KMLE (107.9 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station, licensed to Chandler, Arizona, and serving the Phoenix metropolitan area. The station is owned by Entercom and airs a country music radio format. The studios and offices are on North Central Avenue in Downtown Phoenix.
|Broadcast area||Phoenix metropolitan area|
|Branding||New Country KMLE @ 107.9|
|Frequency||107.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||April 18, 1980|
HD2 "Country Thunder"
100,000 with beam tilt
|HAAT||529 meters (1,736 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||Disambiguation of "Camel"|
|Former callsigns||KLRG (1979, CP)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KALV-FM, KOOL-FM|
The transmitter is off Road D in South Mountain Park amid other towers for Phoenix-area FM and TV stations. It has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 96,000 watts (100,000 with beam tilt). Its facility ID number is 59965.
KMLE's first owners got a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission in 1979, to build a new FM station under the call sign KLRG. Those call letters were never used, and the owners eventually acquired the KMLE call sign on June 18 of that year. The station officially signed on the air on April 18, 1980. The station was owned by Radio KMLE, Inc., with George T. Wilson serving as President and General Manager.
At first KMLE aired an easy listening format. But for most of the 1980s, it was a brokered time Christian radio outlet. National and local religious leaders would pay the station a fee for half hour segments of airtime, during which they could ask for donations to their radio ministry.
Switch to CountryEdit
In the early 1990s, Shamrock Broadcasting took over KMLE, switching the station's format to country music. At the time, 102.5 KNIX-FM was often the leading station in the Phoenix ratings, having been a country outlet since 1969, first under the ownership of singer and TV host Buck Owens and later Clear Channel Communications, now known as iHeartMedia.
Since then, KMLE and KNIX have been locked in a long time battle for Phoenix country listeners. Occasionally there'd be a third country station in Phoenix as well, but those attempts did not last more than a few years, with KMLE and KNIX often trading the lead among country listeners.
In 1997, KMLE was acquired by Chancellor Media, which later merged into AMFM, Inc. In 2000, the station came under the ownership of the Infinity Broadcasting Corporation. Infinity was later merged into CBS Radio.
KMLE broadcasts in the HD Radio format. The main signal is a simulcast of KMLE's country music programming. At first, the HD2 signal carried Tim and Willy's Classic Country. Tim and Willy were terminated from the radio station during the summer of 2012. The HD2 subchannel now carries "Country Thunder."
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1981 page C-10
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1990 page B-17
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1993 page B-19
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2002-2003 page D-23
- "CBS Radio To Merge With Entercom - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.