|City of license||Dallas, Texas|
|Broadcast area||Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex|
|Branding||KBXD 1480 AM|
|Slogan||"Proclaiming His Promises."|
|First air date||January 25, 1953|
|Format||Gospel Music and Brokered Time|
|Power||50,000 watts (day)
1,900 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Paying homage to the old "K-BoX" radio station
D = Dallas
(Issued 2 13 1952)
(5 16 1952–1958)
|Owner||James Crystal Radio
(JCE Licenses, LLC)
KBXD (1480) is a Texas radio station licensed to serve the community of Dallas, Texas. The station, went on the air in 1953 as KGKO, is currently owned by James Crystal Radio and the broadcast license is held by JCE Licenses, LLC. The original call letters were KLWO but were changed before the station went on the air.
The station now known as KBXD signed on as KGKO in 1953, playing pop music and jazz. In 1958, KGKO changed calls to KBOX and adopted a Top 40 format to compete with Gordon McLendon's top-rated 1190 KLIF. Future WABC staple Dan Ingram was an early voice on KBOX. Within a year, the station, known variously as "Wonderful K-Box in Dallas," "Big Top Radio," and "Tiger Radio," had rocketed from the bottom of the ratings to a near-tie with KLIF, and remained highly rated through the coming decade. K-Box was the only radio station covering President John F. Kennedy's motorcade live when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. (Although KLIF was widely acclaimed for its later coverage of the President's death and the ensuing events, it was not broadcasting live from the motorcade route.)
Group One Broadcasting of Texas acquired KBOX from Balaban Broadcasting in 1967 for $2 million.
KBOX goes country
KBOX had never been able to defeat KLIF in the Top 40 arena, and so on January 24, 1967, KBOX changed direction and went to a country format. The first song played on the new country KBOX was "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" by Buck Owens (a nod to the station's former "Tiger Radio" moniker).
KPCN-730 AM was the first country station in the area, having started in 1962, but broadcast during the daytime only. KBOX quickly became the ratings leader for country music in Dallas. In its first ratings book, they moved from a 10.0 share Q3 1966 to a 12.1 share in Q1 1967.
KBOX-AM had six years of solid ratings, posting a high of 14.4 in the Q3 1967 book. In 1972, WBAP began giving them stiff competition as a country-formatted 50 kilowatt powerhouse. WBAP gained listeners from KBOX.
In the year 1973, the Arbitron markets for Dallas and Fort Worth were combined into one book, to reflect the merging of the two cities into one metropolitan area. KBOX like other smaller stations were hurt by this redefinition. Some like KBOX did not even appear in the new ratings book. WBAP became the clear country winner at that point, as KBOX barely reached the Ft. Worth half of the newly defined market.
In April of 1974, Group One applied for a nighttime power increase from 500 watts to 1 kilowatt and a move of the transmitter site to 32 52 15 N 96 42 54 W. The Federal Communications Commission approved it in February 1975. This gave them a less marginal signal, which is probably what allowed them to struggle into the 1980s providing a decidedly more local service to the Dallas area. But by 1980, FM radio was growing in dominance and their ability to compete with a music format was waning.
On November 14, 1982, the KBOX call letters were dropped by Group One. KBOX became KMEZ and switched from its country format to a simulcast of the easy listening format of sister station KMEZ-FM (the former KBOX-FM and KTLC).
Into the 1990s and 2000s: more changes
In 1989, KMEZ broke away from the FM station to adopt a Business News/Talk format as KDBN. This was followed in 1991 by satellite-fed Adult Standards from the Unistar radio network (later Westwood One) as KCMZ.
Marcos A. Rodriguez purchased the station and changed the format to Banda with call sign KMRT (1993–1998). Marcos A. Rodriguez picked the calls to connote the retailer K-Mart and imply good value for advertisers. KMRT was the first radio station in America to air the Banda format all the time. It operated with an automated Audio Server delivery.
Eventually the calls changed to KDXX (1998–2002), and KHCK (1998–2005), a simulcast of Tejano KHCK-FM "Kick FM" until the FM changed format to cumbia music as KFZO and the AM continued as a standalone Tejano station for a few months). The KNIT calls and a Southern Gospel format were adopted in March 2005 when it was briefly owned by Salem Communications.
In June 2007, the station joined the Spanish language sports network ESPN Deportes, and it was the first ESPN Deportes station to be managed and operated by ESPN. KZMP picked up the ESPN Deportes format starting June 1, 2009; almost 2 years after the format was first aired in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The Deportes format was dropped in August 2009.
According to the FCC "KNIT(AM) went silent on July 23, 2011, due to repeated burglaries at the station." The FCC added: "Special Temporary Authority is granted to permit Station KNIT(AM) to remain silent not to exceed April 15, 2012. Notwithstanding the grant of this Special Temporary Authority, the broadcast license for KNIT(AM) will automatically expire as a matter of law if broadcast operations do not commence by 12:01 a.m., July 24, 2012." The call letters of KNIT were changed to KBXD on February 17, 2012.
A new request for STA to remain silent states: "STATION IS CONTINUING REPAIRS FROM MASSIVE COPPER THEFT, ALONG WITH MODIFICATIONS TO THE ANTENNA SYSTEM FOR A POWER AND PATTERN UPGRADE. AS MUCH OF THE WORK IS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE RADIATING TOWERS, OPERATIONS ARE BEING SUSPENDED FOR WORKER SAFETY." The same filing said that the station resumed operations for one day on April 16, 2012. The station resumed broadcasting on November 12, 2012. On November 26th, 2012 the station engineer was asked how much power the station was transmitting and answered with: "At the moment about 42000w, we are still working on the transmitter and antenna system. Should all be normal in a week."
- KBXD 1480 AM - official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KBXD
- Radio-Locator Information on KBXD
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KBXD
- Mike Shannon's Tribute to KBOX and KGKO Radio
- DFW Radio Archives