Talk radio is a significant phenomenon worldwide, but it’s especially trendy in the United States.
As the ultimate way to tune into political insights, entertaining programs, and niche-focused segments, talk radio attracts millions of listers each week.
Around 15 million Americans listen to the top 15 talk radio shows.
For LA locals, talk radio is an incredible resource. Not only does it help radio lovers connect with some of their favorite broadcasting stars, but it’s a great way to stay updated with helpful information and news reports.
Talk radio attracts all kinds of listeners, from political enthusiasts to sports fans across the city. So, how do you find the best channels?
Today, we’ll look at some of the most renowned talk radio stations in Los Angeles.
LA’s Top 11 Talk Radio Stations
The best talk radio station in the LA region for your needs will depend on the type of content you’re looking for.
Talk stations often produce various programs, covering everything from laid-back chat sessions to comedy programs and political commentaries.
Today, we’re focusing specifically on the most well-known talk radio stations in Los Angeles.
Here are our top picks.
One of the most popular commercial AM radio stations in Los Angeles, Cumulus Media owns KABC.
The station launched almost 100 years ago, in 1925. It’s the flagship station for the USC Trojans football and the men’s basketball groups, so it’s a great option if you’re looking to tune into some of the latest sports commentary.
KABC is also the Los Angeles affiliate for a range of popular programs, such as America in the Morning and The Ben Shapiro Show.
As of 2022, the channel ranked number 27 in the list of the top LA radio stations, according to Nielsen.
KABC is a pioneer in the LA talk radio landscape, as it was one of the first companies to focus on an all-talk, around-the-clock playlist.
Throughout the ’70s, it also ranked as the top radio station in LA and one of the most listened-to stations in America.
Frequency: AM: 790 kHz
Otherwise known as AM 870 The Answer, KRLA is a commercial radio station licensed to Glendale, California.
The station, owned by Salem Media Group, follows a conservative talk radio format with various programs.
On weekdays, listeners can expect to hear The Morning Answer with popular hosts Grant Stinchfield and Jennifer Horn. Throughout the rest of the day, the channel broadcasts various nationally syndicated shows from the Salem Radio Network.
KRLA is well-known for its advice-focused columns, which offer tips on everything from managing your finances to handling pet care.
The channel generally uses a formal and intelligent tone, so it’s great for those who want something more refined.
Frequency: AM: 870 kHz
Licensed to Los Angeles, KTNQ, or TenQ, is a talk radio station owned by the Latino Media Network.
It broadcasts a Spanish news and talk format with various unique listening options.
Alongside programs dedicated to current topics and news, the KTNQ network also shares a lot of sports-oriented content, with commentary on famous games from the Univision Deportes Radio landscape. I
nterestingly, the station has also acted as the Spanish language flagship station for the LA Dodgers since 2011, with broadcast commentary on Dodger games.
The channel has often ranked as one of the top radio stations in LA, with popular hosts such as Gustavo Vargas, Gabriela Teissier, and Juan Rodriguez.
Frequency: AM: 1020 kHz
4. KPCC (LAist)
Non-commercial, educational radio station KPCC is licensed to Pasadena, California, and serves the Greater LA and San Fernando Valley areas.
Owned by Pasadena County College, this station broadcasts various public radio programs and news segments. It also serves as an affiliate for the Public Radio Exchange and NPR.
KPCC began broadcasting in August 1957, with the original call sign of KPCS, before it later updated its name to KPCC.
In 2023, the channel began adopting LAist, although the call sign remained the same.
Current programming on the channel includes regular sessions such as Take Two with A Martinez and The Frame with John Horn.
There are also science features on weekdays, highlighting some of the latest discoveries in the scientific world.
Frequency: FM: 89.3 MHz
A listener-sponsored station in North Hollywood, KPFK streams 24 hours a day through the internet and on FM wavelengths.
The station began broadcasting in 1959. Interestingly, the 110-1,000-watt transmitter the station uses makes KPFK one of the most powerful FM stations in the Western region of the United States.
Like most Pacifica stations, KPFK shares programs that include various topics, from performing arts discussions to public affairs and news broadcasts.
The programming is usually delivered in English languages, but there are also Spanish options five evenings per week.
KPFK has played a significant role in radio history over the years. For instance, Ladysmith Black Mambazo made their first appearance on the KPFK network.
Frequency: FM: 90.7 MHz
Airing a Regional Mexican musical format combined with talk-show segments, the KFWB station is owned by Lotus Communications in California.
This particular channel has quite a colorful history in the broadcasting landscape, as it was once the radio voice of Warner Bros Studio.
Founded in 1925, the station helped to launch the careers of some of the most well-known celebrities in the US landscape today, including Bing Crosby and Ronald Reagan.
Over the years, the channel changed its focus, exploring exclusive news and talk-based content before concentrating on the sports commentary landscape.
In 2016, the company switched to the Mexican music format, combining hits from the Mexican landscape with regular program sections.
Frequency: AM: 980 kHz
Another well-known AM radio station in the talk landscape, KFI, is a popular Los Angeles channel owned by the iHeartMedia company.
The station began operation in 1922 and quickly became one of the initial high-powered clear-channel Class A stations in the United States.
KFI, alongside KNX, is one of the primary entry points for the Southern California Emergency Alert system. The channel is also licensed to broadcast in HD format, but apparently, it turned off its HD signal in 2015.
KFI sticks to a standard talk radio format, showcasing local hosts and frequent news and traffic updates.
The station experimented with some musical playlists for a while before switching entirely to a talk-based strategy. Rush Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated show was also available on this channel between 1988 and 2014.
Frequency: AM: 640 kHz
Owned by the Audacy brand, KNX is a commercial AM radio station focusing on news-based content.
This station stands as one of the oldest in the United States, first entering the airwaves in 1920.
Alongside regular news reports, the station also broadcasts weekly traffic reports from the Greater Los Angeles area.
A handful of celebrities started as KNX station presenters, such as Jerome Lawrence, Jack Benny, George Burns, and Edgar Bergen.
Additionally, Bob Crane was the station’s morning host between 1957 and 1965, when he gained fame as a supporting player in the ABC program The Donna Reed Show.
In 2009, KNX adopted the “all news, all the time” slogan and won its first national award for Breaking News in 2017.
It has also been nominated for various other awards, such as the Legendary Station of the Year and the Talk/News Station of the Year awards.
Frequency: AM: 1070 kHz
Owned by iHeartMedia, KEIB, or The Patriot, a commercial radio station from Los Angeles, focuses on the talk radio format.
The weekday schedule on the station features various nationally syndicated talk shows, such as The Sean Hannity Show and the Glenn Beck Program.
The station also carries Anaheim Ducks and UCLA Bruins games in case of conflicts with their regular flagship stations.
Weekend playlists usually feature repeats of weekday shows and programs from two local hosts: Joe Escalante and Mark Moss.
Alongside syndicated shows and chat sessions, the KEIB playlist occasionally includes sports commentary. The group even broadcast the NCAA basketball championship in 2012.
Frequency: AM: 1150 kHz
KKLA-FM is a commercial radio station broadcasting a Christian teaching and talk format serving the Greater Los Angeles Area.
The channel was originally owned by the Paster Ray Schoch Faith Center Church when it launched in 1956.
Over the years, KKLA’s owner changed to the Salem Media Group, but the station has retained its Christian format.
Although it spent some years broadcasting Christian music, these playlists were removed by 1990.
From Monday through Saturday, KKLA-FM broadcasts popular call-in talk shows discussing various conservative and religious issues.
All other times, and on Sunday, the station airs teaching programs and ministries from well-known speakers. The channel claims to be the most listened-to Christian talk station in the US.
Frequency: FM: 99.5 MHz
Finally, otherwise known as ESPN LA, KSPN is a commercial AM radio station serving Greater Los Angeles.
It was launched in 1927 and is currently owned by the Good Karma Brands company.
Today, KSPN airs a sports and talk show format as the market’s radio affiliate for the ESPN sports channel.
Throughout the years, KSPN has undergone many format changes, experimenting with standard talk radio and entertainment programs, sports radio, and even Spanish music.
The channel even belonged to the ABC and Disney group for a short time.
Today, KSPN stands as one of the more popular radio stations in LA for sports fans searching for up-to-date commentary on the biggest athletic events in the US.
Frequency: AM: 710 kHz
The Best Talk Radio Stations in LA
There are plenty of excellent talk radio stations in LA if you want insights on the latest political events, news updates, or sports commentary.
Each station features its unique programming approach, with various engaging hosts and presenters.
You will find a station above that appeals to your taste, whether you’re an AM or FM fan.
Plus, remember you can tune into most of the stations covered within this list on your smartphone or computer, thanks to their online streaming options.