Today, KHTS AM-1220 celebrates 10 years as the Santa Clarita Valley’s home for radio and its No. 1 website hometownstation.com.
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The station’s co-owners, Carl Goldman and Jeri Seratti-Goldman, have maintained a presence in the radio industry for decades and, in the Santa Clarita Valley, since 1990.
“Ten years ago, we were building our studios, a few weeks away from going on the air, after repurchasing AM-1220 from Clear Channel,” Carl Goldman said.
“The Santa Clarita landscape was a lot different than when we originally purchased KBET in July 1990,” he said. “Back then (in 1990), we only had 110,000 residents in the entire Santa Clarita Valley, and you could get from Canyon Country to Valencia in what seemed like four minutes.”
Their station and its presence has grown with the Santa Clarita Valley and, just as the 1994 Northridge Earthquake pushed KBET to the forefront as a community resource, wildfires prompted local residents to once again turn to AM-1220.
“On Oct. 24, 2003, fires were raging in Simi Valley,” Carl Goldman said. “(City of Santa Clarita Spokeswoman) Gail Ortiz called me and asked if we could get on the air if the fires leaped over the mountains into Santa Clarita. We scrambled, brought our staff together, ran a few wires down the hallway and turned on the switch, just as the fire was climbing the mountains into our valley.”
And with countless hours devoted to myriad causes, the station’s community role remains active, Ortiz said.
“KHTS continues to be an integral part of our community,” Ortiz said, “and the service they provide, both on their website and on the air — together with their continued community involvement in nonprofits — has made Santa Clarita a better, stronger community.”
Carl Goldman reminisced on how the landscape has changed for media, and now social media, which KHTS AM-1220 stay active in through its website and various other platforms.
“Ten years ago, Facebook, Twitter and much of what we know on the Internet didn’t exist,” Goldman said. “Newspapers were still afraid to post current information. We began posting up-to-the minute fire information on our website,hometownstation.com and tens of thousands of residents became glued to our website and our on-air coverage. It was then when we realized we were no longer in the radio business, we were in the information business.”
Some of the programs and staff who were present then remained involved with the station, proof of the longstanding ties the station cultivates and continues today.
Cary Quashen and his “Families In Action” weekly program was the first weekly show put on the air back in 2003.
The show is still going strong today and Action Family Counseling is the jewel of our community, having saved so many lives, Goldman said.
Arif Halaby’s “Total Financial Solutions” has also been on the air since KHTS was launched in 2003.
“We’ve watched Arif counsel so many of our listeners who have run into financial challenges,” Goldman said.
KHTS AM-1220, Home Town Station, first debuted on the air in Canyon Country in July 1989, under the call letters KBET, “The Beat of Santa Clarita.”
The station was founded by a local television engineer, Larry Bloomfield, who in the mid-1980s, saw an opportunity to squeeze in another local radio station into the Los Angeles area.
“Over the years, we have also been fortunate to have an incredible staff,” Goldman said. “KHTS couldn’t exist without the strong team we currently have in place. They are the foundation of our company.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News