Broadcast areaSeattle metropolitan area
Frequency850 kHz
BrandingSeattle's BIN 850
FormatBlack-oriented news
AffiliationsBlack Information Network
First air date
August 1942; 81 years ago (1942-08) (as KTBI at 1490)
Former call signs
KTBI (1942–1952)
KTAC (1952–1992)
KMTT (1992–1996)
Former frequencies
1490 kHz (1942–1947)
810 kHz (1947–1952)
Call sign meaning
former branding "K-H
", the scientific property of water
Technical information
Facility ID18523
Power10,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
Transmitter coordinates
47°13′56″N 122°23′22″W / 47.23222°N 122.38944°W / 47.23222; -122.38944
WebcastListen live

KHHO (850 AM) is a commercial radio station licensed to Tacoma, Washington, United States, the station serves the Tacoma portion of the Seattle-Tacoma radio market. The station is an affiliate of Black Information Network and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.

The studios are in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood northwest of downtown. KHHO operates at 10,000 watts by day; because 850 AM is a clear channel frequency reserved for Class A KOA in Denver, KHHO must reduce power at night to 1,000 watts. It uses a directional antenna at all times. The transmitter is located off 30th Avenue East in Tacoma.[1]


The station carries play-by-play of the Tacoma Rainiers Triple-A West minor league baseball team. It was previously Tacoma's network affiliate for the Washington State Cougars IMG College network.


Logo as "Fox Sports Radio 850"


The station went on the air as KTBI in August 1942.[2] The call sign stood for Tacoma Broadcasters Incorporated, the company that owned the station. It was originally on AM 1490, powered at only 250 watts.

KTBI later switched to AM 810.[3] That was coupled with a power increase to 1,000 watts but the station became a daytimer, required to sign off at sunset to avoid interfering with 50,000 watt KGO in San Francisco.[4]


The station became KTAC on February 1, 1952. That same year, it made its move to AM 850, still powered at 1,000 watts but allowed to broadcast around the clock. In 1956, KTAC moved its studios and offices to the Winthrop Hotel.[4]

"85 KTAC" was a Top 40 competitor to KJR, KING and KOL throughout the 1970s. Don Wade, Robert O'Smith, John Williams, Ron Erak, Bruce Cannon, Bob Case and Ric Hansen were among the air personalities during its Top 40 dominance of the south Puget Sound area.


The call letters changed to KMTT on June 19, 1992, simulcasting with then-sister station KMTT-FM. Entercom sold the station to Southwave Wireless, LLC (Steve West and Dan Walker) in 1996.

On March 11, 1996, the station changed its call sign to the current KHHO.[5] It launched a news/talk format ("K-H-2-O, The Voice of the South Sound") featuring Manda Factor, Jeff Walker and Bruce Cannon.

Sports and talk

In 1998, the station was acquired by The Ackerley Group and adopted an all-sports format, featuring programming from ESPN Radio, then Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio and later NBC Sports Radio. For a time, it simulcasted KJR.

In 2002, KHHO was acquired by Clear Channel Communications.[6] KHHO changed from sports radio to a conservative talk format, branded as "South Sound Talk 850", on February 8, 2018.[7] During the conservative talk format's run, KHHO primarily aired nationally syndicated talk shows from Glenn Beck, Armstrong & Getty, Todd Schnitt, Buck Sexton, Clyde Lewis and Beyond Reality Radio.

Black Information Network

On June 30, 2020, after stunting with a loop of speeches by noted African American personalities the previous day, KHHO flipped to all-news radio as a charter station of iHeartMedia's new Black Information Network (BIN), which carries local and national news programming catered towards the African American community. The new format will compete with Lotus Communications' heritage all-news station KNWN/KNWN-FM.[8][9]


  1. ^ "KHHO-AM 850 kHz - Tacoma, WA".
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1943 page 152
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1950 page 317
  4. ^ a b "KTAC (KHHO) history cards" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  5. ^ "KHHO Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  6. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2005 page D-552
  7. ^ Venta, Lance (February 8, 2018). "iHeart Launches 1090 KJR and South Sound Talk 850 Seattle". RadioInsight. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "iHeartMedia Launches Black Information Network". RadioInsight. 2020-06-30. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  9. ^ "iHeart’s Black Information Network Launches In 15 Markets", Inside Radio. June 30, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.