KKLQ (100.3 FM, "Positive, Encouraging 100.3") is a non-commercial radio station that is owned by Educational Media Foundation (EMF) and carries the contemporary Christian music format of its nationally syndicated network K-Love throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Licensed to Los Angeles, California, KKLQ's transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson and has a booster in Santa Clarita, KKLQ-FM2 at 100.3 MHz, to extend its coverage into the Santa Clarita Valley and other areas north of Los Angeles.
|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles Area|
|Branding||Positive, Encouraging 100.3|
|Slogan||The K-Love for Christian music|
|Frequency||100.3 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||91.1 K216EM (Arcadia)|
91.1 K216FM (Inglewood)
91.9 K220HC (Studio City)
92.7 K224EY (San Marino)
100.7 K264AF (Guasti)
|Repeater(s)||100.3 KKLQ-FM2 (Santa Clarita)|
|First air date||1957 (as KMLA)|
|HAAT||889.0 meters (2,916.7 ft)|
|Call sign meaning||K K-Love Q|
|Former call signs||KMLA (1957–65)|
|Owner||Educational Media Foundation|
From 2008 through 2017, the station broadcast a classic rock format (though it initially aired an adult album alternative format) under the brand 100.3 The Sound as KSWD. In 2017, station owner Entercom announced its merger with CBS Radio. In order to satisfy Federal Communications Commission ownership caps, Entercom retained CBS Radio's pre-existing Los Angeles cluster but divested KSWD to EMF, who assumed control of the station on November 16, 2017 and flipped it to K-Love programming. The former broadcast studios of The Sound were located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles.
KKLQ is not affiliated with KLVE, a Spanish-language radio station which has used the name "K-Love" in the Los Angeles market continuously since 1974 and holds the trademark locally. Prior to assuming control of KKLQ, EMF reached an agreement with Univision Radio (now known as Uforia Audio Network), owner of KLVE, that allows KKLQ to use the K-Love brand on-air yet requires the station to differentiate itself in its marketing efforts.
The station at the 100.3 FM frequency debuted in 1957 as a background music station with the call letters KMLA. In 1965, the station became KVXN and then KFOX-FM, the country sister station to KFOX in Long Beach
KIQQ — K-100Edit
In 1972, KFOX-FM was purchased by four businessmen who changed the call letters to KIQQ in an attempt to capitalize on its 100.3 MHz dial location. The following year, with the station's soft rock format failing to gain ratings or billing, KIQQ brought in deposed KHJ heavyweights Bill Drake and Gene Chenault, who contracted to program and manage the station. In spite of bringing in former KHJ powerhouse jocks, including Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele, certain management and programming decisions are believed to have led to the demise of Drake-Chenault's run at KIQQ. By 1975, Morgan and Steele were gone. Ultimately, the station cut costs drastically by airing a generic national format via satellite.
In the early 1980s, the station dropped its K-100 handle and kept to the calls as "KIQQ" with a live and local aggressive top-40 or contemporary hit radio (CHR) format. The on-air lineup included Jeff Thomas, G.W. McCoy (engaged to actress Heather Locklear for a time), and Francesca Cappucci. "Play Hits for Cash" was a regular promotion. KIQQ simulcast the NBC television show Friday Night Videos and even had Wally George as a weekend call-in host. KIQQ also carried American Top 40 beginning in 1983 after competing CHR station KIIS-FM lost the countdown program over the playing of network commercials; this move forced KIIS-FM to create its own chart show, Rick Dees Weekly Top 40.
KIQQ — K-LiteEdit
By the mid-1980s, CHR competition from KIIS-FM, KKHR, and KBZT proved too intense for KIQQ; KIIS-FM alone had a 10 share in the Arbitron book. On July 29, 1985, KIQQ flipped to a satellite-delivered adult contemporary format as "100.3 K-Lite". The format lasted for only four years before the launch of another new format.
KQLZ — Pirate Radio 100.3 FMEdit
In 1989, KIQQ was sold to Westwood One, which hired Scott Shannon from WHTZ in New York City to program the station. At 5:00 a.m. on March 17, 1989, KIQQ became KQLZ, "Pirate Radio", airing a top-40 playlist heavily leaning towards rock. The last song played on KIQQ was "The End" by Earl Grant, while the first song on Pirate Radio was "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. While KQLZ played a lot of heavy metal music, they also mixed in some mainstream rock and even a few dance songs by artists like Madonna.
The first ratings books showed an initial spike, but faded rather quickly once the novelty wore off. KQLZ eventually dropped the dance songs and went completely rock. Shannon was dismissed in February 1991, and he eventually returned to New York to program WPLJ. On December 28, 1992, KQLZ shifted to modern rock and dropped the "Pirate Radio" moniker, rebranding as simply "100.3 FM" with the slogan "Southern California's Cutting Edge".
KXEZ — EZ 100.3Edit
Finally opting to leave the radio ownership business, Westwood One sold KQLZ to Viacom in 1993, and the new owners ended the rock format on April 2 at 3:00 p.m. Viacom brought KXEZ and its soft adult contemporary format back to life at 100.3 FM after a six-month absence from the FM dial. The KXEZ call letters and format previously resided at 98.7 FM, which in 1992 had become KYSR, "Star 98.7". It was during this period that the station hired prostitute Divine Brown to be their television spokesperson soon after her arrest with actor Hugh Grant.
KIBB — B100Edit
On August 29, 1996 at noon, KXEZ changed calls to KIBB and flipped to a dance-leaning rhythmic hot AC format, branded as "B100" ("The Rhythm of L.A."). The first song on KIBB was "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band. The move was to go after listeners who have become disenfranchised with the increasing hip-hop content at KPWR. The move also came about based on the instant success of WKTU in New York City, which debuted in February of that year. In 1997, the Chancellor company bought KIBB, added current songs to its playlist, and shifted directions to rhythmic contemporary hits. The slogan changed to "L.A.'s Hot FM".
KCMG — Mega 100Edit
Despite the effort and a promotional campaign (one memorable ad featured a large billboard of a Latina woman dancing placed near a building on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles), KIBB couldn't make a dent in the ratings. After a little over a year and minor tweaks in its playlist and direction, KIBB's fate was sealed when Chancellor decided to drop the format at 5 PM on November 19, 1997 (after a couple of days of teasing a "major event" and playing "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy as the final song) for yet another short-lived fad: Rhythmic Oldies as Mega 100. The first song on "Mega" was "The Cisco Kid" by War. The call letters were changed to KCMG. The format, which drew instant ratings success in the market, was replicated on many stations across the country in the late 1990s (however, many of these stations would flip in the early 2000s due to poor ratings and promotion). Chancellor merged with Capstar in 1999, forming AMFM Inc.
KKBT — 100.3 The BeatEdit
Clear Channel Communications merged with AMFM in 2000. Because of the merger, Clear Channel exceeded the radio station ownership limits (5 FM stations, 3 AM stations) in Los Angeles. As a result, Clear Channel decided to keep the stronger 92.3 FM frequency. They chose to sell the 100.3 FM frequency and the intellectual property of KKBT, which was on 92.3, to Radio One. KCMG's format and call letters would be retained and move to 92.3 FM.
When the switch was made on June 30, 2000 at 5 p.m., 100.3 FM became KKBT, "100.3 The Beat" and 92.3 became KCMG, "Mega 92.3". In August 2001, as the "Jammin' Oldies" format was starting to fade in popularity, Mega's format on 92.3 morphed into an urban adult contemporary direction and the station became KHHT, "Hot 92.3", a direct competitor to KKBT. Soon afterward, KKBT released their morning team of Dre and Ed Lover, as well as afternoon drivers "The Baka Boyz".
During the first four years under Radio One, KKBT enjoyed modest success as it battled KPWR for the R&B/hip-hop crown. KKBT heavily promoted Steve Harvey as its high-profile morning star and billed itself under the slogan of "Harvey & Hip-Hop". However, KKBT never overtook KPWR in the ratings. Harvey was also at odds with station management over the station's hip-hop content and refused to play questionable songs during his show until his departure from the station, when he went to KDAY.
By 2004, the station began showing signs of erosion in ratings, as it faced new competition. KDAY, which was formerly on 1580 AM, signed on for the first time on FM at 93.5 and debuted its own hip-hop format that September, siphoning off a good number of KKBT listeners. KXOL-FM's flip to Reggaeton in 2005 took many of The Beat's Hispanic listeners. KKBT went through a great deal of turmoil, with several popular air staffers leaving or being dismissed from 2002 through 2006.
On May 19, 2006 at midnight, KKBT officially threw in the towel as a mainstream urban outlet and flipped to a hybrid urban adult contemporary/urban talk format dubbed "Rhythm & Talk". According to the press release that was featured on the station's website: "The new format, which will engage 25- to 49-year-old adults, takes the best music of urban adult contemporary stations and adds compelling content delivered by proven national personalities Tom Joyner, Ananda Lewis, Michael Baisden, Wendy Williams and Free." Although it retained "The Beat" branding, the peace sign which was long a staple of The Beat in station logos was discontinued.
However, the 'Rhythm and Talk' emphasis did not succeed in the ratings, and the station dropped Free and Lewis first from the lineup. Williams, which aired on tape delay after midnight on weekends, was dropped later, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show was dropped when it could not compete with Steve Harvey on KDAY. Other on-air staffers also left the station, but Baisden remained until the station's format flip in April 2008. Michael Baisden later landed on KDAY, before being dropped by the station in July 2009.
KKBT was the last full-market hip hop/R&B station to use the Urban format as opposed to Rhythmic, not to mention the only one that covered the entire metro. However, much of its target audience tuned to other stations: Hispanics preferred KPWR and KXOL-FM; African-Americans had KHHT, KJLH, and to a lesser extent KTWV as options; and in the meantime KMVN debuted and targeted older listeners with dance pop from the 1980s to the present day. With that, ratings suffered and speculation grew about its future. Emmis Broadcasting reportedly was interested in the station, but decided not to buy it.
KRBV — V 100.3Edit
In October 2006, the station began phasing out the "Beat" branding and promos would only reference the 100.3 frequency and in December 2006, briefly touted "Majic", giving rise to speculation that Radio One would use the "Majic" brand, most notably found on sister stations WMMJ in Washington, DC, WWIN-FM in Baltimore, and KMJQ in Houston.
However, on December 29, 2006, at 8 a.m., Radio One instead unveiled V 100.3. With that, an Urban heritage based era came to an end: The KKBT call-sign was no more after 16 years, and "The Beat" branding was erased as a piece of radio brand history as KKBT was the very first radio station to carry "The Beat" moniker (although KDAY briefly revived the branding soon after). With the format flip, the call letters changed to KRBV. (Ironically, KRBV and the moniker "V 100.3" were both used on an urban AC station, what is now KJKK, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in the mid- to late 1990s.) The imaging was similar in fashion to WRKS in New York City, perhaps a reason being that Barry Mayo, the former general manager for WRKS, was consulting Radio One and thus wanted to use similar imaging for this station.
The re-imaging and air-staff changes did not help the station's ratings, however. At a stockholders' meeting in 2007, some investors called for KRBV to be sold, but company officials said that they had no such plans. One possible reason for this is that KRBV was the only Radio One-owned-and-operated station in the three leading markets in the U.S.; at the time, they did not own stations in New York City or Chicago. Also, a sale of KRBV would come at a loss to Radio One compared to how much it originally paid for it, possibly because of the residual effects of the frequency swap with KCMG.
On March 24, 2008, Radio One announced that the station had been sold to Bonneville International for $137.5 million. The transaction closed in the second quarter of 2008. According to a spokesperson for Bonneville, the station would continue to be a music station, although there were rumors that the station would actually flip to news/talk (similar to sister stations KTAR-FM in Phoenix, Arizona, KIRO-FM in Seattle, Washington, and WWWT in Washington, D.C.). On April 3, Bonneville confirmed it would flip the station to adult album alternative. KRBV's air staffers bid farewell to their listeners on their final day, April 7.
KSWD — 100.3 The SoundEdit
On April 8, 2008, Bonneville took over the operations of KRBV, and dropped the urban AC format at midnight Pacific time. The station then began stunting as Bruce Radio 100.3, playing all of Bruce Springsteen's hits in connection with his show that night at the Honda Center in Anaheim). After ten hours of playing "the Boss", followed by the song "I Love L.A." by Randy Newman, KRBV made the following announcement: "Hello, and welcome to what we hope will be a new beginning for Southern California and music fans everywhere." The station then became "100.3 The Sound" and the AAA format officially launched, with "Beautiful Day" by U2 being the first song played.
The new station offered listeners a wide selection of rock music, stretching from the 1960s to "last week", according to Bonneville vice president of programming Greg Solk and executive VP Drew Horowitz. In an interview from R&R the day of the launch, Bonneville president and chief executive officer Bruce Reese told the music trade publication, "It’s great to be back in L.A." He added that "we are truly excited about our new station — 100.3 the Sound will be a music station that has absolute respect for the music and that features a broad playlist".
On May 14, 2008, new call letters KSWD were officially introduced. The rights to these call letters had to be purchased from an FM station in Seward, Alaska, who then switched to the call sign KKNI-FM.
KSWD's new format and "The Sound" logo were loosely patterned after its then-sister station in Cincinnati, WSWD. But whereas KSWD's direction took a broader approach, WSWD focused mostly on 1990s and current fare (WSWD switched to a different format in 2009). KSWD was the fourth station in the Los Angeles radio market to program a Triple-A format. KNX-FM, KSCA and KACD/KBCD all have featured the format in past years. The last of those stations also used the positioning statement "World Class Rock for Southern California."
In May 2009, KSWD dropped its new music and shifted to classic rock, although its playlist included many more deep album tracks than their nearest competitors, KLOS and KCBS-FM. As a result, KSWD was pulled off of Mediabase's AAA reporting stations panel. Rival KLOS had already switched back to a harder-edged version of the same format.
On July 10, 2009, KSWD held "Finally a KMET Friday", an on-air event paying tribute to the defunct, pioneering Los Angeles rock station KMET. The event featured on-air appearances by former KMET personalities, classic jingles, and much of the music programming from the era, including an airing of Bob Marley & The Wailers's "Live at the Roxy" concert. The event was spearheaded by KSWD personality Jeff Gonzer, who was an alumnus of KMET; the station's program director Dave Beasing stated that public response to the event was "absolutely overwhelming and proof of the emotional connection that a generation of Southern Californians had with KMET". In 2013, KSWD held a second edition of the event, the "Mighty Met Weekend", from November 1 to November 3, 2013.
On December 8, 2014, KSWD general manager Peter Burton and program director Dave Beasing announced that Mark Thompson would replace Joe Benson in morning drive at KSWD. Benson would move to mid-days and current midday host Andy Chanley would become part of Thompson's show. Thompson hosted his last show on KSWD on August 3, 2016, after which Chanley took his place as morning host. From 1987 to 2012, Thompson co-hosted the morning show on KLOS with Brian Phelps.
On July 14, 2015, it was announced that Entercom would swap four of its stations in Denver to Bonneville in exchange for KSWD, to comply with ownership limits related to Entercom's acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media's radio stations. Once the purchase was completed on July 17, Entercom began operating KSWD under a time-brokerage agreement, marking the company's entry into the Los Angeles market for the first time, while Bonneville began operating their new cluster in Denver that same day. The swap to Entercom was consummated on November 24, 2015.
KKLQ — Positive, Encouraging 100.3Edit
On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced its intent to merge with CBS Radio. The company was required to divest stations in order to comply with ownership limits and on September 26, 2017, the company announced that it would divest KSWD, KSOQ-FM, and WGGI to Educational Media Foundation (EMF) for $57,750,000. KSWD was to be flipped to a contemporary Christian music format as part of EMF's K-Love network. The sale of the three stations to EMF was approved on November 2.
Once the station was scheduled to switch to K-Love on November 16, 2017, it was also announced that Los Angeles Rams FM radio broadcasts would move to KCBS-FM, beginning with the team's next game on November 19. As the station's final songs as a rock station, morning co-host Andy Chanley played the side-two medley of The Beatles' Abbey Road, concluding with "The End". Shortly after a final sign-off by Chanley, KSWD switched to K-Love at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time with the first song aired being Toby Mac's "Love Broke Thru". The station also changed to the KKLQ call letters which had been warehoused by a K-Love station in Fargo, North Dakota now known as KLDQ. The KSWD call letters were moved to KMPS-FM, an Entercom-acquired station in Seattle that flipped to a soft AC format and branded itself as 94.1 The Sound. Entercom completed its merger with CBS Radio the next day.
EMF was required to reach an agreement with Univision Radio (later known as Uforia Audio Network) in order to use the "K-Love" brand in the Los Angeles market. KLVE, a Univision-owned Spanish language AC outlet, has used the name K-Love continuously since 1974; the company holds the trademark to that brand locally.[note 1] While terms of this agreement were not disclosed, KKLQ markets itself locally as Positive, Encouraging 100.3, and its station identification contains the slogan "The K-Love for Christian music", in order to distinguish it from KLVE. In addition, the station markets itself as Positive, Encouraging 100.3 when used in advertising.
KKLQ broadcasts in HD Radio with both its HD1 and HD2 channels providing Artist Experience data including song titles, artists, and albums on compatible radios. Over the years, 100.3 FM has hosted a variety of formats on its HD sub-channels. The current HD sub-channel formats are:
- KKLQ-HD1 — Digital simulcast of the analog signal.
- KKLQ-HD2 — Air1, a contemporary worship music network with some contemporary Christian music
- KKLQ-HD3 — Radio Nueva Vida, a Spanish-language Christian teaching and music network. The service was introduced to this subchannel in October 2018. Nueva Vida is owned by The Association for Community Education, which has had affiliations and partnerships with EMF in the past.
- KKLQ-HD4 — Air1.
- August—September 2018: K-Love Classics, a Christian classic hits network owned by EMF.
- Until the sale to EMF: Radio Hamrah, Persian-language programming. After the sale to EMF, Radio Hamrah moved to KTWV-HD3.
- Until the sale to Entercom: Mormon Channel, operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, owners of Bonneville International.
Notable former on-air staffEdit
100.3 The BeatEdit
100.3 The SoundEdit
- In California, Univision Radio, Inc.'s registration of the "K-Love" trademark is restricted to the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Inyo, western portions of San Bernardino, San Diego, eastern portions of Kern, and western portions of Riverside. Educational Media Foundation owns the same trademark in the remainder of the state outside of the aforementioned areas.
- Durkee, Rob. American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century. ISBN 0-02-864895-1. New York City: Schirmer Books, 1999. Accessed December 10, 2007.
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- "100.3 KIQQ Becomes Pirate Radio KQLZ - Format Change Archive". Format Change Archive. 1989-03-17. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
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- "92.3 K-Rock WXRK becomes Free-FM WFNY-FM - Format Change Archive". RadioBB Networks. 2013-12-20.
- "KKBT Drops Urban Hip Hop For Urban AC/Talk Direction".
- "Tom Joyner To Exit KKBT/Los Angeles".
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- "KKBT Drops 'The Beat' And Relaunches As KRBV 'V100'".
- "Yahoo Finance — Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News". biz.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- "It's AAA For L.A. As KRBV Becomes 'The Sound'". AllAccess.com. All Access Music Group. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
- "V100 KRBV Becomes 100.3 The Sound - Format Change Archive". Format Change Archive. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- "'KMET Friday' a huge hit but will it happen again?". Orange County Register. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- "100.3 The Sound airing "KMET Mighty Met Weekend"". RBR. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- http://laradio.com/December 8, 2014
- Larsen, Peter (2016-08-03). "Mark Thompson announces an emotional goodbye from Southern California morning radio". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- "Entercom, Bonneville To Start Running Their New Stations Tomorrow". Allaccess.com. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
- "Rams Return to LA Radio in AM-FM Partnership". Fearsome Football. 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
- "CBS Corporation and Entercom Announce Merger of CBS Radio with Entercom to Create Preeminent Radio Platform - Entercom Communications". 2 February 2017.
- "Prices Revealed for EMF's Entercom Spins". RBR. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
- "100.3 FM The Sound prepares for shutdown". ABC7 Los Angeles. 2017-09-29. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
- Trakin, Roy (2017-09-26). "Entercom Sells Three Stations as CBS Radio Merger Nears Completion". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
- "100.3 The Sound To Be Replaced With Christian Music Station". LAist. Archived from the original on 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
- "FCC OK's Entercom-EMF Three-Station Deal On Way To Merger". InsideRadio.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
- "100.3 The Sound Signing Off As Station Goes From Classic To Christian Rock". CBS Los Angeles. 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
- Venta, Lance. "KSWD Sets Sign-Off Time; Rams To KCBS-FM". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
- Larsen, Peter (2017-11-16). "The Sound of silence: Classic rock station The Sound FM 100.3 played its final songs and left the air on Thursday". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
- "KLOVE Comes To SoCal As 'The Sound' Is Silenced". RBR. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
- "Entercom Completes Merger With CBS Radio - Entercom Communications". 17 November 2017.
- Venta, Lance (2017-11-16). "100.3 The Sound Signs-Off; Double The K-Love For Los Angeles". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
- "HD Radio Guide for Los Angeles".
- Official website (KKLQ)
- K-Love main site
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KKLQ
- Radio-Locator information on KKLQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KKLQ