Someone at the FCC needs a dictionary...

I’m torn as to if this belongs here or MPSIMS but here goes.

Here is the rest of the story.

I’m speechless.

I hear it’s the sister station to KOCK

Was the station going to feature KUNTry music videos?

Nah, just the usual KRAP.

Why do you guys have call signs anyway? Are you communicating by Morse code?

I don’t really even KARE.

They certainly got their start in the days of wireless. Here in the States, radio and TV stations are largely identified by their call signs and many of them use their signs as unique identifiers. For example, here in Tucson, we have KOLD (“OLD” signifying the city’s nickname of “Old Pueblo”), and KGUN (GUN for obvious reasons, it evokes the Old West). Our CW affiliate is formerly the WB station, so it’s call letters are KWBA (for WB-Arizona). There is a well-known station in Denver called KUSA. And our radio stations are more commonly referred to by call sign than by frequency. Station owners that choose a unique combination of letters want their stations to stick in the minds of their viewers and listeners.

They’re not call signs, they’re call letters. They’re assigned by the Federal Communications Commission in order to identify specific radio stations. We do that with TV, too.

Seriously, y’all. You just need to stay KALM.


The University of North Texas has a radio station, however when they changed their name a few years ago it kept the call letters of the old name, KNTU.

Every country has lettered callsigns assigned to broadcasters. Its just that in the US they are also usually used as the station’s advertised name, or worked into it somehow. This is mostly true only in radio. The big TV networks do it (NBC’s flagship stations are WNBC (east coast) and KNBC (west coast)) but the smaller TV affiliate stations often don’t bother with it. BTW in the US the prefixes W and K are assigned east and west of the Mississippi River respectively.

Originally the letters were assigned somewhat arbitrarily but as commercial broadcasting grew stations began requesting specific ‘catchy’ letter combinations, sort of like vanity license plates.

And, like vanity plates, misspelled or not there is no way any station is ever going to get the callsign KUNT. :smiley:

And in a case of life imitating art, although it is not a radio station, there is a low-power TV station in Carthage, TN, called WKRP .

I figured that it’d be the broadcasting arm for Kuwait Union for New Teachers.

This was just on Countdown tonight. Olbermann also claimed that a station in Phoenix recently received approval for the call letters KWTF.

Havelock, North Carolina, is home to station WANG.

According to the article KWTF went to the same company that got KUNT. And according to the article these weren’t randomly assigned but requested. Combined, it is hard to see how it was an oversight on the requester’s part (though maybe a joke that wasn’t supposed to actually get submitted).

The KWTF people might want to make a play KOMG and KLOL while they’re looking to expand.

with one notable exception in Pittsburgh PA - America’s first commercial radio station - KDKA - which launched Nov 2, 1920.

Huh. Here in the Phoenix area we have both TV and radio stations with the call letters KOOL. When I was a tot I remember hearing somewhere they were owned by the same folks as the KOLD stations in Tucson (I don’t know if this is still true) and figured it was a cute pair of call letters to have in desert country. Old Pueblo never occurred to me.

Also here we have KTAR which was owned at one time (it is no longer) by The Arizona Republic, the state’s biggest newspaper. When the radio station started out in the 1920s, the call letters were KREP but that was given up for obvious reasons.

In the Bay area, two FM stations are KFOG and KOIT, the latter evoking Coit tower, a landmark in San Francisco.

Have they had an advertising campaign in which listeners yell, “KOIT us?” I mean, who could resist?

No, but the now-gone Bay area station KOME used to have ads saying things like, “Get some KOME in your ear”. (KOIT has long been a mostly soft-rock station that wouldn’t go for stuff like that).