Broadcast areaSpokane metropolitan area
Frequency590 kHz
BrandingNewsradio 590 KQNT
FormatTalk radio
AffiliationsPremiere Radio Networks
Fox News Radio
First air date
February 28, 1922 (100 years ago) (1922-02-28) in Seattle
October 30, 1925; 96 years ago (1925-10-30) in Spokane
Former call signs
KHQ (1922–1985)
KLSN (1985–1986)
KAQQ (1986–2002)
Call sign meaning
K(H)Q News Talk
Technical information
Facility ID60421
Power5,000 watts unlimited
Transmitter coordinates
47°36′55.00″N 117°14′57.00″W / 47.6152778°N 117.2491667°W / 47.6152778; -117.2491667
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)

KQNT (590 AM) is a commercial radio station licensed to Spokane, Washington. It is one of the oldest radio stations in Washington, going on the air in 1922 in Seattle. KQNT offers a talk radio format and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. The studios and offices are on East Sprague Street in Spokane.

KQNT is powered at 5,000 watts, using a non-directional antenna. The transmitter is on East Sands Road in Spokane Valley, Washington.[1]


All of KQNT's weekday shows are from nationally syndicated hosts: Glenn Beck, Clay Travis & Buck Sexton, Sean Hannity, Joe Pags, Jesse Kelly, Clyde Lewis, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal.

Weekends feature shows on money, health, home improvement, real estate and law. Weekend syndicated shows include At Home with Gary Sullivan, Bill Handel on the Law and Sunday Night Live with Bill Cunningham as well as repeats of weekday shows. Most hours begin with world and national news from Fox News Radio.


KHQ in Seattle

1924 advertisement for the Excelsior Motorcycle and Bicycle Co., "Operating Station KHQ".[2]
1924 advertisement for the Excelsior Motorcycle and Bicycle Co., "Operating Station KHQ".[2]

KQNT's first license, with the randomly assigned call letters KHQ, was issued to Louis Wasmer in Seattle on February 28, 1922.[3] KHQ broadcast on the 360 meter (833 kHz) "entertainment" wavelength. Wasmer was a former United Wireless Telegraph Company radiotelegraph operator, who had opened the Excelsior Motorcycle and Bicycle Co. in 1911, and also sold radio equipment.[4] Following two weeks of transmitter adjustment, the station made its debut broadcast on February 28, 1922. Its initial schedule was phonograph music presented every evening between 7 and 8:30.[5]

KHQ was the second Seattle station licensed following the formal establishment of a broadcasting service category on December 1, 1921, by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the regulators of radio at this time.[6] The first Seattle station licensed under these new regulations was KFC on December 8, 1921, which was operated jointly by the Northern Radio and Electric Company and the Post-Intelligencer newspaper. A third Seattle station, Vincent I. Kraft's KJR received its broadcasting station license on March 9, 1922. However Kraft had begun broadcasting over an experimental station beginning in 1920. Thus, when KHQ debuted it was described by a local newspaper as "the third broadcaster".[5]

In March, KHQ suspended operations for nearly two weeks, returning with a 50-watt transmitter that replaced the original 10-watt set,[7] which had been sold to the Economy Market so it could establish station KZC.[8]

Because initially there was only the single entertainment wavelength of 360 meters available for use by multiple stations, regions had to set up a timesharing agreement to allocate individual station timeslots. On November 28, 1922 KHQ had the fewest programs of four listed stations, with a schedule of 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.[9]

In January 1925, KHQ began broadcasting from a studio located at the Bush & Lane Piano Company store on Third Avenue,[10] and the station also moved to 1100 kHz.[11]

KHQ in Spokane

In May 1925 it was announced that KHQ was temporarily going off the air in order to give Bush & Lane time to "make extensive alterations in the studio", in addition to a major facility upgrade.[12] Instead, after broadcasting for three years in Seattle, Wasmer relocated the station to Spokane,[13] reportedly transporting the radio equipment in a motorcycle sidecar.[14] KHQ was Spokane's fifth radio station, preceded by stations KFZ,[15] KOE,[16] KFIO (now KSBN) and KFPY (now KXLY), although only KFIO and KFPY were still licensed at the time of KHQ's arrival.

Part of the move included an upgrade from 100 to 1,000 watts, although the station remained on 1100 kHz. KHQ's Spokane debut on October 30, 1925, from the Davenport Hotel, was made with great fanfare.[17][18] Announcer Frank "Spark Plug" Buhlert told listeners that "The first 500 persons who send telegrams or phone in that they have heard the program will receive a souvenir bag of ore from the world's largest lead mine, the Bunker Hill & Sullivan, at Kellogg, Idaho."[19] The debut broadcast ran from 8 p.m. to midnight,[20] and included assorted speeches and music.[21]

Wasmer moved the station's studios and office across Post Street from the Davenport Hotel to the seventh floor of Spokane Stock Exchange Building (also called the Eilers Building) in 1928 because the fledgling station had outgrown its quarters in the hotel.[22] KGA later joined KHQ in the building, which was subsequently renamed the Radio Central Building.[23]

KHQ changed its transmitting frequency a number of times in the mid-twenties, until November 11, 1928, when, under the provisions of a major reallocation resulting from the Federal Radio Commission's (FRC) General Order 40, it was reassigned to 590 kHz[24] which it and its successors have used ever since.

The August 1941 adoption of the Federal Communications Commission's "duopoly" rule restricted licensees from operating more than one radio station in a given market.[25] At this time Louis Wasmer, Inc. owned two Spokane stations: KHQ and KGA. To conform with the FCC order, in 1946 Wasmer sold KHQ to the Cowles Publishing Company, publisher of The Spokesman-Review newspaper,[26] which used it to launch an FM station (now KISC) and a television station (which still bears the KHQ-TV calls). KHQ stayed in the Radio Central Building until 1960, when it moved to a modern facility next to its transmitter site on South Regal on the Moran Prairie.[27]


KQNT radio tower, Spokane Valley
KQNT radio tower, Spokane Valley

Cowles sold off its radio interests in 1984; on New Year's Day 1985, and kept the historic KHQ call letters for its TV station. Because of a FCC rule in place at the time that prohibited TV and radio stations in the same market but with different ownership from sharing the same call letters, AM 590 changed its call to KLSN,[28] with the slogan "Listen 5-90".


On December 1, 1986 the station changed its call sign to KAQQ,[28] which was phonetically similar to the original KHQ call letters.


On New Year's Day 2002 the call letters became KQNT.[28]


  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KQNT
  2. ^ Excelsior Motorcycle and Bicycle Co. (advertisement), Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 29, 1924, page 7.
  3. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, March 1, 1922, page 2. Limited Commercial license, serial #307, issued for operation on 360 meters for a period of three months to Louis Wasmer in Seattle, Washington.
  4. ^ "Who's Who in Seattle Radio", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 3, 1922, page 17.
  5. ^ a b "Three Broadcasters Busy", Seattle Daily Times, February 28, 1922, page 5.
  6. ^ "Amendments to Regulations", Radio Service Bulletin, January 3, 1922, page 10.
  7. ^ "Stronger Set Is Ready", Seattle Daily Times, March 29, 1922, page 7.
  8. ^ "Radio News", Seattle Daily Times, April 25, 1922, page 25. KZC was short-lived and was deleted on April 11, 1923.
  9. ^ "What's In The Air", Seattle Star, November 28, 1922, page 5.
  10. ^ "Bush & Lane Station To Broadcast Wednesday", Seattle Times, January 18, 1925, page 5.
  11. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, February 2, 1925, page 8.
  12. ^ "KHQ To Be Improved", Seattle Daily Times, May 17, 1925, page 18.
  13. ^ "KHQ - 1922 to Present" by Bill Harms (philcobill.com)
  14. ^ "Louis Wasmer, Pioneer of Radio, Dies", Seattle Daily Times, August 25, 1967, page 49.
  15. ^ Licensed to the Doerr-Mitchell Electric Co., March 23, 1922−September 8, 1923.
  16. ^ Licensed to the Spokane Chronicle, April 12, 1922−October 7, 1922.
  17. ^ "New Radio Will Make Bow Tonight", Spokane Daily Chronicle, 30 October 1925, page 3.
  18. ^ "Ceremonies Will Mark Opening of New Radio Plant", Spokane Chronicle, 29 October 1925, page 1.
  19. ^ "KHQ Goes On Air Here", Spokane Spokesman-Review, 30 October 1925, page 11.
  20. ^ "KHQ's Debut is Big Success", Spokane Spokesman-Review, 31 October 1925, page 1.
  21. ^ "Chronicle to Broadcast Halloween Parade Report", Spokane Daily Chronicle, 31 October 1925, page 2.
  22. ^ "KHQ Will Move Radio Studios", Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2 May 1928.
  23. ^ "KHQ - Radio Central Building" by Bill Harms, Spokane Radio History (philcobill.com)
  24. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, 30 November 1928, page 8.
  25. ^ "Ban On Multiple Ownership in Same Area", Broadcasting, August 11, 1941, pages 6-7.
  26. ^ "FCC Approves KHQ Sale to Newspaper", Broadcasting, February 11, 1946, page 42.
  27. ^ KHQ Radio Broadcasting Station Licenses from 1934 to 1937. Federal Communications Commission. Washington, DC. From the National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
  28. ^ a b c "KQNT Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.