KHTS Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary
Friday’s line up will reflect the time when the station was re-launched in 2003.
Friday, October 24th marks the five-year anniversary for KHTS AM-1220. To celebrate, the on-air lineup will include the top songs from 2003, as well as special peeks into the long and storied history of local radio in Santa Clarita, which dates back to the 1980’s.
Even though the radio station has been in Santa Clarita for many years, 2003 was the year it was officially resurrected as a community station.
At that time, Clear Channel owned the station and renamed it KISS AM, relegating programming to include a 24 hour simulcast all of KIIS FM’s shows.
Santa Clarita residents Carl and Jeri Goldman opted to buy the station back, (they had owned it for many years in the 1990’s under call letters KBET), and once again fill the lineup with localized content.
"We heard from so many people wanting a local station back, delivering local news, sports, traffic, emergency coverage and capturing the essence of Santa Clarita, Jeri and I decided it was time to return and rebuild what we had done in the old KBET days,” recalls Carl Goldman. “It's ironic, we turned KHTS on the day the Simi fires were raging toward Stevenson Ranch."
The Simi fires of 2003 brought the station to the airwaves with a splash, and solidified a community station’s critical role during city-wide emergencies. The station had also helped get information out with non-stop coverage during the 1994 earthquake.
Over the course of the last five years, KHTS AM-1220 expanded its radio lineup to include more music, a daily collection of local talk shows, and top rated morning and afternoon drive shows.
Additionally, KHTS AM 1220 launched a website; www.hometownstation.com, which now serves as one of the most visited sites in all of Santa Clarita. Hometowntation.com offers breaking news, daily headlines, school updates, a community calendar, business directory, “Restaurant Row” online restaurant certificate sales, podcasts, pictures and live streaming audio.
In looking ahead, Goldman sees a greater convergence of information mediums.
“The future is so exciting. We've learned that the Internet has become as important to the radio station as our traditional airwaves. In fact, we have as many, if not more people connecting to us through our website, www.hometownstation.com, as we do listening to us on the radio at AM-1220. We have just touched the surface of cross promotion between the two,” he said. “I believe in the next five years, we'll look back at what we are doing now and find it as out of date as 8-Track tapes, remember those? Jeri and I are excited with all the potential. Regardless of how people connect with us, the key will always be the content. I believe KHTS and www.hometownstation.com has as good a feel of the 'pulse of our Valley' as anyone. As long as we maintain that, KHTS will remain an anchor for our community."
To read the full history of AM-1220 in Santa Clarita, click here!