|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Frequency||93.9 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1970|
|Format||KXOS: Spanish Contemporary
KXOS-HD2: Spanish Oldies
|ERP||18,500 watts horiz
16,000 watts vert
|Callsign meaning||K EXitOS|
|Owner||Emmis Communications (Radio Centro is operating the station via LMA)|
KXOS (93.9 FM, Exitos 93.9) is a Spanish AC station serving Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The station is owned by Emmis Communications and operated by Radio Centro, which owns several stations in Mexico.
On April 15, 2009, 93.9 switched to Spanish-language programming at midnight under a seven-year Local Marketing Agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City that also gives GRC an option to purchase the station from Emmis, if the FCC in that time allows a foreign broadcaster to own an American broadcasting concern.
KPOL-FM 93.9 signed on in 1958 as a simulcast of KPOL 1540 AM with an easy listening format. In 1977, under the ownership of Capital Cities Communications, KPOL-FM broke away from the simulcast and adopted a soft rock format similar to crosstown KNX-FM using the on-air identity "94 FM". They changed call letters to KZLA in 1978 (one year later, 1540 AM rejoined the simulcast and also adopted the KZLA call letters).
Metromedia's KLAC 570 AM had adopted a country format in 1970, initially competing with 2 stations with much weaker signals. In 1980 KHJ 930 AM, owned by RKO General, changed formats to country. Around the same time, KZLA AM and FM dropped their soft rock format for country.
The three country music outlets struggled, including KZLA. In 1983 KHJ dropped country and returned to an adult contemporary format. KLAC held its own. At this point KZLA began to grow in the ratings as Los Angeles' only FM country station. On its website, it claimed to be the United States' most-listened-to country radio station, even though they never managed to dent the top 15 in the Los Angeles Arbitron ratings during its 26-year run.
In 1984, Capital Cities sold KZLA-AM to Spanish Broadcasting System (which rechristened it KSKQ) and KZLA-FM to Malrite Communications Group. Metromedia sold KLAC in 1987 to Malrite, which moved it to a classic country format. By 1990, Malrite had changed KLAC to an adult standards format from Westwood One, leaving KZLA as the established country music station in the market.
In 1994 Shamrock Broadcasting acquired KZLA and KLAC in a merger with Malrite; in 1996 Chancellor Media acquired all of Shamrock's stations, including KZLA and KLAC. The following year, Chancellor merged with Evergreen Media Corporation. Evergreen already had KKBT (then on 92.3) and KOST 103.5; Chancellor subsequently acquired Viacom's KYSR 98.7 and KXEZ 100.3. This gave Chancellor six FM stations. In 1998 Bonneville Broadcasting made a corporate deal to swap several stations with Chancellor, giving the latter six FM stations, including KOST, KBIG, KYSR, KKBT, and KXEZ (which would change formats and calls), plus two AM stations: KFI 640, and KLAC 570. Bonneville, in return, would acquire KZLA.
KZLA modified the country format over the years, at times mixing in a few non-country pop songs and also playing more classic country. Bonneville exited Los Angeles in 2000 by selling KZLA to Emmis Communications, the station's current owners. Under Emmis' ownership, most of the country songs they played during its tenure in the format were from 1987 to the present day, with some classic cuts mixed in.
In 2006, KZLA began to carry NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races as the local affiliate of the Motor Racing Network. The first broadcast was the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
On August 17, 2006 at 10:20 a.m. Pacific time, KZLA's format was changed to rhythmic adult contemporary music. After the station played "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban to end the old format, KZLA played "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas to start the new one. The first DJ to be "let go" was the very popular Brian Douglas who did evenings for four years. Soon after that, the station's demise was well under way with others losing their positions as well.
They were also the second station in the United States to adopt the "Movin'" concept, the first being KQMV/Seattle, Washington. KQMV is not owned by Emmis; however they did acquire the rights to use the moniker from consultant Alan Burns, who helped launched KQMV's format. Burns also teamed up with fellow consultant Guy Zapoleon (whose partnership with Burns dates back to the launch of KHMX/Houston in 1991) on the new upstart.
Jimmy Steal, Emmis' vice president of programming, cited declining ratings of the country format as well as an opportunity to increase overall station and corporate revenue.
For a time, KZLA continued online, but the stream was later dropped. The FM station changed its call letters to KMVN on September 1, 2006. Tilden moved to KABC, where he worked until being laid off in cost-cutting moves in 2008. Other personalities moved to KKGO. Garner's show, which was flagshipped at KZLA, moved to Clear Channel Communications but does not have a Los Angeles affiliate.
On the heels of launching KMVN, Emmis also signed legendary entertainment personality Rick Dees to host the morning drivetime show. Dees was host at another area station, KIIS-FM, from 1983 to 2004. Dees returned to the airwaves on September 25 and also picked up his "Rick Dees' Weekly Top 40" program on Sunday mornings, which started October 1. It should be noted that KMVN aired Weekly Top 40 with most of the non-Rhythmic hits (mostly Rock/Pop) edited from the show because of KMVN's format. The morning show, Rick Dees in the Morning, aired from 5-10am and featured Patti "Long Legs" Lopez and Mark Wong. Over the course of a few months, the station began adding more staffers to its lineup, with Tera Bonilla doing middays, Mario Fuentes hired for afternoons, and Nena handling nights and weekends. In addition, DJ Enrie and DJ Rawn (both from KPWR) and DJ Icy Ice (a veteran of KKBT and KDAY) became the station's mixers, as KMVN started adding mixshows to its lineup, which aired weekdays at noon and 5PM, and on Fridays ("Fiesta Mix") and Saturdays ("Movin' Party Mix", hosted by Clarence Barnes) from 7pm to 12 Midnight.
The ratings for the morning daypart increased by over 400% in the first 12 weeks Dees was on the air. However, the long-term success of the station was yet to be proven. Often stations "spike" in the ratings when they first appear on the air. Furthermore, the station had failed to bring in more than half of the audience it did as a country music station according to Radio and Records. After being stuck below a 1.0% share in the first two rating periods, KMVN finally recovered in the Spring 2007 arbitrons when it started to show its first increase to a 1.2% share. With KBIG's decision to shift to a regular Adult Top 40 direction in September 2007, KMVN was hoping to inherit its rival's displaced listeners, who had grown accustomed to hearing the Rhythmic fare that KBIG used to play.
By October 2007 KMVN began to phase out most of its currents and '90s product, along with the mix shows, in an effort to improve the ratings, which had not been spectacular. They also changed their slogan to "The '70s and '80s Mix That Makes You Move," to identify with its gold-based direction. The changes had yet to translate into ratings. In the May 2008 Arbitrends, KMVN was in 34th place with a 0.8% audience share. By Summer 2008 KMVN began adding Classic and Dance-friendly Modern/New Wave hits from the 1980s to its musical mix but continued to stay within the Rhythmic Gold realm.
KMVN had been in competition with KHHT "Hot 92.3", which began shifting from Urban AC to a Rhythmic AC approach in early 2008 in an effort to counter KMVN, whose format targeted the same Black/Hispanic audience as KHHT.
On April 3, 2009, Emmis announced that they had entered into a seven-year local marketing agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City. Beginning April 15, GRC started to provide Spanish-language programming and sell advertising time. GRC also entered into a seven-year call and put option agreement with Emmis which would allow them to purchase the assets of KMVN, although that portion of the deal is contingent on the FCC allowing a foreign broadcaster to own an American station, which is currently disallowed.
At midnight on April 15, 2009, the station ended its rhythmic AC format, and switched to a Spanish AC format.
On June 4, 2009, KMVN changed their call letters to KXOS, to go with the "Exitos" branding.