KIHT

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KIHT
City of license St. Louis, Missouri
Broadcast area Greater St. Louis
Branding KHITS 96.3
Slogan Hits of the '70s & '80s
Frequency 96.3 MHz FM (also on HD Radio)
96.3-2 FM Classical "RAF STL"
96.3-3 FM Smooth jazz "Hip 96.3"
Translator(s) 107.3 K297BI (St. Louis, relays HD2, owned by Radio Arts Foundation)
First air date December 11, 1959 (as KADI at 96.5)
Format Adult Hits
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 313 meters
Class C1
Facility ID 27022
Callsign meaning K I H T = Jumbled call letters for KHITS
Former callsigns KADI (1959-1987)
KRJY (1987-1994)
Former frequencies 96.5 MHz (1959-1975)
Owner Emmis Communications
Webcast Listen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Website k-hits.com
rafstl.org (HD2)

KIHT (96.3 MHz) is an FM radio station in St. Louis, Missouri, branded as "KHITS 96.3 Hits of the '70s & '80s". Owned by Emmis Communications, the station's studios are located in the Powerhouse building at St. Louis Union Stations, while the transmitter is located in Shrewsbury.

Music that is played on this station is classic hits from the 1970s and 1980s, with some occasional 1990s and early 2000s tracks.

KHITS 96 is home to some of St. Louis' most legendary radio announcers, including Rick Sanborn, Todd Morgan, Drew Johnson and Mark Klose.

KHITS 96 has two HD channels. 96.3-HD2 airs a classical music format operated by the non-profit Radio Arts Foundation branded as "RAF STL" (relayed on FM translator K297BI 107.3 FM), while 96.3-HD3 airs a smooth jazz format as "Hip 96.3".

History[edit]

The 96.5 frequency originally went on the air on December 11, 1959 as KADI under the ownership of William Cady, making it one of the first commercial FM radio stations in the St. Louis area. KADI spent most of the 1960s on and off the air in the early turbulent days of FM radio. By the early '70s, the station was sold to Richard J. Miller, who would put a Progressive Rock station on the air. In the mid-'70s, KADI moved down one notch on the dial to 96.3 MHz to allow new station KSCF (now known as KFTK) in Florissant to go on the air at 97.1 MHz.

In 1987, the station's call letters were changed to KRJY, and the station switched to a Soft Adult Contemporary format as K-Joy 96 (later J96), and in late-1991 the station switched to '50s/'60s oldies as "Jukebox 96."

In 1993, the station was sold by R.J. Miller to Heritage Broadcasting, who then owned WIL-FM/WRTH-AM, and on St. Patrick's Day of 1994, the station first took on its current call letters and "KHITS 96" identity, first with a format of "The Greatest Hits of the '70s." Heritage's St. Louis properties were sold to Sinclair Broadcasting in the mid-'90s, and Sinclair sold the station to current owner Emmis Communications in 2000.

In June 2014, websites STLCountry963.com and CountryHits963.com were registered, leading to rumors online of a format change to Country, likely as Country 96.3, possibly ending the Oldies/Classic Hits format on 96.3 after 23 years.

On-air staff[edit]

  • Rick Sanborn
  • Todd Morgan
  • Drew Johnson
  • Mark Klose

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°34′28″N 90°19′32″W / 38.5744°N 90.3255°W / 38.5744; -90.3255