KDAY radio made its mark as the first radio station in the country to exclusively play hip hop.
Now comes word of a sale – and the potential for significant programming changes for the Redondo Beach-based station at 93.5 FM.
The station is set to be sold from Magic Broadcasting to RBC Communication for $19.5 million. Onatrio-based KDEY is part of the deal too.
When it all goes through, KDAY could become a Chinese-language talk radio station, according to industry reports.
The sale is still in the process of going through -- so it’s not final -- and nobody associated with the sale was authorized to comment. But KDAY’s program director says that staff has been notified of the sale.
The possible change from old-school hip-hop and R&B to Mandarin language was mourned by KDAY fans on Thursday, a day after the sale was revealed.
A T-Mobile store in Inglewood, where KDAY blares daily, employees are shocked to hear it’s likely going away.
“The culture in Inglewood won’t be represented by the music we listen to. A lot of customers love this music,” said KDAY fan Marcelo Vera.
KDAY radio has been a part of Southern California’s hip hop community for more than 30 years.
The original AM station was the first in the nation to play exclusively hip hop music. KDAY launched the careers of artists like NWA and LL Cool J in the 1980s.
In 2004, Magic Broadcasting bought the KDAY call letters to cash in on the nostalgia of the old station.
The new ownership will bring another change, this time much bigger.
“It’s going to a consortium of broadcasters who specialize in multi-lingual broadcasting -- Mandarin Chinese -- so that’s what we’re expecting it to flip to at some point," Michael Schneider from TV Guide Magazine said.
Other KDAY fans such as Aaron Green were outraged.
“That’s unbelievable," Green said. "People need to protest to keep them on the air.”
Fans of old school hip-hop say LA radio won’t be the same.