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KTLK logo
City of license Minneapolis, Minnesota
Broadcast area Minneapolis-St. Paul
Branding 100.3 K-Talk
Slogan FM News Talk
Frequency 100.3 FM (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
100.3-2 FM (KTLK2 - Classic rock (HD Radio)
First air date 1965
Format Commercial; News/Talk
ERP 98,000 watts
HAAT 281 meters
Class C1
Facility ID 54458
Callsign meaning TALK
Former callsigns WCTS (1965-1993)
WBOB (1993-1997)
WRQC (1997-1999)
WLOL (1999-2003)
KJZI (2003-2006)
Affiliations Fox News
Owner Clear Channel
Sister stations KDWB, KEEY, KFAN, KFXN, KQQL, KTCZ
Webcast Listen Live!

KTLK-FM (100.3 FM, "100.3 K-Talk") is a conservative news/talk radio station located in the Twin Cities area. They are licensed to Minneapolis, Minnesota. KTLK's transmitter is located in the suburb of Shoreview on KMSP-TV's tower. Its effective radiated power is 98,000 watts (including beam tilt).



The station started broadcasting in 1965 as WCTS, with a non-commercial Christian format, consisting of mostly Bible teachings, by the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis. WCTS took its call letters from its owner - the Central Theological Seminary. WCTS continues broadcasting to this day on 1030 AM.

"Bob 100"

A startup company called Colfax Communications purchased WCTS-FM for $10 million in early 1993.[citation needed] Part of the deal was that they needed to find an AM station for the Seminary to purchase in order to continue the format, which they did when they struck a deal to buy WMIN. Around the same time, Colfax took advantage of recently relaxed FCC rules and became the Twin Cities market's first duopoly when they purchased KQQL to partner with the new station. Once WCTS switched frequencies in January, Colfax took the FM station off the air for a few months, eventually signing back on a few months later, on May 13 with a country music format as WBOB ("Bob 100"), after stunting for two weeks with a comedy format, to create a buzz about the new station. The slogan was "Turn your knob to Bob". WBOB faced stiff competition from the long established K102 and upstart KJJO-FM, which had switched to country only a few months prior. Despite this, WBOB was consistently the second highest-rated country station in the market behind K102. Bob 100 even passed K102 very briefly for the crown,[citation needed] but when KJJO dropped the format, it allowed K102 to point its guns solely at WBOB, and that battle ended.

Rock 100.3 and Howard Stern

In 1996, both WBOB and KQQL were sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, which owned other stations in the market.[citation needed] A format change for WBOB was subsequently expected, and finally, on April 15, 1997, WBOB became WRQC, broadcasting a hard rock format with Howard Stern in the morning and the slogan "Classic Rock That Really Rocks". The purpose was to topple highly-rated classic rock station KQRS-FM and its wildly popular morning show hosted by Tom Barnard.[citation needed] WRQC was known on-air initially as Real Rock 100, later Rock 100.3. WRQC created some controversy for its provocative billboards touting Stern, with a scantily clad female model and the words "Turn On Howard".[citation needed]

Stern's show was a mild success in the market,[citation needed] but consistently finished second or third in the ratings, while only taking away a smaller than expected number of listeners from KQRS and Barnard. In addition, like many other Stern affiliates, ratings for the station the rest of the day were poor,[citation needed] and certainly not helped by KQRS' owners flipping its sister station, KEGE to a similar hard rock format in 1997. Rock 100.3 did not meet its objective in providing a strong rival to KQRS.


Rock 100.3 and Stern left the Twin Cities airwaves on August 3, 1999, as the station began stunting by carrying audio from other co-owned stations from around the country.[citation needed]. When the new format debuted, the format was 1970s-era classic hits. Although ratings were decent initially, the station's overall performance was disappointing[citation needed].


WLOL remained on 100.3 for almost four years, but in July 2003 the KJZI call letters and a smooth jazz format were introduced. This was the first smooth jazz station since KMJZ (104.1 FM) went off the air in 1998. (The current KZJK carries the format on its 104.1-HD2 subchannel.)

Smooth Jazz 100.3 carried one syndicated show Jazz Trax on Saturday evenings form 10pm-12am. This show featured on air personality Art Good and his weekly Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown.

During its time in operation KJZI would have a place in the local Minnesota State Fair where they would have shirts, mouse pads and other gear for the public to take or purchase.

For two years Smooth Jazz 100.3 made a CD with its most popular music. Proceeds of the CD went to various charities in the Twin Cities that helped promote children play music.

The station gained some goodwill in the community when the local public broadcaster KBEM, another jazz station, found itself in financial straits in early 2005, Clear Channel donated $25,000 to help keep it operating.[1] KJZI and sister station KTCZ carried announcements requesting support for KBEM. The generous move was lauded by many in the media. [2]

On January 2, 2006 KJZI switched over to a News/Talk Format with a new call sign KTLK-FM


A few sample KJZI Station IDs


While satisfied with smooth jazz, Clear Channel was even more interested in launching a news/talk station in the Twin Cities, in order to take advantage of their Premiere Radio Networks syndication arm and the company's recent launch of FOX News Radio.[citation needed] Clear Channel denied renewal of Premier synidcated shows such as Rush Limbaugh, who was a local longtime affiliate of KSTP for the new station. This resulted in KSTP going in a more locally-oriented and less conservative direction. Having no AM stations in the market on which they could run a news/talk format (KFAN was already highly successful with their sports/talk format, and KFXN possessed too weak a signal), Clear Channel decided to put a talk format on one of their FM signals.[citation needed] The company had experienced success with the introduction of news/talk programming on one of their Pittsburgh FM stations, WPGB.[citation needed] More recently, Clear Channel has launched FM news/talk stations in other markets. Since their other Twin Cities FM stations were already well established and successful, local management decided KJZI was the most expendable.[citation needed]

On January 2, 2006, KJZI switched to talk, becoming the second commercial FM talk station in the area after female-oriented talk station WFMP. The new call letters were KTLK, and they obtained the local syndication rights to Limbaugh's and later Sean Hannity's radio programs from KSTP.[citation needed] A mix of local and syndicated hosts such as Glenn Beck and Mike McConnell currently fill out the rest of KTLK's schedule, including former KSTP host Jason Lewis and longtime Twin Cities morning personality John Hines, who was recently moved over from K102. The station has also resumed carrying Vikings football broadcasts. (There is an AM News/Talk station in Los Angeles, California that also uses the KTLK call sign. While two stations on different bands and/or in different cities may use the same call sign, they must be owned by the same company — in this case, Clear Channel is also the owner of the Los Angeles KTLK.)

In the spring of 2008, former KTLK news director, Jeff Monosso, was honored with U.S. Congressional recognition for his reporting on the 35W Bridge collapse.[citation needed] He and host, Jason Lewis, were also honored by the Minnesota Associated Press for best spot news coverage.[citation needed]

Recently, KTLK has begun to see ratings growth in the Metro area of Minnesota[3].

The station has recently come under controversy due to remarks by two on air personalities concerning Magic Johnson. The two personalities, Chris_Baker_(talk_radio_host) and Langdon Perry, insinuated that Johnson had faked his HIV diagnosis for publicity and sympathy. [4]


By February 2005, the station was one of a handful of stations in Minnesota to use iBiquity's HD Radio system for digital radio broadcasts. On April 25, 2006, Clear Channel announced that KTLK's HD2 subchannel will carry a format focusing on classic country hits from their Format Lab. In August 2009, the format was changed to classic rock.

External links


  1. ^ Rybak, Deborah Caulfield (January 23, 2005) "Radio rival comes to aid of KBEM" Star Tribune
  2. ^ | World's longest deejay shift?
  3. ^ Arbitron Ratings Data
  4. ^
  • Deborah Caulfield Rybak (August 30, 2005). Limbaugh, Hannity moving to FM band; smooth jazz fades out on 100.3. Star Tribune.


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