United States of America, Los Angeles
70s, 80s, 90s
Have you ever felt chills down your spine while listening to music? By listening to the radio, you can hear successful artists while learning how to master your sound. K-earth 101 has a classic hits format and aims to bring you the greatest hits on earth! Find out all you need to know about K-earth 101 from how it started out to some of what the schedule looks like today!
K-earth 101 (KRTH) is a commercial radio station which serves Greater Los Angeles and is licenced in Los Angeles, California. The K-earth studio can be found in Wilshire Boulevard within the Miracle Mile of LA. Due to K-earth’s antenna location on Mt. Wilson the signal covers a wide area over Southern California. Tune in to the station from as far south as San Diego, far east as Moreno Valley, far west as Santa Barbara and far north as Barstow.
The station broadcasts a Classic Hits format with the K-earth playlist featuring music from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Although oldies formats have declined over the country K-earth’s local ratings have remained consistent. The station ranks in the top five highest listenership in the US with over 3 million tuning in each week. It is also popular amongst the coveted 25-54 demographic, which highlights there is still a strong market for personality-driven radio.
Frequency: 101.1 FM
Call sign: KRTH
Format: Classic Hits
Branding: K-EARTH 101
First air date: August 11, 1941
In LA you can tune into K-earth on 101.1 FM, if you are out of the area then you can listen to K-earth 101 from around the world with the radio.net App.
In 2007, KRTH began broadcasting HD Radio, broadcasting its analogue signal on KRTH-HD1. A second hybrid channel, KRTH-HD2, was created in 2010, featuring songs with an emphasis on Motown, KRTH-HD3 carries a format of all-Beatles music, though it is exclusively over-the-air and unavailable through Radio.com and its apps.
KRTH is the flagship station for the nationally syndicated program ‘Rewind with Gary Bryan’. The first show f the day, starting at 12 am is music automation, this runs until 5 am with the Gary Bryan Morning Show (with Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley). This show finishes at 10 am when Lara Scott takes over. Followed by Greg Simms at 3 pm and Larry Morgan at 7 pm Monday-Thursday, and ‘Totally 80’s Friday Night’ on Friday. Over the weekend the station has no DJ’s but runs automated music, so you always have something to listen to!
K-earth 101 is owned by Entercom Communications Corporation which is a publicly-traded American broadcasting company and radio network based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The corporation was founded in 1968 and is the second biggest radio business in the United States with 235 radio stations across 48 media markets.
KRTH is the oldest continuously operating FM station in California and became the first FM station in LA on 11 August 1941. Originally K45LA it switched its sign to KHJ-FM in 1943. By 1947 the station was reallocated to its current broadcast frequency of 101.1 FM.
In 1972, there was a change to what was then called a “gold” format, featuring older hit songs from the past. The change in format meant a new moniker, ‘K-earth’ which was named after Earth Day and the letters became KRTH. The jingle for ‘K-earth 101’ was presented at the same time and directly resembled the sound/notes of the KHJ jingle, many of the ‘gold’ songs had been played there originally but KHJ was still on air playing top 40 songs. Oldies was a ratings triumph for KRTH-FM.
K-earth was the home to The Real Don Steele and Robert W. Morgan from 1992 to 1997, who were colleagues at KHJ during the 1960s Boss Radio era. In 1996 KRTH changed hands with Infinity being bought by Westinghouse Broadcasting (at the time owned by CBS) making KRTH and KCBS-FM sister stations. K-earth remained playing oldies, altering it to the end of the decade with older songs from before 1964 (British Invasion) being dropped. The station began to emphasise music from the late 60s, in particular Motown.
In the early 2000s, K-Earth began adding 1970s songs into the playlist. Particularly disco as its target demographics were ageing and ratings declining. Artists including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, ABBA, the Bee Gees were combined with 1960s artists such as The Supremes and the Beatles. The playlist was rotated more frequently even though it was still repetitive. In 2007 the process was taken further with songs from the 80s being added to the mix from artists including Phil Collins and Hall & Oates. K-Earth improved its ratings significantly by late 2007 and was again ranked in the top 10 stations in LA. More notably from an advertising standpoint, the station attracted a younger target audience. The station reached their first #1 overall in the Arbitron 12+ Ratings in November 2009. The station had never reached a #1 overall in its 37 years broadcasting as K-Earth.
K-earth added songs from the mid-to-late 80s in 2010 as another change they added adult contemporary Christmas music around the same time during the holiday season. Music featured performers such as Mannheim Steamroller and Air Supply. The songs were aired three times per hour and were designed to encourage listeners away from contemporary competitor KOST. From 12:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve to 12:00 p.m. on Christmas Day, KRTH switches to an all-Christmas music format.
As of early 2016, KRTH began including songs from the 1990s into their playlist. On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom. By 2018, KRTH doesn’t play 1960’s or early 1970’s music. The playlist shifted to concentrating on hits from the 70s through the early 2000s, with a major focus on the 80s although the playlist is being reduced so there isn’t an overlap with sister station KCBS-FM, which airs an adult hits format.
As well as Rewind with Gary Bryan, KRTH also broadcasts America’s Greatest Hits with Scott Shannon and the 80s and 90s editions of Backtrax USA with Kid Kelly on the weekends. Bryan, Kelly and Shannon were previous DJs at Z100 in New York City.
K-Earth 101 has hosted many events over the years including Fantasy Fest: The Concert That Never Was in 2012. Which saw tribute bands of the Beatles, Stones, Neil Young, Dylan, The Doors perform. Another event was K-earth 101 Legends Concert. K-Earth crew were also at the Winter Festival in the City of Bell Gardens January 2020. Snow slides, cookie decorating, face painting were amongst the attractions.
K-earth also takes part in many home and garden events. Teaming up with brands such as at The Big Spring Home & Garden Show on at the Fairplex of Pomona. For everything listeners need for new in-home improvement and remodelling. They also joined Armstrong Garden Centres as they celebrated 130 years of providing locally grown, high-quality plants to its community. Lara Scott and the K-earth team joined the grand opening of the new AT&T store in Los Angeles.
Another main focus is on charity events with K-earth advertising some key events such as the 6th annual 5K & 1K hosted by the City of Bell, Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County’s 23rd annual MORE THAN PINK Walk™ (to raise money for breast cancer). Lara Scott was with the weSPARK Cancer Support Centre for the 10th annual Run/Walk at Lake Balboa and the Los Angeles Marathon K-earth were on the corners of San Vicente Blvd & Ocean Ave showing their support.
Being on an established radio station can be the making of an artist. K-earth 101 is a top station amongst the key 25-54-year-old demographic of listeners. As an artist getting on air can be challenging and very competitive. However, there are some easy steps you can take in order to succeed. As an artist, you need to be familiar with the importance of being played on the radio to reach your chosen demographic.
The more times your music is heard and played on the radio the better it can be for your career. An understanding of promotion is necessary to set yourself apart from the competition. The best way to get your song on the radio is to contact the radio stations that are appropriate for whichever stage you are in career-wise. If you’re just starting to break into radio, focus on the non-commercial stations as they are the most likely to play independent up and coming artists. Community radio stations are often relaxed and a good place to start.
Create a realistic, clearly managed radio campaign and listen as your success climbs on the airwaves and in the meantime see what other artists have made it by listening to K-earth 101!