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City of license KDLD: Santa Monica
KDLE: Newport Beach
Broadcast area KDLD: Los Angeles
KDLE: Orange County
Branding El Gato 103.1
Frequency 103.1 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
First air date KDLD: 1960
KDLE: 1962
Format Regional Mexican
HD2: Dance
ERP KDLD: 3,700 watts
KDLE: 300 watts
HAAT KDLD: 82 meters
KDLE: 294 meters
Class KDLD: A
Facility ID KDLD: 33902
KDLE: 33904
Owner Entravision Communications

KDLD is a commercial radio station in Santa Monica, California, broadcasting to the Los Angeles area on 103.1 FM.

KDLE is a commercial radio station in Newport Beach, California, broadcasting to the Orange County area on 103.1 FM.

KDLD & KDLE are a Spanish language music format branded as "El Gato 103.1" on its analog and main HD Radio signal. The format is Regional Mexican.

In a notable incarnation, the 103.1 signals broadcast under the moniker Indie 103.1, which was a critically acclaimed alternative rock station with a widely diverse playlist. Indie 103.1 is now available for streaming at



The 103.1 frequencies in LA/OC operated as two separate stations prior to the 1990s, KSRF/Santa Monica and KOCM/Newport Beach. Both signals carried a B/EZ (beautiful music/easy listening) format in the 1960s/1970s and AC (adult contemporary) in the 1980s but targeted for each specific beach community. 103.1 Santa Monica was known as K-Surf (which was brought back for a time on KKGO and XESURF before switching to Country) and 103.1 Newport Beach was known as K-Ocean. The carriers of the two transmitters were synchronized to try to create a continuous coverage area between the two locations.

The first format on the synchronized signal was Rave inspired MARS-FM, using the call letters KSRF/KOCM, from late 1991 through late 1992. Club D.J. Swedish Egil accepted a rare opportunity to develop his music director skills and visionary style when he left KROQ in 1991 to join L.A.'s new MARS-FM, along with fellow KROQ alum Freddy Snakeskin who became MARS-FM's program director. The station became well-known for its role in introducing America to the techno/rave music phenomenon where Egil was responsible for "picking the hits" and breaking new artists. Egil and his leased time format were dumped by owners seeking a more mainstream station. 103.1 became a jazz format station as Jazz FM 103.1 using the call letters KAJZ/KBJZ, followed by another format change to CD 103.1, an adult contemporary format using the call letters KACD/KBCD.

In 1996, Swedish Egil returned and launched "GROOVE RADIO 103.1 FM", fulfilling Egil's dream of expanding his syndicated weekly 3-hour "GROOVE RADIO" program, previously heard in Los Angeles as part of the nighttime "Renegade Radio" show on KWIZ, into the first full-time 24/7 format in America devoted to new dance music and to the art of the DJ. Groove Radio 103.1 gained an unprecedented notoriety for its innovative programming and groundbreaking music format that became the catalyst for dance music's exposure across the entire United States. Groove Radio had a morning drive time show hosted by Jim "The Poorman" Trenton, a L.A. radio icon and one of the two original co-hosts of the radio show "Loveline" from KROQ, currently hosted by the other co-host, Dr. Drew Pinsky.

In 1998 Egil was forced out of the station after the owners once again decided that they wanted the station to go in a mainstream direction. The owners switched it to an Urban Contemporary format as Groove 103.1 (since Egil owned rights to the "Groove Radio" name), but then after the flooding of negative feedback crashed their voicemail system, they brought the Dance format back a week later, relaunching with the song "Children" by Robert Miles and continued with a Dance Hits intensive electronica format for a year. The station signed off on October 12, 1998 with the song "Children" by Robert Miles, the same song they launched the new dance format with.

In late 1998, Jacor Communications (now Clear Channel Communications) purchased the station. After Groove Radio signed off, it went into a stunt format for the rest of the day airing a repeat of the Spice Girls's "Wannabe", and afterward became a simulcast of 102.7 KIISFM. Two weeks later, the simulcast ended and the new format began as Channel 103.1 programmed by Nicole Sandler, playing a mixture of a new format called "Adult Alternative", including Dave Matthews, Tracy Chapman, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Tom Petty, Keb Mo, Led Zeppelin (with a standing rule that Stairway to Heaven would get absolutely no airtime), Pink Floyd, Dramarama, Beck, Vertical Horizon, and many others of similar caliber, spanning from the late 1960s and into 2001. The station was alternately titled World Class Rock, which they stuck with for their lifespan. They had a very small staff who ran six hour shifts (a change from the otherwise normal four-hour shift that most jocks took), with program director Nicole Sandler taking the afternoon shift, and Andy Chanley handling the mornings from 5:30 AM until well after noon.

In late 2000, after Clear Channel merged with AMFM, it was determined that 103.1 FM had insufficient coverage for the Los Angeles basin. Sandler realized that her station would be one of the casualties of the merger. It was decided that Channel 103.1 would be the first radio station to go off the air and transition directly to the internet on a fulltime web stream at and It was sold to Entravision Communications, a company better known for its Spanish language outlets (because Clear Channel found itself over FCC ownership limits due to another merger). Entravision flipped it to Spanish Hits "Super Estrella" under the call letters KSSC/KSSD.

In 2003, Entravision moved the "Super Estrella" format to their newly acquired 107.1 signals from Big City Radio, which today use the call letters KSSE/KSSC/KSSD. 103.1 FM was flipped to Dance Hits format KDL 103.1 using the call letters KDLD/KDLE. The format was modeled after KDL 106.7 KKDL in Dallas, Texas. Groove Radio had been out of the market for several years, and appetites had changed, and message boards accused the programmers of being too mainstream, but the ratings 18-34 were solid given the signal. It certainly caused enough competition to KIIS to gain Clear Channel's attention. Clear Channel stepped in again and paid Entravision to change the format to a more Rock leaning format, eliminating the competition with Clear Channel's KIIS and directing it toward CBS Radio's KROQ.

In early December 2003, KDL 103.1's airstaff was dismissed and the station began running on automation until finally they signed off on December 21 with the L.A. Style song "James Brown is Dead", then had a few moments of dead air before playing a track titled "Punk Rock Christmas". They had a small playlist running for a few days with an alternative and eclectic mix of Christmas music and fast IDs saying "Independent Radio". During this time, there were many periods where the signal would drop out for 3 - 5 minutes.

Indie 103.1 quickly grew in popularity among listeners around the Los Angeles area and around the world.

In the former Fox TV show, The O.C., the character of Ryan is seen waking up to Indie 103.1 on his alarm clock. A Indie 103.1 bumper sticker is seen in the cubicle in the movie "Grandma's Boy" and in an episode of the MTV show Punk'd, the Indie 103.1 studios are the place Latin reggaeton star Daddy Yankee gets pranked.

On December 25, 2003 at 11 PM, Indie 103.1 was born. The station began as a collaboration between Entravision and Clear Channel. Clear Channel primarily handled advertising on the station, but because the organization already owned the maximum number of stations in the Los Angeles market allowed by Federal Communications Commission regulations, the arrangement was terminated in March 2005.

In March 2006, Dicky Barrett of "The Mighty Morning Show" left the station.[1] He was replaced by Joe Escalante, who called his show "The Last Of The Famous International Morning Shows."

On August 19, 2008, Station Manager Dawn Girocco announced her departure from the station.[2] Starting in October 2008, longtime specialty shows were either dropped ("Feel My Heat," Community Service," "Big Sonic Heaven," "Camp Freddy Radio") or moved to weekends ("Harmony in My Head").[3] Upon the cancellation of his roots music show "Watusi Rodeo," Chris Morris accused the station of "now being styled as KROQ Jr." in an effort to increase the station's ratings.[4]

In November 2008, Escalante stated he was giving up the morning show but would continue to host an expanded two-hour version of his legal-advice show, "Barely Legal Radio."[1] He was replaced by longtime station Afternoon DJ "TK."

On Thursday, January 15, 2009 in the morning, Entravision made the decision to stop broadcasting Indie 103.1 on the terrestrial airwaves. On-air staff and station staff were asked to evacuate and clear the station immediately. Before 10 A.M., the station's personalities bid farewell to the listeners and at 10 A.M. a message saying the following was played on the air until midnight Saturday, January 17, 2009.

"This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience - Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game. We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course. This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative simply put, only the best music. For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves. We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world."


When the signals were synchronized, they consisted of a 3000 watt directional signal in Santa Monica and 2000 watt non-directional signal in Newport Beach. However in late 2005, an attempt was made to improve the signal by adding an extra 700 watts to the Santa Monica transmitter and removing the gain antenna to provide a non-directional signal. They also relocated the Newport Beach transmitter a few miles south to a mountain south of Newport Beach, giving it 300 watts of power but tripling the height. The Newport Beach transmitter was made directional, sending the signal northeast and southwest. This fixed the problem of poor signal along the coastal cities and in Orange County, California. Nevertheless, the combined signals still have poor coverage in the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley where KSRY overlaps KDLD, and in the area around Torrance, California where KVYB bleeds over 103.1 in an unprotected service area between the two transmitters.

Former personalities and shows on Indie 103.1

A number of famous musicians hosted their own shows on the station, including Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Rob Zombie, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, and members of The Crystal Method, and others, including Courtney Love have been guest hosts.

  • Jonesy's Jukebox (Mondays - Thursdays 12pm-2pm) hosted by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, The premise of the show is that the self-described "Sire of Wilshire" can do whatever he wants (within FCC rules), with no direction from station management.
  • Jonesy's Jukebox Jury (Fridays 12pm-2pm) hosted by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Steve sits with 4 people, and listens and comments on new music.
  • The Last Of The Famous International Morning Shows (Mondays-Fridays 6am-10am) Morning Show hosted by Joe Escalante.
  • Mr. Shovel (Mondays - Fridays 10am-12n) The Midday Show hosted by Mark Sovel.
  • TK (Mondays-Fridays 2pm-7pm & 6am-10am) Afternoon Show and Morning Show.
  • Darren Revell (Mondays - Fridays 7pm-12m) The Evening Show.
  • Harmony in My Head (Saturdays 8pm-10pm) Indie's most eclectic music show with social and political commentary, hosted by Henry Rollins.
  • Big Sonic Heaven (Monday-Thursdays 10pm-12am) featuring ethereal, electronic, dream pop, shoegaze and post-punk music. Darren Revell hosts, programs and produces Big Sonic Heaven which originally aired in Detroit from 1995-2003.
  • Barely Legal Radio (Fridays 9am-10am) hosted by Joe Escalante of The Vandals, where Escalante gives entertainment-related legal advice to callers.
  • iTunes @ 2 (Fridays 2pm-3pm) hosted by Alex Luke, Director of Music Programming at Apple Computer (formerly VP of Napster).
  • The Smash Mix (Friday 5:30pm-6pm, approx) with DJ Paul V.
  • Check 1...2 (Sundays 6pm-8pm) hosted by station music director Mark Sovel, features music from Los Angeles area bands.
  • Retrograde (Saturdays 7am-9am), "the legends of indie rock," hosted by Dredd Scott.
  • Passport Approved (Saturdays 9am-10am) hosted/programmed by Sat Bisla of A&R Worldwide/MUSEXPO. The show features international music from all around the world and was the first in the USA to play Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Wolfmother, Kasabian, Kate Nash, Adele, Duffy, Sam Sparro and many others.
  • Complete Control (Saturdays 10pm-12am) hosted by Joe Sib of the band Wax, features punk rock.
  • Dark Matter (Wednesdays, midnight-2 a.m.) hosted by Dave Navarro.
  • Neon Noise (Sundays 12am-3am), features Electronic music and mixes, hosted by DJ Paul V.
  • Head Trip (Sundays 6am-9am) Mellow tunes for your Sunday morning, hosted by Christian B.
  • Native Wayne's Reggae Smoke-in (Sunday afternoon 4-6p) hosted by Grammy-winning producer "Native Wayne" (Wayne Jobson), features reggae music and interviews with reggae musicians. Native Wayne is a native Jamaican of European ethnicity.
  • Dead Air (Sundays 8pm-10pm) Indie's new music show featuring in-studio performances, hosted by Chuck P.
  • Chaos (Sundays 10-mid) "the metal show", hosted by "Full Metal Jackie."
  • Suicide Girls Radio (Sunday nights/Monday 12am-2am) hosted by the Suicide Girls.
  • The Red Zone (currently not on air) hosted by Cha-Cha (Chelina Vargas), features Latin Alternative music, much of it from unsigned bands. Co-created by Tomas Cookman, the show first aired on now-defunct Y107 (KLYY) in 1999, making it likely the first Latin Alternative radio show to broadcast on a commercial English-language radio station. The show appeared on MTV Español and was at one point turned down by KROQ before airing on Indie 103.1.
  • Spookshow International hosted by Rob Zombie.
  • New Wave Nation, a syndicated show hosted by former MTV VJ Nina Blackwood.
  • Camp Freddy Radio (Saturdays 6pm-8pm) hosted Dave Navarro and other members of Camp Freddy.
  • Feel My Heat (Mondays 7pm-10pm) hosted by Brent Bolthouse and Danny Masterson. The show's title is taken from the film Boogie Nights.
  • Community Service (Fridays 10pm-12am) hosted by Ken Jordan and Scott Kirlkand of The Crystal Method.
  • Watusi Rodeo (Sundays 9am-11am), a show of Americana music hosted by Chris Morris. Canceled in December 2008.[5]


Other references:

External links



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