KDWN (720 AM) is an American radio station owned by Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It broadcasts full-time at 50,000 watts, and is directional at night. It can be heard throughout most of the Western United States, north into Canada and south into Mexico. KDWN is primarily a news-talk radio station featuring a local morning talk show host Alan Stock and syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle. KDWN also broadcasts brokered programs for Las Vegas casinos, local businesses, and other groups. It is the station where famous late-night talk show host Art Bell first broadcast his show, Coast to Coast AM.

The station's studios are located in the unincorporated Clark County area of Spring Valley, while its transmitter is in Henderson.

KDWN is known as "K-Dawn," the call-sign's pronunciation.

KDWN broadcasts in the HD radio format.[2]

History

KDWN first came on the air in April 1975. The station began broadcasting as a music-oriented radio station playing mostly soft adult contemporary. KDWN was one of a group of AM stations that played music around that time in the middle of the 1970s. The music format was broadcast until around Christmas 1979.

The transition from music to talk-radio broadcasting began slowly from 1975 until 1980. In the late 1970s, KDWN was usually music and some talk-radio during the day. The talk-radio format was continuing to increase on many AM stations that played music in the late 1970s.

In January 1980, KDWN finally started broadcasting talk-radio full-time. KDWN was the only talk-radio station in Clark County, NV and one of the first news agencies of the 1980 MGM Grand Fire for which the station won an award.[3] KDWN was one of the very first talk-radio stations to broadcast the Rush Limbaugh national syndicated show in 1988 but failed to renew the show, which moved to KXNT AM 840 in 1996.

KDWN AM 720 had produced and broadcast a local morning show The Snoozebusters from the early 1980s until 2006 hosted by Ken Stahl and Hart Kirsch.

KDWN was founded by A.J. Williams, who owned KTYM AM/FM Inglewood, CA and KAIL TV Fresno, CA, and Jack Reeder, then-chief engineer of KRLA AM 1110. Mr. Reeder died, leaving the station to Mr. Williams, who owned the station until his death in 2005. .

KDWN was unique in that, unlike most Clark County, Nevada stations, it remained independent of large radio corporations such as Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting. The continuity of ownership kept a consistent style of station sound. The station continued to rely on experienced, yet older, hosts who may have had been with the station since it began broadcasting in the talk-radio format. The station did well in the ratings as one of the first generation of talk-radio stations.

Call screening was not used until recently.[4]

In March, 2006, Beasley Broadcast Group announced plans to buy the station for $17 million. [5] A Las Vegas newspaper reported a rumor that KDWN would change to an all-sports format effective July 1, 2006, although this did not happen. As reported on Wake Up, America on July 21, 2006 by Jim Dallas, audience backlash against the change has resulted in no change to the current talk-radio format.

In the fall of 2006, Beasley introduced a news-talk format featuring a drive-time morning newscast and a locally-produced daytime talk program hosted by Heidi Harris, with the remainder of its weekday talk format consisting of nationally syndicated shows.

For many years, KDWN broadcast from the second floor of the Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. It now broadcasts from Beasley's Las Vegas studios.

Local traffic

KDWN offers a unique approach to traffic coverage in Clark County, Nevada: KDWN has a in-house traffic reporting news department, that features around-the-clock coverage on local automobile traffic. During the week traffic reports are given by announcers Mitch Kelly and Desiree Peeples.

Current and former hosts

  • Alan Stock (Fall 2011–Present)
  • Jim Dallas (1998–Present)
  • Dr. Daliah Wachs (2009–Present)
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Wyne (2009–Present)
  • Heidi Harris (1998–1999, 2007–2012) (now heard on KXNT, 6am to 9am)
  • "Mystic" Mona Van Joseph (2003–2011)
  • Nathan Tannenbaum (2006–2008) (Former weatherman and Saturday matinée host for KTNV and KVBC, currently freelances for KVVU and KXNT.)
  • Jon David Wells (2004-2005) Now at KSKY in Dallas
  • Tru Hawkins (1982–2006) (Relocated to San Marcos, Texas and continues to do Internet talk-radio and voice work.
  • 007 (Chuck Emery)(?-2001) (Traffic reporter and station announcer in 1980s, deceased.)
  • Norman Lane (Commentator)
  • Ted Bair (?-2004) (Retired in December 2004, currently in Idaho.)
  • Jack Daniels ( - 1990?) Deceased 2009
  • Linda Fallover (1980-?) (News anchor and reporter.)
  • Lee Peterson (Information unknown.)
  • Jack London (KDWN Program Director 1975-)
  • Jim Allen/Jim Villanucci (Currently employed by KKOB AM 770 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.)
  • Doug Basham
  • Harvey Allen (1988–1994) (Currently doing voice-over work for commercials.)
  • Gayle Allen (1988–1999) (Host of Lifelines with Gayle Allen)
  • Jim Austin (?-1992) (Moved to Galveston, TX; co-host of the Morning Zoo with Steve and Jim.)
  • Lou Epton (Talk Host) (Deceased Feb 25, 2013) www.forevermissed.com/lou-epton/
  • Stephanie Roberts (1984–1987) (AM Drive host, retired from KNX AM 1070 in Los Angeles, CA) Inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame
  • Ken Stahl (1983-?)
  • Mark Edwards (?-2005) (Hosted Wake Up, America, moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Currently hosts Wake Up, Wisconsin on WHBY AM 1150.)
  • Mike England (1983–1985)
  • Ken Koester (?-2001) (Former USAF officer, UNLV professor, and Las Vegas, Nevada politician. Retired from radio in 2001, moved to Northern California. Has a son, Kevin T. Reasbeck , local artist, and a daughter, Rachel F. Koester living in Reno, Nevada, and youngest son Russell Koester, local musician.)
  • Cheryl Godfrey (1993–2000)
  • "Part-Time" Pete Moss (2002–2006) (Overnight host; quit. Currently at KCAA AM 1050 in San Bernardino, CA.)
  • Hart Kirsch (Currently at KLAV AM 1230 in Las Vegas, NV.)
  • Ken Thomson (Sports X Radio 7-9 PM)
  • Roger Badesch, News & Public Affairs Director, Jan.-Sept. 1979 (now Friday night overnight news anchor, WGN Chicago) (NOTE: Pete Moss was morning drive personality on KDWN during this time.)
  • Lee Pete The Stardust Line 1970s & 1980s (deceased)

John Reitmeier as John Terry 1979-1983. Started West Coast AM when station went from 10,000w at night to 50,000w. Show became Coast to Coast AM when Art Bell took over.