CALL LETTER ORIGINS

The following is a list of call letters assigned to radio/TV stations in the Puget Sound region/Western Washington [1921 to present]. Some stations listed here are now defunct. Some call letters were chosen by station owners for specific reasons.
http://nelson.oldradio.com/ has a list of radio stations in the USA with call letter origin, based on:

E: Euphony – Sound of call letters, perhaps spelling a word
F: Frequency – Call letters related in some way to dial position
O: Ownership Related – Initials or name of [original] licensee
L: Location Related – Pertaining to geographic feature, region or city
S: Slogan – Promotional phrase, often reflecting licensee or city nickname

Without consulting their list, based on my fuzzy memory and best guess, I have attempted to provide the meaning/reference of station call letters in our area. If you have knowledge of some of these call letter origins, leave a comment here – or contact me and this list will be up-dated.

** Updated with suggested comments **

KAAR – Car radio

KAFE – Soft Rock Cafe

KAGT – Skagit County

KAMT – AM Tacoma

KANY

KAPS – Caps

KARI – as in female name

KARR – Car

KASY – Casey

KAYE

KAYG

KAYO

KBAI – as in Bellingham BAY

KBBX – K-Big Band-X, Station’s format was heavy in big band music

KBCB – BC/Bellingham TV

KBCS – Bellevue Community College Station

KBEH

KBES – Bellevue/Eastside

KBFW – Bellinghan-Ferndale, Washington

KBGE

KBIQ

KBKS – Kiss FM

KBLE – K-Bible

KBLV – Bellevue

KBRC – Beckley Radio Company

KBRD – K-Bird

KBRO – Bremerton RadiO

KBSG – K-BeSt Gold, station’s initial moniker was “K-Best”

KBTB – Keep Busting The Beat

KBTC – Bates Technical College

KBUP

KBVU – Bellevue

KCDI – Carl-Dek Incorporated

KCIF

KCIN

KCIS – Christian Information Seattle

KCMS – Christian Music Seattle

KCMU – abbreviation of the campus’s Communications Building, the station’s home

KCPQ – Clover Park

KCPS – Clover Park Schools

KCTS – King County Television Service

KDDS

KDFL – Daffodil

KDZE

KEEN

KEJI

KELA – cEntraLiA

KENU – Enumclaw

KENY

KERI – girl’s name, original slogan “Beautiful Carrie”

KETO

KEUT – Cute – Owner had another station with KEWT calls

KEVE – Everett

KEVR – Evergreen – Broadcasters, owners

KEXP – music EXPerience Project

KEZX – Easy 99

KFBL – the call sign corresponded with the timing of the application review and approval by the Department of Commerce – shortly after another famous west coast radio station was assigned its call letters for the first time: KFBK, Sacramento.

KFC – Operated by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer circa early 1922; May 1922-Northern Radio & Electric Company;

KFFV – Forty-Five (TV channel number 45)

KFHA

KFHR

KFKF – Kemper Freeman Kemper Freeman

KFMY

KFNK – Funky Monkey

KFNQ – The FaN

KFOA

KFQX [established in the 1920s, didn’t stand for K-FOX in those days. Origin unknown]

KFRW

KFWY – Federal Way

KGAA – sister station of KGA Spokane

KGB

KGBS

KGCL

KGDI

KGDN – King’s Garden, owners

KGFA

KGFM – King’s Garden FM

KGHP – Gig Harbor Public Schools

KGIB – G-I Broadcasters- Station owned and operated by former military members

KGME

KGMI – Good Music International

KGMJ – “Good music” (K”GM”J) co-owned with KGMI Bellingham (Good Music International)

KGMW – Temporary calls replacing KGNW on 1150, December 1986

KGNW – Good News – the old KAYO switched to a conservative religion format.

KGRG – Green River Gorge

KGTK – Gun Talk

KGY

KHCV

KHHO – H2O

KHIT – K-HIT

KHQ

KHTP – HOT

KILO – Kilo, as in Kilo of marijuana

KINF – Information 1090

KING – King County

KIRO – Like KOMO, Saul Haas wanted an easily pronouncable word out of his station call letters

KISM – International Stereo Music

KISW – Seattle Washington

KITI – Kitty

KITN – Kitten

KITZ – Kitsap County

KIXI – 910 [AM] with Roman numerals

KJAQ – Jack FM

KJET – K-Jet

KJR

KJTT – K-JET

KJUN – Cajun

KJZZ – Jazz

KKBW – Brew

KKBY – Cowboy

KKDZ – Kids [Disney]

KKFX – K-FOX

KKMI – Music & Information “My-96”

KKMO – homage to KMO

KKNW – NorthWest

KKOL – homage to KOL

KKP – Seattle POLICE broadcasts [1920s]

KKXA – Homage to the great Seattle call letters KXA

KKZU – Zoo

KLAN

KLAY – Owned by Clay Huntington

KLCK – Click FM

KLDY – K-LaDY

KLFE – K-Life

KLKI – Lucky

KLSN – Listen

KLSY – Klassy

KLTX – K-Lite

KLYN – LYNden, Wa

KMAS – MASon County

KMBX – Off-spelling for “Mix”

KMCQ – K-Mid-Columbia-Q (Station was originally licensed to The Dalles, OR.)

KMCS – Market-CaSters, owners

KMGI – Magic

KMIA – “My” in Spanish

KMIH – Mercer Island High School

KMNT – “Kountry MouNTain”

KMO

KMPS – Compass

KMTT – The Mountain

KMWS – K Mount Vernon Washington State

KMYQ – myQ² MYtv affiliate and alluding to its parent station, KCPQ, which brands as Q13 Fox

KNBQ – Q-97.3

KNBX

KNDD – The End

KNHC – Nathan Hale Collegiate

KNTB

KNTR – News-Talk Radio

KNTS

KNUA – New Age music

KNWR – Northwest Rock

KNWX

KOL

KOMO

KONG – sister staion of King [King Kong]

KOOD

KOQT

KPCB – Pacific Coast Biscuit Company

KPEC – Clover Park Educational Center

KPLK

KPLU – Pacific Lutheran University

KPLZ – K-Plus

KPMA – Positive Mental Attitude

KPOZ – Positive Talk

KPQ

KPST

KPTK – Progressive TalK

KPTZ – Port Townsend

KPUG – Puget

KPUY – Puyallup

KQBZ – The Buzz

KQDE – Cutie, one of Wally Nelskog’s stations which became KIXI

KQEU

KQIN

KQKT – KQ96

KQLA – Owned by Clay Huntington

KQMV – “Movin'”

KQOW

KQTY – Wally Nelskog’s Cutie station in Everett

KQUL – Cool Oldies with KOOL Oldies Phoenix satellite feed

KQZQ

KRAB – Crab

KREN – Renton

KRFE – Radio Free Everett

KRIZ – Chris Bennett’s Z-Twin anchor station

KRKL – Kirkland

KRKO

KROH – Radio of Hope Nine One One” for its emphasis on assisting Jefferson County’s Emergency Operations Center

KRPA – Radio Punjabi Association

KRPI – Radio Punjab International

KRPM – “I’m going 106 RPM”

KRQI – [Rock] RQ

KRSC – owner Radio Sales Corporation

KRWM – WarM

KRXY – “94.5 Roxy”

KSCR – South County Radio

KSEA – Seattle

KSER – The call letters were selected to reflect Snohomish County, Everett and Radio. S E R.

KSGX – Seattle Generation-X

KSND – K-Sound

KSPL – Special

KSRB – Seattle’s Rhythm & Blues

KSTW – Seattle-Tacoma Washington

KSUH – Suh, owner’s last name

KSVU – Skagit Valley College

KSVR – Skagit Valley Radio

KSWW – South West Washington

KTAC – Tacoma

KTBI – Tacoma Broadcasters Incorporated

KTBK

KTBW – Trinity Broadcasting of Washington

KTCL

KTGN – Tacoma Good News

KTIX

KTNT – Tacoma News Tribune

KTOL – Tumwater-Olympia-Lacey

KTOY

KTPS – Tacoma Public Schools

KTTH – The Truth

KTVW – K-TV Washington

KTW

KTWB – KTWB-TV (The Warner Brothers Network)

KTWR – Thomas Wilmot Read – owner

KTZZ – the “ZZ” appeared as “22” – it’s TV channel

KUBE – Cube

KUDY – Wally Nelskog continued the Cutie theme, sqitching KQDE call letters to KUDY

KUGS – Cougs

KUJ

KULL – KOOL oldies 770

KUNS – Univision TV Seattle

KUOW – University of Washington

KUPS – University of Puget Sound

KUPY

KURB

KUSE

KUUU

KVGM – Very Good Music (owned by Good Music International KGMI, KGMJ, KISM)

KVI – Vashon Island

KVL

KVOS – Kessler’s Voice Of Seattle

KVRI – Vancouver Radio International

KVSN – ViSioN

KVTI – Vocational Technical Institute

KWDB – WhiDBey [Island]

KWDK – K-Washington’s Daystar-K

KWJZ – Washington’s JaZz

KWLE – Whale

KWOG – Word Of God

KWPX – Washington’s PaX [defunct TV network]

KWPZ – Washington’s PraiZe [Praise]

KWWA – Western WAshington

KWYZ – Last letters of alphabet [WxYZ]

KXA

KXIR – Island Radio

KXOT – eXperience Of Tacoma

KXPA – Personal Achievement

KXRN – RentoN

KXRO – owner bootlegger/rumrunner Roy Ohmstead

KXRX – “The X” They tried for “KXXX” calls but these were taken

KXXO – Is there any meaning to the call letters KXXO? Not really – we just liked them. We didn’t realize when we applied for the call letters that we would become Mixx 96.1. – John Foster, Program Director

KYAC

KYCW – Young Country & Western

KYIZ – third of Chris Bennett’s Z-Twins radio

KYNW – NoW

KYPT – the PoinT

KYYO – a substitute for KAYO

KYYX – Kicks

KZAM – “K-ZAM!” as in a magic word

KZAZ

KZC

KZIZ – as in “Sis” Z-Twins sister station

KZJO – for Joe TV

KZOK – for “OK” 102 and a half

KZTS – Z (Tacoma) Spanish