashion way with live DJ's that used cassette decks, reel to reel and turntables as the primary programming sources. Despite the labor involved, KKTO ran with live DJ's all day and recorded programs overnight; including CNN News and Radio Australia. When KKTO AM signed on the air in 1983, transmitters were limited between LPB (expensive) or Panaxis.
Before KKTO, KRTF (Radio Ten Forty) ran from the same location from 1973-1976 with an old Graymark 505 tube transmitter on 1040AM . Coverage for KRTF was unique in that a strong signal would follow the power lines along Moorpark Rd in Thousand Oaks, from Wilbur Rd. to Olsen Rd. the poles that ran along a wash behind the studio also provided extended coverage. The signal radiating from the antenna was limited to a few blocks, sandwiched between two high schools and a block from the Park Oaks shopping center (a popular teen hang out), allowed KRTF to provide good coverage to its target audience.
KRTF was so popular, that on one Friday night we invited listeners over for a party; within 30 minutes we had two hundred plus teenagers around the studio and surrounding neighborhood were even more teens! We were surprised just how many teens could show up in such a short time! Who would have guessed a little 100 milliwatt AM station could draw such a big crowd! Despite the large gathering on our first night, the neighbors were very impressed with how well behaved a couple hundred teens were. Nothing damaged or stolen, today a teen party of that size would result in a shooting or stabbing!
Where is KKTO today? The call letters are used by an NPR station in Tahoe City California and in New Mexico, KKTO is a TV station. Many members of KKTO Thousand Oaks crew, are now involved in the Radio Brandy Broadcast Workshop and XRQK Media Group, spawning a new generation of broadcasters.
THIS STUDIO WAS USED FIRST BY KKTO AM, THEN KKTO FM
KKTO AM 1200 STUDIO 2 IN 1984
KKTO AM PRODUCTION IN 1982, JUST BEFORE KKTO TOOK TO THE AIRWAVES IN April 1983. THIS STUDIO LATER BECAME KKTO AM AIR WHEN KKTO FM CAME ALONG A YEAR LATER.