KJLH-FM (102.3) is among the most popular and innovative radio stations in Los Angeles. It debuted in 1977 with an R&B format initiated by original owner John Lamar Hill (owner of the adjacent Angelus Funeral Home), who offered stereo broadcast of the recording industry’s most popular Black artists.
Music superstar Stevie Wonder purchased the station in 1979 and incorporated its call letters in its on-air slogan: “Kindness, Love, Love and Happiness.” Since its inception, KJLH has become the leader in urban contemporary music with its R&B and classic soul format. The station also broadcasts Hip Hop, Gospel and smooth Jazz music. Its primary audience is African American, age 35 to 60 years.
KJLH has had to compete against a series of newer stations who adopted the urban contemporary format.
Among them are KACE-FM, KPWR-FM, Power 106, KHHT-FM (Hot 92.3) and KKBT-FM, forcing a number of format changes. With several stations in Los Angeles broadcasting to the same market, KJLH in 2001 became a more mainstream, urban music outlet when the aforementioned stations began to chip away at its original audience. Over the years the playlist has included urban smooth Jazz crossovers, R&B oldies, current R&B artists and a selection of Gospel music.
In demonstrating its devotion to its listening audience, KJLH offers an extensive lineup of religious programming, including Gospel on weekday mornings and all day on Sunday. The station is the only R&B station with a continuous live and local air staff.
When competitors KRBV-FM and KHHT-FM in 2008 abandoned their urban contemporary formats, KJLH became the last such radio station in Los Angeles to serve a primary African American listening audience. The next year KJLH added even more Hip Hop artists to its playlist and focuses today primarily on a younger listenership with artists like J Cole, Drake, Lil’ Wayne, Jay Z and Nicki Minaj.
Over the years a number of famous broadcast personalities would emanate from KJLH, including Lawrence Tanter, the public address announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers, and comedian Steve Harvey.
The station’s latest branding, “Radio Free 102.3,” brought forth the slogan “Total Music Expression” to expand the wide variety of music composed, produced and performed by African Americans. KJLH operates on 5,600 watts and is owned by Wonder’s Taxi Productions. A webcast is available at Listen Live 2 (http://v5.player.abacast.com/flash/player.php). The website is 102.3KJLH (http://www.kjlh.fm/).
For more information, call (310) 330-2200. The request line is 310/520-KJLH.