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KYCH-FM 97.1 Charlie FM logo.png
CityPortland, Oregon
Broadcast areaPortland metropolitan area
Branding97.1 Charlie FM
Slogan"We Play Everything"
Frequency97.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateSeptember 3, 1946 (1946-09-03) (as KPFM on 94.9)
FormatFM/HD1: Adult hits
HD2: Dance "Funkytown"
ERP97,000 watts
100,000 with beam tilt
HAAT386 meters (1,266 ft)
Facility ID35034
Transmitter coordinates45°29′20.00″N 122°41′40.00″W / 45.4888889°N 122.6944444°W / 45.4888889; -122.6944444Coordinates: 45°29′20.00″N 122°41′40.00″W / 45.4888889°N 122.6944444°W / 45.4888889; -122.6944444
Callsign meaningK varietY CHarlie
Former callsignsKPFM (1946–1970)
KPAM-FM (1970–1980)
KCNR-FM (1980–1985)
KKLI (1985–1988)
KKSN-FM (1988–2005)
Former frequencies94.9 MHz (1946–1947)
(Entercom License, LLC)
WebcastListen Live

KYCH-FM (97.1 MHz) is a commercial radio station in Portland, Oregon. It is owned by Entercom and airs an adult hits radio format branded as "97.1 Charlie FM." KYCH-FM plays a fairly wide mix of music, mostly from the rock and pop genres, from the 1960s to today. Much of the playlist is made up of modern rock and classic rock from the MTV music video era, the 1980s and 90s. The station does not have disc jockeys, instead playing amusing or ironic messages after every three or four songs.

KYCH-FM's studios and offices are on SW Bancroft Street in Downtown Portland.[1] The transmitter is atop Portland's West Hills, off SW Fairmount Court.[2] The effective radiated power is 97,000 watts (100,000 with beam tilt).[3]


On September 3, 1946, KPFM signed on the air at 94.9 MHz.[4] KPFM was owned by Broadcasters Oregon, Ltd., and was powered at 1,530 watts. It was a stand-alone FM station, not affiliated with an AM station. KPFM moved to 97.1 MHz on July 31, 1947, broadcasting a classical music format.

In 1960, KPFM was bought by Chem-Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing. Chem-Air supplied stores and restaurants with background music, via a subscription radio service not available on regular FM radios. KPFM's transmitter was used for the service. Chem-Air also put an AM station on the air, named KPAM, at 1410 kHz. KPAM 1410 was originally a daytimer, required to sign off at sunset; for the first several decades, the two stations simulcast their programming. On December 16, 1961, KPFM became the first station in Oregon to broadcast in stereo. KPAM and KPFM were acquired by Romito, Inc. in 1965.[5]

On February 27, 1970, KPFM changed its call sign to KPAM-FM. KPAM-AM-FM ran a Top 40 format as "K-Pam." In 1980, Duffy Broadcasting acquired KPAM-AM-FM.[6] In September of that year, KPAM-AM-FM changed to KCNR and KCNR-FM, as the "Center" of the FM dial. The two stations aired an adult contemporary format.

Even though most FM stations in larger cities could not fully simulcast after 1968, because AM 1410 was a daytimer, the two were permitted to air the same programming most of the time. In 1985, the two stations were sold to different owners, with KCNR-FM being acquired by Fort Vancouver Broadcasting. On November 14, 1985, KCNR-FM changed call letters to KKLI and rebranded as "K-Lite 97 FM," with a soft adult contemporary format.

In 1988, Heritage Media acquired KKLI, the owners of KKSN in suburban Vancouver, Washington.[7] On February 5th of that year, KKLI switched its call sign to KKSN-FM and, the following day, changed its format to oldies, simulcasting with the AM, which had been carrying classical music.[8] The two stations called themselves "KISN" as in "Kissin'."

In April 1998, Entercom Communications acquired KKSN-AM-FM. On April 21, 2005, at 2 p.m., after playing "American Pie" by Don McLean, KKSN-FM flipped to the current adult hits format as "Charlie FM" (the oldies format moved to exclusively to the AM). The first song on "Charlie" was "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones. The call letters were changed to KYCH on April 29, 2005.[9]

HD Radio[edit]

KYCH broadcasts in the HD Radio format. KYCH-HD2 airs a dance music and classic disco sound branded as "Funkytown."[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1947 page 235
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1970 page B-167
  6. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1986 page B-233
  7. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1990 page 257
  8. ^ "Topic: THIS DAY IN PORTLAND RADIO HISTORY (FEBRUARY) -". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  9. ^ Radio & Records April 4, 2005
  10. ^ HD Radio Guide for Portland

External links[edit]