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However, the original licensee, Charles Herrold, had begun making audio radio transmissions in 1909, and KCBS has traditionally dated its founding to that year.

Herrold's earliest radio work had been largely forgotten until 1959, when Gordon R.

KCBS operates with a transmitter output of 50,000 watts, and during the daytime can be regularly received as far north as Sacramento and Hopland and south as far as San Luis Obispo.

In good conditions it is also heard as far north as Redding and south to Santa Maria.

At night, the station employs a directional antenna, primarily sending its signal to the southeast, in order to protect the coverage of CFZM in Toronto, Ontario, which is the dominant Class A station on the 740 k Hz clear-channel frequency.

The earliest transmissions used spark-gap transmitters which could only transmit the dots-and-dashes of Morse code.On rare occasions "DXers" (hobbyists who listen for distant stations) have reported receiving KCBS across the Pacific Ocean, and in Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado and the northwestern portion of Mexico.In addition to over-the-air broadcasts, KCBS audio is webcast with live streaming audio around the clock.KCBS often airs news reports of regional interest originating from Los Angeles sister station KNX.KCBS received its first broadcasting station license, as KQW in San Jose, California, in early December 1921.In addition, all civilian radio stations were ordered to be dismantled, so for the duration of the conflict Herrold left the airwaves.

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