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Mt. Wilson Broadcasters; Saul Levine donates a silent AM / Radio & Television Business Report

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When it comes to independent radio broadcasters in major U.S. markets, Saul Levine is one of the last men standing. His Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters continues to own and operate properties in Los Angeles, and until now his station roster included a silent AM serving the Monterey Bay area. Levine is now donating the facility.

Saul Levine was born in Cheboygan, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California School of Social Work, and the UCLA School of Law.

Levine established KKGO in 1959 (originally KCBA) on limited funds, helped greatly by the fact that he was able to buy a used FM transmitter for $1500 from a Michigan station which had gone off the air. The station's original antenna was built in a garage for $300. He cleared brush with a tractor on land that he rented from the U.S. Forest Service for $350 a year. Initially, KKGO was a classical station and the first broadcast was a selection from Franz Lehár's Land of Smiles. But the station was unable to compete for advertising. As a result, it changed to an all-jazz format and remained jazz until 1989 when it switched back to classical as a result of KFAC going off the air.

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