|Branding||South Sound Talk 850|
|Frequency||850 kHz AM (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||August 1942 (as 1490 KTBI)|
|Power||10,000 watts day|
1,000 watts night
|Callsign meaning||former branding "K-", the scientific property of water|
|Former callsigns||KTBI (1942-1954)|
Fox News Radio
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
|Sister stations||KBKS-FM, KFNQ, KJAQ, KJR, KJR-FM, KUBE, KZOK-FM|
KHHO (850 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station broadcasting a conservative talk format. Licensed to Tacoma, Washington, United States, the station serves the Tacoma portion of the Seattle-Tacoma radio market. The station is owned by and features programming from co-owned Premiere Networks. Its branding is "South Sound Talk 850."
The studios are in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood northwest of downtown. KHHO operates at 10,000 watts by day. But because AM 850 is a clear channel frequency reserved for Class A KOA in Denver, KHHO must reduce power at night to 1,000 watts. It uses a directional antenna at all times. The transmitter is located off 30th Avenue East in Tacoma.
The station carries play-by-play of the Tacoma Rainiers Pacific Coast League minor league baseball team. It was previously Tacoma's network affiliate for the Washington State Cougars IMG College network.
The station went on the air as KTBI in August 1942. The call sign stood for Tacoma Broadcasters Incorporated, the company that owned the station. It was originally on AM 1490, powered at only 250 watts.
KTBI later switched to AM 810. That was coupled with a power increase to 1,000 watts but the station became a daytimer, required to sign off at sunset to avoid interfering with 50,000 watt KGO in San Francisco. In 1950, it made its move to AM 850, still powered at 1,000 watts but allowed to broadcast around the clock.
It became KTAC in 1954. It moved its studios and offices to the Winthrop Hotel.
"85 KTAC" was a Top 40 competitor to 950 KJR, 1090 KING and 1300 KOL throughout the 1970s. Don Wade, Robert O'Smith, John Williams, Ron Erak, Bruce Cannon, Bob Case and Ric Hansen were among the air personalities during its Top 40 dominance of the south Puget Sound area.
On March 11, 1996, the station changed its call sign to the current KHHO. It launched a news/talk format (K-H-2-O, The Voice of the South Sound) featuring Manda Factor, Jeff Walker and Bruce Cannon.
In 1998, the station was acquired by The Ackerley Group and adopted an all-sports format, featuring programming from ESPN Radio, then CBS Sports Radio and later NBC Sports Radio. For a time, it simulcast 1090 KFNQ in Seattle.
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