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KQRS-FM
Current KQRS logo
City of license Golden Valley, Minnesota
Broadcast area Minneapolis-St. Paul
Branding 92 KQRS
Slogan "Minnesota's Classic Rock"
Frequency 92.5 FM MHz (also on HD Radio)
92.5-2 FM KQRS2 "The Bear" Classic Country (HD Radio)
First air date September 1, 1962
Format Commercial; Classic rock
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 315 meters
Class C
Facility ID 35505
Callsign meaning Quality Radio Station
Former callsigns KEVE-FM, KADM
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
(Radio License Holding III, LLC, Debtor in possession)
Sister stations KXXR, WGVX/Y/Z
Webcast Listen Live!
Website 92kqrs.com
KQRS Billboard
KQRS1978a.png
Historic KQRS logos

KQRS-FM (92.5 FM, KQ92 or 92 KQRS) is one of the most popular radio stations in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, and primarily broadcasts a album oriented rock music format.

KQRS, whose call letters stand for Quality Radio Station, is known as the station that finally unseated legendary area broadcaster WCCO (830 AM) from the top ratings spot, with help from The KQ92 Morning Show hosted by Tom Barnard. Barnard and the KQ Morning Show also were successful in holding the top rating spot when Howard Stern made his debut on the Twin Cities airwaves in 1997. Stern only lasted until mid-1999 in Minneapolis as his ratings brought him to the number two position in morning drive time, but the station that carried the show, WRQC, had poor ratings during the rest of the day, leading to the dropping of Stern and a format change.

The station is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, which owns a few other outlets in the area, including "93X" (KXXR) (93.7 FM), and "Love 105" (105.1, 105.3 and 105.7 FM). Its main transmitter is located on the KMSP-TV tower in Shoreview, Minnesota, with backup facilities atop the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Contents

History

The original call letters were KEVE-FM and the station was co-owned with sister AM station KEVE-AM 1440. KEVE-AM's history predates the FM by 14 years; it launched in May, 1948 and was owned by Family Broadcasting until mid-1956 and was known until at least then as KEYD, co-owned with KEYD-TV 9 (now KMSP Fox9 and launched by Family Broadcasting in January, 1955). The KEYD Radio studios were located in downtown Minneapolis on 9th Street off of Hennepin Avenue practically next to the Orpheum Theater (see 1953 photo link below). Calls were changed to KADM to complement its AM sister (as in "Adam and Eve") in October 1963. A year later the call letters for both radio stations became KQRS. The KEVE-AM studios had, by 1957, moved to its transmitter site in Golden Valley at 917 Lilac Drive, set back from Minnesota State Highway 100. This location was the first studio and transmitter site for KEVE-FM, today's KQRS-FM.

The KQRS call sign stayed with the AM until 1982 when it switched to an oldies format as KGLD before returning to the simulcast and the KQRS calls less than two years later. In 1996 the AM was again split from the FM to become one of the first affiliates of Radio Disney, a format targeting children (see KDIZ). Both stations were owned by Disney at the time. In early 2001 KQRS and KDIZ (along with sister stations 93X and 105.1/105.3/105.7) moved to studios and offices at 2000 Elm Street SE in Minneapolis, near the University of Minnesota campus.

Initially, KQRS programmed a younger-leaning beautiful music/soft rock format. In addition to this format, Joe Pyne's talk radio show was carried. In the summer of 1968, KQRS started experimenting with freeform progressive rock in the late night hours. This became popular, and by the end of the year this became the primary format.

By 1977, the freeform rock would give way to a tightly programmed rock approach, courtesy of radio consultants Burkhart/Abrams and their "Superstars" format, which was essentially just the hits from album-oriented rock.

Rival KXXR, then known as "93X", was purchased by then-owners Capital Cities-ABC in the Spring of 1994 and became an alternative rock station (KEGE, "The Edge"). It primarily competed with the growing "REV 105," though KQRS' owners purchased the three signals comprising it in 1997. The stations went through several incarnations, including heavy metal, adult urban contemporary/"jammin' oldies" and for the majority of the time alternative rock, prior to the current Soft AC/oldies format of "Love 105" which made its debut on May 8, 2007.

With the three formats, Disney initially created what many in the industry refer to as the "wall of rock". It's easy to say that Disney dominated rock music in the Twin Cities, and used 93X and Drive 105/Zone 105 as 'flankers' to ward off competitors trying to knock off the company's cash cow KQRS.

KQRS has been programmed by award-winning programming veteran (and former DJ) David Hamilton, for about 20 years. His airstaff has remained unusually consistent for years as well. Tom Barnard and Terri Pawelk ("Traen/Trainy") in the morning (as well as others such as Pioneer Press sports columnist Bob "Sanny" Sansevere, Mike "Stretch" Gelfand, Phillip "Philly Dawg" Wise, Bryce, Brian Zepp, and Channel 9 news personality Jeff Passolt); Wally Walker-middays; Ray Erick-afternoons and Lisa Miller-evenings and imaging voice of the station.

On-air personality Tony Lee did many comedy bits and parody songs but quit in early 2001 due to differences. Barnard is notorious for not allowing the names of former on-air personalities to be mentioned once they exit the station; loyal listeners were surprised when one day Lee wasn't on the air with the rest of the crew (no explanation of his departure, no mention of his name since). The morning show has become less humor-oriented and more news-oriented since Lee's departure; KQRS "compilation" CDs (most of which proved the morning show to mainly be a vehicle for Tony Lee's bits, skits and songs) from past years bear this out.

In May 2005, KQRS began offering podcasts of its popular morning show through the station's website. KQRS ceased offering the podcast on 10/06/2009, much to the dismay of its fans.

On June 1, 2007, Citadel Communications closed on its purchase of ABC Radio, acquiring KQRS 92.5. KDIZ, the former KQRS 1440, was retained by Disney.

Pop culture

In the 1996 Christmas-themed movie Jingle All the Way, the character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger calls KQRS during a contest in an effort to win a rare toy doll for his child. The character gets through and answers the question correctly but finds out that he wins only a gift certificate.

External links

References


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