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KSOL: Wikis


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City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Branding "Radio Estereo Sol, 98.9 y 99.1"
Frequency 98.9 MHz
Format Regional Mexican Music
ERP 6,100 watts
HAAT 409 meters
Class B
Callsign meaning SOuL (old format); SOL=Spanish for "sun"
Owner Univision
Website Radio Estereo Sol

KSOL 98.9 FM ("Radio Estereo Sol, 98.9 y 99.1") is a Spanish language radio station in San Francisco, California. KSQL (99.1 FM) simulcasts the station in Santa Cruz. KSOL and KSQL program a format consisting of regional Mexican music and talk shows. Both stations are owned by Univision.

There are two booster stations for this station: KSOL-FM2 in Sausalito since 1992, and KSOL-FM3 in Pleasanton since 1997.

The 98.9 frequency is the third station in the San Francisco market to use the callsign KSOL. The first was the AM rhythm and blues station at 1450 AM (the current KEST). Sly Stone was influential in guiding KSOL-AM into soul music and started calling the station K-SOUL. The second was a popular soul music station (sans the K-SOUL moniker), at 107.7 FM (now known as KSAN). The current KSOL is unrelated to the previous two stations.



The station at 98.9 was the original home of KCBS-FM. In September 1978, owner CBS arranged a three-station swap that enabled them to be heard on a much stronger signal. KCBS-FM, their format and intellectual property moved to KEAR's 97.3 FM frequency, KMPX moved their big band and swing music format and call letters from 106.9 FM to 98.9 FM, and KEAR moved their Christian-based format from 97.3 FM to 106.9 FM.

"The Quake"

In 1982 KMPX was sold to a New Jersey investor group, administered by general manager Les Elias and station manager Bob Heymann, and flipped to a mainstream rock format as KQAK, aka "The Quake" on August 23 of that year, Hosting the morning show was the popular Alex Bennett, who had left KMEL in a disagreement over station direction a few months earlier.

KQAK was a personality-oriented album-oriented rock station for its first eight months of operation, and was partially influenced by the programming of WLUP in Chicago, a station that Elias and Heymann had previously managed.

A talented air staff was assembled for the station. In addition to Bennett (with Joe Regelski as co-host, continuing their collaboration from KMEL), Big Rick Stuart, Jed Gould III (aka Jed the Fish), Mike Koste, Richard Gossett, Belle Nolan, Rob Francis, Oscar Medina (aka Oz), Paul Wells (aka Lobster), comedian Tim Bedore and others worked at The Quake at one time or another.

A month after KQAK's debut, another Bay Area station, KFOG changed its format from beautiful music to rock. This change left the Bay Area with six very similar-sounding stations (KMEL, KRQR, KQAK and KFOG, plus San Jose stations KOME and KSJO). Today, KFOG is the only one of those stations still carrying a rock format.

In April 1983, Elias and Heymann decided to reposition the station (under the programming guidance of Rick Carroll from KROQ) as the "Rock of the '80s," emphasizing new wave, punk, reggae, 'Two-Tone' ska, first generation Gothic rock, tracks from the 1960s and 1970s by musicians whose work influenced later punk and new wave performers, and the occasional novelty track. The modern rock format of The Quake has become much more memorable than their AOR incarnation, and its later demise was an important catalyst for a shift to a similar but more polished presentation at "Live 105" (KITS) in 1986.

Popular programs on The Quake, in addition to the 'Alex Bennett Program', included 'Early Tremors', 'Midnight Dread' and a syndicated program called 'Rock Over London'.

The KQAK broadcast studios were located at 1311 Sutter Street in San Francisco.

Later, another station, progressive talk radio KQKE, went on to use the same "Quake" nickname. Paul "Lobster" Wells has worked for KQKE, which was otherwise not related to KQAK. Today, the station, AM 960, is "Green Radio" KKGN.

The KQAK call letters currently reside on a station in Bend, Oregon.

More format and ownership changes

On June 22, 1985, The Quake dropped modern rock, becoming KKCY ("The City"), with an eclectic rock format, partly inspired by another midwestern station, KTCZ in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All of The Quake's on-air staffers left the station, except for Bennett and his morning sidekick, Joe Regelski. Bennett left a short time later when station management insisted he play more music on his show, and later brought his morning show (sans Regelski) to KITS.

The 98.9 frequency then underwent years of turmoil. In late 1987, the station dropped the eclectic freeform rock in favor of Big Band/Adult Standards(shades of the original KMPX) then early the next year they adopted a CHR format as KHIT. Both of these changes elicited a large outcry from the dedicated following KKCY's format had gathered. A group called "Coalition To Save The City" was formed and the group lobbied KHIT's owners to change the format back.

The station was eventually purchased by Bay Area media mogul James Gabbert, who changed the call letters to KOFY-FM on May 14, 1988, matching the calls of sister TV station KOFY Channel 20 and 1050 AM. Gabbert returned the station to the previous adult album alternative (Triple A) format, which lasted for two years amid much tweaking.

The next owner of KOFY obtained their neighboring station on the dial, KLRS (99.1 FM) in Santa Cruz. The two stations tweaked KOFY's Triple A format and adopted the call letters KDBK (98.9) and KDBQ (99.1) - "Double 99" in July 1990.

"Star 99" arrived on the two frequencies in the Spring of 1993, as the call letters KSRY and KSRI were picked up for the stations' new adult contemporary format.

KSOL call letters arrive at 98.9 FM

In December 1993, Allen Shaw's Crescent Communications purchased 107.7 KSOL from United Broadcasting, and purchased KSRY and KSRI from Viacom in 1994. Shaw changed 107.7 to KYLD in April 1994, calling it "Wild 107". The KSOL call letters were put on then-co-owned 98.9 frequency, with the format was switching to urban adult contemporary. The San Jose signal of 99.1 became a San Jose simulcast of "Wild 107" as KYLZ.

KSOL, KYLD and KYLZ were sold by Crescent Communications in August 1996 to Tichner Media and Evergreen Media. KSOL switched to a Regional Mexican music format, and 99.1 became KZOL, again a simulcast.

In April 2002, KSOL swapped call letters with KEMR (105.7 FM) in San Jose, and shifted toward a Spanish language adult contemporary approach, with 99.1 becoming KZMR. When 105.7 switched formats and call letters to KVVF, the KSOL call letters returned to 98.9, with 99.1 redubbed KZOL.

The two station have simulcasted since 1990, with 98.9 covering the north bay, and 99.1 covering the far south bay.

Callsign history for 98.9

  • KCBS-FM "CBS FM" until September 1978
  • KMPX "Multiplex" September 1978
  • KQAK "The Quake" August 1982
  • KKCY "The City" June 1985
  • KHIT "Hits FM" early 1988
  • KOFY "Hits FM" May 14, 1988
  • KDBK "99 FM"August 2, 1990
  • KSRY "99 FM"April 16, 1993
  • KSOL "KSOuL" May 6, 1994
  • KSOL "El Sol" August 15, 1996
  • KEMR "Amour" April 10, 2002
  • KSOL:"El Sol" January 2, 2003

External links



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