|City of license||Sacramento, California|
|Broadcast area||Sacramento, California|
|Slogan||Today's Music Variety|
|Frequency||106.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)
106.5 HD2 for "Deep Rock Tracks"
|First air date||April 1, 1957 (as KJML)|
|Former callsigns||KJML (1957-1977)
|Sister stations||KCTC, KKDO, KSEG, KRXQ, KDND|
KUDL (106.5 FM) is a commercial radio station in Sacramento, California. The Entercom-owned outlet airs a Hot Adult Contemporary format. Its studios are located in North Highlands (with a Sacramento address) and its transmitter is in Folsom.
The 106.5 frequency in Sacramento signed on in 1957 with the call letters KJML, which adopted a number of format changes before settling with the beautiful music format, commonly identified as "instrumental elevator music."
1970s, Royce Broadcasting, AC/jazz format
Royce International Broadcasting headed by Edward R. Stolz II acquired the station in 1977 dropping the beautiful music format in favor of an soft rock/jazz music hybrid with a change of call letters to their final incarnation, KWOD, which was named after quadrophonic sound, as the station was one of the first to experiment with the technology that never caught on. The initial format was programmed by Kevin Childs, who created the method of transitioning from rock to jazz via what was called "The Crossroads of Jazz". With no advertising of promotion, KWOD succeeded in achieving a dedicated following across the Sacramento Valley.
1980s, Top 40 format
By 1985, KWOD was the second rated station in the 12+ age demographic under the programming of PD Tom Chase and MD Mr. Ed Lambert behind cross-town KSFM. The popular morning show of this period was "The Masters & Johnson Morning Radio Clinic" featuring Doug Masters and Marty Johnson. Other jocks throughout the Chase era included Dave Diamond, Dean Stevens, Dave Skyler, Greg Lane, Melanie Evans, John Edwards, Panama Jack, Rick Foster, Russ Martin and Alex Cosper. Chase left in late 1987 to program competitor KROY and Mr. Ed followed to become KROY's MD in early 1988.
In 1988, the morning show became "Sterling and Steele in The Morning" featuring PD Jeff Hunter (Terry Steele) and Charlie Simons (Tom Sterling) following the resignation of Marty Johnson, as Doug Masters moved to middays. The rest of the full-time line-up of this period included "Jammin'" John Edwards and Panama Jack in afternoons, Pat Garrett "The Night Hawk" in evenings and Alex Cosper in late nights. Other jocks included "Wild" Bill Shakespeare, Vince Simon, Rick Neal and Rick Foster. Rex McNeill did weekend overnights and was responsible for cleaning the KWOD Power van after late night station parties. Sterling and Steele left in 1989 to do mornings in San Jose and were replaced by a temporary irreverent show that failed called the Renegades.
1990s, modern rock format
Gerry Cagle arrived in late 1989 to oversee programming as Operations Manager. Ratings fell sharply beginning in 1988 (as documented in the Sacramento Bee) as KWOD fell into third place in a three way battle with cross-town competitors KSFM and KROY. Even after KROY changed to The Eagle as a classic rock station, the ratings remained dismal leading to a change of format in 1991 to a Top 40/modern rock music hybrid which evolved into a modern rock music format.
After Cagle's departure in 1993, programming decisions went to Alex Cosper, who shifted the format to full-time Alternative without the top 40 music. This change of format proved to be a success as noted by a ratings surge. The line-up included the morning team of Shawn Cash and Jeff Jensen followed by Cosper in mid-days, Brad Adams in afternoons and Nick Monroe in evenings. Later in 1993, Monroe moved to afternoons and Joe Gomez moved to nights. Shortly after the move to their new headquarters in downtown Sacramento, part-time DJ Giles Hendriksen from the U.K. became the full-time afternoon host with Joe Gomez staying in the evening slot. Joe Gomez was in the 7-midnight slot until his departure in 1994. Jamie Gates took over the evening slot as well as programming both the "punk" and "industrial" music shows. Jamie stayed on until 1997 when new management took over. By this time, Ally Storm had already departed to work at Live 105 in San Francisco. The station reached its ratings peak as an alternative station in the summer of 1995 with a 5.2 (12+) share, making it one of the highest rated alternative stations in America at the time (as documented in the 12/9/95 issue of Billboard). It also beat all four other rock stations in the market. Cosper left the station in 1996 and later did radio in Milwaukee and San Francisco. Cosper later wrote a book about his experience called, "The Rise of Alternative Radio."
Ron Bunce assumed control of KWOD's programming in 1997, and took the station to an edgier harder rock direction, which peaked at 4.5 (12+) in the Arbitron ratings.
2000s, Entercom purchase, modern AC format
Throughout the 2000s KWOD stayed below a 3 share 12+, and was not competitive with rock station KRXQ. Over time, there was a lot of staff turnover. Morning personalities Shawn & Jeff left for KZZO in 2001 and were succeeded by Boomer and the Dave. Comedian Kelly Pryce eventually replaced Dave after KWOD's eventual sale to Entercom and the show later featured DJ Mervin and Ian Gary. Andy Sims also came on board in 2001 for middays, replacing Derek Moore, who later went on to 96.9 The Eagle.
In 2003, after a protracted seven-year court battle wherein violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) were alleged, Entercom acquired KWOD from Royce International Broadcasting. Entercom left KWOD's Modern Rock/Alernative format intact until two years later.
In Spring 2005, the Royce-era KWOD played its final song ("Nice to Know You" by Incubus) then started a two week long transition to a Modern AC/Light Alternative format with an auditory progress indicator between songs. Artists such as John Mayer and Tracy Chapman were added as harder rock bands like Korn and Deftones were dropped. The station re-branded itself "KWOD 2.0", and released the entire on-air staff. The station later shifted back toward its original approach, but the heritage KWOD on-air staff (Boomer & The Dave, Andy Sims, Nick Monroe, and Capone) did not return. Under Entercom's management, KWOD's overall 12+ ratings dropped under a 3 share throughout 2005 and 2006. In the Winter of 2007, KWOD's 12+ ratings fell below a 2 share.
In early 2006, KWOD picked up the syndicated Adam Carolla Show for the morning drive, and began to feature projects and shows devised by the disc jockeys, including the returning David X and Andy Sims. KWOD also started to feature a strong program of music including a focus on modern punk and indie music complemented by a "Never More Than 2 Minutes of Commercials" campaign.
In February 2009, following the cancellation of the syndicated Adam Carolla Show, the morning drive time slot transitioned into playing music DJed by Andy Hawk.
In May 2009, Program Director Curtiss Johnson posted a notice on KWOD's homepage announcing that the station would be shutting down on May 22. Citing economic difficulties as the primary reason for the shutdown, Johnson assured that the decision was local and not made by the owner corporation Entercom. At the time of the closure, the on-air staff consisted of Andy Hawk, Andy Sims, Rubin, Mike D "Dezego", and Laith the Intern.
The format change would leave Sacramento without a modern rock/alternative format station until March 3, 2010, when sister station KSSJ flipped from smooth jazz to a gold-based Alternative rock format, branded as "Radio 94/7."
At approximately 9 a.m. on May 22, 2009, the station became 106.5 The Buzz - Totally 90s, playing music exclusively from the 1990s, and using the call letters KBZC. The first song of the new "Buzz" format was Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. It was the first terrestrial all-1990s radio station, and the third all-1990s radio station after XM's '90s on 9 (now also on Sirius 9 since November 12, 2008) and the short-lived I-90 channel on Sirius from 2002.
KBZC advertised itself as playing "'90s and more", meaning that in addition to '90s hits, they include some classics from previous decades in their playlists. It also aired pre-recorded short sayings with phrases and product references from the '90s. In addition, the Snapple lady responded to questions submitted on the website. It was also reported in the Orange County Register in June 2009 that Jamie White would do a morning show starting on June 11, 2009. White would leave the station on April 22, 2011.
On September 2, 2011, at 5pm, KBZC dropped the All-'90s format for Rhythmic Adult Contemporary, retaining the "Buzz" moniker, but added a new slogan: "Feel Good Music." The station will face competition from the market's already established Rhythmic AC, KHYL, and features a playlist that consists of Rhythmic Pop currents and recurrents. The sudden flip came after it saw a decline in both its listener base and ratings, as well as an ill-fated attempt to expand its library to include music from the late '80s and early 2000s.
Following the abrupt flip of Hot AC station KGBY to a simulcast of KFBK, Entercom flipped the format of KBZC to Hot AC as "Star 106.5" at noon on December 9, 2011, following an hour of songs signifying a "goodbye" theme and/or with the word "star" in the title. CBS Radio already had KZZO (Now 100.5) as the hot AC for Sacramento between KBZC's flip to hot AC & KGBY's flip to news-talk as KFBK-FM. This station has not been added to Mediabase's add board as of 2012, although its main hot AC rival, KZZO has been listed.
On March 31, 2014 KBZC changed their call letters back to KWOD.
On April 7, 2014 KWOD changed their call letters to KUDL.
Awards and honors
- In 1993 and 2006 KWOD was named Station of the Year by Sac News & Review. It was also named Station of the Year in 1992 by the Sacramento Bee.
KUDL's HD2 subcarrier, called Subterranean, continues to offer a format featuring Deep Rock tracks and album cuts.
- "http://www.sacbee.com/latest/story/1885021.html (Archived)". The Sacramento Bee. May 22, 2009.
- From The Orange County Register (June 11, 2009)
- "The Buzz Sacramento Revamps" from Radioinsight (September 2, 2011)
- "Sacramento's Buzz Flips To AC As Star 106.5". All Access. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- Star 106.5 website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KUDL
- Radio-Locator information on KUDL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KUDL