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|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Slogan||More Variety From The 90's 'til Now|
|Frequency||104.3 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 15, 1959|
|Format||Hot Adult Contemporary
HD2: Pride Radio
|Callsign meaning||Carl "Mr. BIG" Bailey|
|Former callsigns||KBIG-FM (1959-2013)|
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|Sister stations||KFI, KHHT, KIIS, KLAC, KOST, KTLK, KYSR|
|Webcast||Listen Live (via iHeartRadio)|
KBIG (104.3 FM 104-3 MY FM) is an FM radio station in Los Angeles, California, owned by Clear Channel. The station plays a Hot Adult Contemporary format heavy on music from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
At one time KBIG was one of the highest-rated musical stations in the country. Founded by John H. Poole in 1952 as an AM radio station originating from Catalina Island off the coast of California. Known as "The Catalina Island Station". KBIG was earmarked by innovative programming and boosted by magnified signal strength, which Poole knew would be achieved by broadcasting the station's directional signal across ocean water. That created full-strength radio coverage from Santa Barbara to San Diego and beyond. The station became very popular presenting an Island theme and scheduling music, news, and commercials on a different sequence from his competitors. "We knew if you changed stations during a commercial, you would always find music on K-BIG," Poole claimed. The call letters were named in honor of the station's original disc jockey, Carl "Mr. Big" Bailey. They originally broadcast Big band and new music of the times. The AM station was sold to religious broadcasters in 1980 and now operates as KBRT.
In 1959 KBIG began simulcasting its AM signal on the 104.3 FM frequency (where KBIG continues to broadcast today). As an FM station, KBIG broadcast the format for which the station is best known, Beautiful music, playing lush instrumentals and occasional vocal performances. KBIG also had its staff of "KBIG Singers", who would sing the station's jingles and also record their own albums to offer to listeners. One of the "KBIG Singers" was session singer Sally Stevens, - Sally Stevens began her career as a free-lance session singer in 1961, and performed on station ID's and an album for KBIG in the 70's but did not begin her career at the station, although she would later be an on-air spokesperson in television ads for KBIG (along with fellow singer Johnny Mathis and actress Teri Garr). Stevens herself would become active, in film and television scoring as of 2012. The station was owned by Bonneville International for many years.
The Beautiful music format continued until 1987. At that time the station dropped the instrumentals and became a soft adult contemporary station, placing it as a direct competitor to KOST. In 1988 KBIG began mixing in more rock and roll oldies from 1964 to 1969 as well as hotter AC artists, although, was still Gold Based AC at that point.
The "Upbeat" evolution
By 1990 KBIG dropped the 1960s songs and began playing more current hits. In 1992, KBIG became more of a Hot AC station until 1995, when KBIG moved back toward mainstream AC to compete against rival KOST. In the 1990s KBIG was home to Disco Saturday Night. In late 1996 KBIG once again moved toward a Hot AC format. Bonneville decided to sell KBIG to Chancellor in 1997. In exchange, Chancellor sold KZLA 93.9 FM to Bonneville. In 1998, the station relaunched as "The New K-BIG 104" and replaced most of its disc jockeys. The station had switched back to a mainstream AC format. KBIG briefly became the Los Angeles area affiliate to the nationally-syndicated Delilah show. In 1999, Chancellor acquired KOST and KFI from Cox Radio. Chancellor had already owned Modern AC station KYSR. In 1999, Chancellor and Capstar had merged, forming AMFM, Inc. With AMFM now owning AC station KOST, they evolved KBIG to a Hot AC format with a lean on '80s gold, uptempo AC currents, and Rhythmic pop.
In 2000, AMFM was purchased by Clear Channel Communications. On July 18, 2005, KBIG made major changes by cutting back on commercial time (concentrating on 30 minute music sweeps), dropped the jingles and the top of the hour IDs (i.e., "... It's four o'clock in the West ..." would no longer be heard), and tweaked their musical direction by focusing on less currents and more recurrents from the 1980s and 1990s, with most of the music leaning towards a rhythmic approach. They also began to read out the individual letters of the stations ID, K-B-I-G, instead of the K-BIG (kay-big), although briefly in the summer of 2007, the "KBIG 104" slogan would sometimes be used.
In July 2006, KBIG also began expanding their Dance mixes to weekends. Usually the mixes were featured on its nightly programs "Boogie Nights" (7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays) and "Thump Radio" (midnight to 5 a.m. Friday–Saturday). While some suspected a shift to a Dance direction, KBIG management insisted that there were no changes in the works at the time.
On August 17, 2006, KBIG picked up new competition as Emmis Communications changed longtime Country music rival 93.9 KZLA to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "Movin' 93.9 (KMVN)." The move gave Los Angeles two stations with the same Rhythmic-sounding direction aimed at Adults, even though KBIG was technically an Adult Top 40. In 2007, Emmis launched a $5 million marketing campaign which has had little effect on KBIG. CFO Pat Walsh says it's the "single largest marketing program in Emmis history." CEO Jeff Smulyan seemed unsure of KMVN, saying rhythmic AC MOViN' "may or may not be right", but after a shaky start in its first two arbitron books, KMVN did move up in the Spring 2007 period, while KBIG saw a dip, which would be a sign of things to come with their direction.
Despite having been a Rhythmic based radio station (at the time), KBIG was a loyal affiliate to the legendary Casey Kasem and his weekly Hot AC countdown, American Top 20, which ran Sunday morning from 7:00am to 10:00am. Former KBIG morning man Charlie Tuna was Kasem's regular substitute host.
In 2003, David "Chachi" Denes became KBIG's Program Director, beginning his reign at the age of 28.
In February 2007, KBIG added "Delilah" back to its lineup. The news of having the program air on KBIG generated a lot of talk because her show is geared toward a mainstream AC audience, which was viewed as out of place on KBIG because of its Rhythmic direction. However after adding Delilah, KBIG began adding more Mainstream AC product into the playlist.
"104.3 MY FM"
During the first week in September 2007, there was talk about KBIG flipping formats and several domains had been registered. On September 7, Charlie Tuna confirmed a change was coming when he announced that he was out as morning host on his website, but will continue to work within the Clear Channel/Los Angeles cluster. At 10 a.m. on September 8, 2007, immediately after Tuna's show ended, the station dropped rhythmic adult contemporary and began identifying itself as "My FM," stealing the adult top 40 format from sister station KYSR (both stations continued to have the same format for a little while until the latter flipped to alternative rock on September 20, 2007), although KBIG-FM had been briefly moved to the Mediabase & Nielsen BDS adult contemporary panels (the format of sister station KOST). The first 2 songs on My-FM were the Plain White T's Hey There Delilah and Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer. However, the rhythmic adult contemporary format would replace urban adult contemporary at its KHHT sister station. By 2009, the station reverted to the hot adult contemporary reporting panel. The Rhythmic elements had been eliminated in favor of a mainstream Adult Top 40 direction. Denes describes the new approach as "Contemporary Adult Hits." In an interview with "R&R" Clear Channel L.A. VP of programming Michael Martin said, "With today’s consumer wanting to custom tailor everything to their liking the name MY is a perfect brand for radio. This is a station designed by the listeners to play music they tell us they want to hear. How do we know what they want to hear? Extensive market research and continual weekly music information to keep the station familiar, fun and family friendly." Martin continued, "MY is designed to sit right in the middle of STAR 98.7 (which has evolved to Alternative) and 103.5 KOST, playing a great mix of music styles and eras. The MY playlist is deep, filled with contemporary music from all genres. It’s a mix that is not currently heard in L.A. radio."
Denes added in the same article, "104.3MYfm will play adult hits like Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Shakira, Madonna, Santana and much more. Every song we play is or was at the top of the charts."
With the move, Delilah was once again dropped, leaving Los Angeles once again without a Delilah affiliate.
Sean Valentine, who had been at 102.7 KIIS-FM, hosts the morning show along with Liz Hernandez. Hernandez, who is also a correspondent for E! News and the host of E! News Now, co-hosted the KPWR morning show with Big Boy from 2001 to 2011 and joined KBIG in March 2013. The station throws an annual New Years Party at Disneyland's California Adventure.
Due to listener demand, My FM re-introduced American Top 20 with Casey Kasem as of Sunday, February 24, 2008. The show aired in the same time slot it aired prior to the "My" flip, Sunday Morning from 7 a.m to 10 a.m. until Casey retired from the program on July 5, 2009. Also, Disco Saturday Night was carried by My FM for nearly a year after the format change. After Labor Day 2008, the show was replaced by "8 Hours Of 80s." Due to budget cuts in the Spring of 2009, all specialty programming was eliminated on Saturday nights.
In April, 2009, Sean Hamilton, long-time afternoon driver at WKTU-FM in New York, joined to My FM as a host of the afternoon drive show, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Hamilton is still based in New York and voicetracked his show from New York to My FM.
Currently, KBIG's digital song information shows KBIG as KDBK-FM on select devices.
Dawson McAllister Live was added on Sunday evenings in July 2009. My FM is one of the few Hot AC stations to carry the show as it usually is found on CHR stations and geared toward a teenage and young adult audience.
In September 2012, KBIG was tied with top-40 KIIS for first place in the Los Angeles Arbitron ratings. The two stations each had a 5.2% audience share. This is the first time in KBIG's history that the station has been at number one in the ratings.
- Valentine In The Morning
- Lisa Foxx, middays
- Damien Fahey, afternoons
- Mario Lopez, nights
- Shelley Wade, overnights
On January 23, 2006, KBIG launched a HD2 subcarrier called "Studio 104", which focused on Disco Hits. The station had been programmed by Blake Florence since its inception. However, on June 4, 2008 at Noon, KBIG's HD-2 dropped the all Disco format to introduce an LGBT-oriented HD radio station called Pride Radio. It plays Dance and Rhythmic Hits.
- "Hollywood Hamilton is Back in L.A.". Radio-Info.com. April 9, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
- Official My104.3 website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KBIG
- Radio-Locator information on KBIG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KBIG