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City of license Encinitas, California
Broadcast area San Diego County
Branding 102.1 KPRI
Slogan "San Diego's Finest Rock, Then and Now."
Frequency 102.1 (MHz)
First air date April 1, 1996 as KXST with the Triple-A format
Format AAA
ERP 30,000 watts
HAAT 192.7 meters
Class B
Facility ID 51503
Former callsigns KXST, KIOZ, KGMG
Owner Compass Radio Group
Webcast Listen Live

KPRI (also 102.1 KPRI) is an AAA Station in San Diego, California that plays blues, reggae, folk, pop, and rock music from the mid-1960s through the present.

KPRI-FM is the only independently owned and operated commercial station in the San Diego market, and is owned by the Compass Radio Group, Inc. The station was formed on April 1, 1996 by two partners, Robert "Bob" Hughes and Jonathan Schwartz. Both had backgrounds in the corporate side of radio and had always hoped to create a station that was commercially viable while at the same time critically successful.

102.1 was originally licensed by the FCC with antenna and tower in San Marcos, California. The station was—and still is—licensed to Encinitas, California. KPRI's transmission emitted a city-grade signal that covered most of San Diego County, but due to the topography of the county, there were certain areas the station served better than others. San Diego's affluent North County Coastal areas received the signal without interruption, while areas in main San Diego such as Pacific Beach or La Jolla had degraded "in home" reception due to interference caused by Mount Soledad. Previous ownership had set up repeaters (low-power transmitters) scattered across San Diego to improve transmission of the radio station, but because those created as many problems as they solved, KPRI stopped using some of them in 1997.

On February 13, 2008, KPRI moved their transmitter to Mount Soledad in order to improve their signal and to increase their audience.


The Original Station

When it first went on the air in the 1950s, the station billed itself as "KPRI - Capri-by-the Sea," a middle-of the-road and jazz station with studios on 5th Avenue in San Diego. This early version of KPRI featured popular DJ's like Rod Page and George Manning.

KPRI continued with its MOR format, supplemented by a progressive rock show hosted by pioneering underground disc jockey OB Jetty. Finally, in May 1968, KPRI switched full time to Progressive Rock. The lineup included Gabriel Wisdom, Fred Nurk, Dana Jones, and Joe Chandler. Later additions to the air staff included Jerry Lubin, Adrian Bolt, The Kapusta Kid, and Barrance Q. Zacker. Jim Lanter (air name "Jim LaFawn") was the Program Director from 1971 to 1973. In the early 1970s, Gerry Gazlay was the station's News Director. Gazlay left KPRI to work as a newscaster at competitor KGB AM & FM in 1973. Larry Shushan owned the station until 1971, when it was sold to Southwestern Broadcasting.

This era is portrayed in the motion picture "Almost Famous," with Cameron Crowe's visit to KPRI's studios at the corner of 7th and Ash in downtown San Diego.

In 1973 KPRI hired Michael Harrison as PD. He installed a more mainstream AOR format which influenced many other stations around the country. KGB FM and KPRI battled for rating supremacy for all of the 70's and into the 80's. Eventually, KPRI could not compete with the ratings success of KGB FM.

On January 9, 1984, KPRI changed its call letters and format. The last song that the station played on its last evening as "KPRI" was "The End," by The Doors.

According to David Tanny, operator of San Diego Radio News: "The KPRI that is back is basically the station that used to be KCBQ-FM ten years ago on 105.3 until it shifted radio transmitter locations from San Diego to Oceanside's 102.1 in a complex deal swap. In 2002, 102.1 picked up the KPRI calls when that became available. It was KXST from 1996-2002 between those times".

While operating as KXST, the station called itself "Sets-102" and its programming featured sets of two or more songs by the same artist. That format was dropped with the switch to the KPRI call letters in 2002.

KPRI current programming

  • The House of Blues Radio Hour
  • The KPRI Morning Show with Madison
  • Jodina in the Midday
  • Saturday Morning Unplugged
  • Sunday Morning Unplugged
  • Oz in the Late Afternoon
  • Evening with Robert
  • Homegrown Hour
  • E-Town
  • San Diego Live

Contacts at KPRI

  • Robert S. Burch - Station Manager
  • Patrick Osburn - VP/General Sales Manager
  • Magi Aguilar - Director of Marketing & Promotions
  • Clark Newton - Local Sales Manager
  • Bob Jeffrey - Traffic Manager
  • Mary Warfield - Accounting Manager/Controller
  • Jack Rabell - Chief Engineer

External links



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