Radio #TBT: DFW Big Switch (KMEZ/KDLZ/KJMZ)

An early edition this week…

KMEZ/KDLZ/KJMZ Dallas-Fort Worth “Big Switch”

Christmastime 1988 on the Dallas/Fort Worth radio dial brought “the big switch.”  The new ownership of easy listening KMEZ-FM 100.3 “EZ100” decided to flip the station to R&B KJMZ “100.3 Jamz.”  The KMEZ-FM calls and easy listening format would then go to then-R&B KDLZ 107.5 “Power 107.5.”  This aircheck is a composite of KMEZ-FM 100.3/KMEZ 1480 and KDLZ 107.5 a few days in advance announcing the changes, followed by the sign-off of KMEZ-FM on 100.3 and the debut of KJMZ.  KJMZ launched with stunting of Nucleus/”Jam On It” repeated over and over before launching on Christmas day.  KJMZ started out with some top 40 “crossovers” (the then-popular industry term for stations between top 40 and R&B), but evolved to just R&B.  KMEZ 1480 simply changed simulcast partners…going from simulcasting KMEZ-FM on 100.3 to KMEZ-FM on 107.5.

KMEZ-FM 100.3 Dallas-Fort Worth to KJMZ / KDLZ 107.5 Fort Worth-Dallas to KMEZ-FM

Backgrounds on the stations…

The 100.3 Dallas facility launched in December 1965 as KBOX-FM, the FM off-shoot of top 40 KBOX 1480.  KBOX-FM signed on with easy listening, which it would keep in some form (as KBOX-FM, then KTLC in 1973, and KMEZ-FM in 1976) until the change to KJMZ in December 1988.  KJMZ would run until September 1 1995, when it changed to adult R&B “V100”; a call sign change to KRBV became effective the following week (September 7 1995).  KRBV then changed to dance top 40 “Hot 100” on March 14 1999.  They re-launched the format as “Wild 100” on May 28 2001.  KRBV would then evolve to mainstream top 40 “Wild 100.3” before changing to adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM, Playing What We Want” on July 1 2004, which it remains today.

The 107.5 Fort Worth facility originally signed on as KNOK-FM in 1965, as the FM off-shoot and simulcast of R&B/soul KNOK 970. Other than a short-lived flirtation with disco in the late 1970s, 107.5 remained R&B until the “big switch” in 1988.  In 1985, it relaunched the R&B format as KDLZ “Z107” and later “Power 107.5.”   KMEZ-FM lasted until July 1991, when it changed to rock AC “CD107.5,” a mellow classic rock station with no harder-edged rock.  KCDU was short-lived; when smooth jazz KOAI 106.1 decided to return to top 40 in November 1992 (becoming top 40 KHKS “106.1 Kiss FM”), KCDU picked up the KOAI calls and smooth jazz format as “107.5 the Oasis.”  KOAI would run all they way until October 2006, when it flipped to rhythmic AC KMVK “Movin’ 107-5.”  For audio of  “Movin'”‘s first day, see previous blog post http://chipsshots.com/radio-tbt-koai-ksrr-fm-kbts/.  KMVK changed to Spanish hits “Mega 107.5” in 2009  In 2013, it became regional Mexican “La Grande 107.5,” which is its present day format.

The 1480 Dallas facility signed on in 1952 as MOR/jazz KGKO.  KGKO became top 40 KBOX “K-Box” in 1958.  Although a legendary top 40 station, it always fell in the shadow of top 40 rival KLIF 1190.  KBOX ceded the top 40 format to KLIF and flipped to country in January 1967.  The country format ran until 1982, when it became KMEZ and a simulcast of KMEZ-FM.  In 1989, it broke the simulcast and became “Dallas Business News” KDBN (the KDBN calls would later be used again in Dallas by 93.3 when it became “the Bone” years later; see http://chipsshots.com/dfws-93-3-a-case-study-in-mediocre-radio/).  KDBN changed to a standards format in 1991 as KCMZ “Memories 1480.” From 1993 to present, it would go through several owners and many formats and calls.  In April 1993, KCMZ changed to regional Mexican KMRT.  KMRT changed calls to KDXX February 1998.  Regional Mexican KDXX changed to Spanish soft AC simulcast of KDXX-FM “Amor.” (Note: KDXX-FM was then 107.9 Corsicana, rimshooting Dallas from the south.  107.9 would be downgraded and moved into the Waco market later to enable co-channel sister 107.9 Gainesville TX to upgrade to target Dallas, now the present day KESS-FM Lewisville). KDXX changed to Tejano “Kick” simulcast of KHCK-FM 99.1 Denton as KHCK in mid-2002. Later, when the FM changed format, it kept the Tejano format as “Tejano 1480AM.” Following a sale, it became southern gospel KNIT in 2005 and then to ESPN Deportes in 2007 until 2009.  After an extended period of time when it was silent, 1480 is back on the air as religious KBXD.

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