|City of license||Eatonville, Washington|
|Broadcast area||Tacoma, Washington|
|Branding||The Brew 104.9|
|Slogan||It Just Rocks!|
|Frequency||104.9 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 104.9-2 FM-"Rock Nation"|
|First air date||1995 (as KJUN-FM)|
|Callsign meaning||K K The BreW|
|Former callsigns||KAEK (10/1993-11/1003)
|Owner||Clear Channel Communications|
|Sister stations||KBKS, KHHO, KJR, KJR-FM, KYNW, KUBE|
KKBW (104.9 FM) "The Brew 104.9" is an active rock radio station licensed to Eatonville, Washington and serving the southern Puget Sound region centered around Tacoma. The transmitter site is near Eatonville, and the station operates from its studios in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood northwest of downtown.
The 104.9 frequency first signed on in the late 1980s as translator K285AE that rebroadcast "K-Lite 95.7" (KLTX, now KJR-FM). The signal went dormant in the early 1990s, as that station flipped to classic hits and increased their power.
The frequency came back to air in 1995 as KJUN-FM, broadcasting a country format. The call letters were changed to KKBY-FM sometime in 1998, but shortly afterwards, shifted formats to urban oldies as "Y 104.9". This was the second station in the Seattle market to air a Rhythmic/Urban Oldies/Rhythmic AC format (KBKS was the first from March 1996-May 1997; it is now a Top 40 station). This format only lasted for a very short time.
In 1999, the station flipped again to what is known as the frequency's well known format: a grunge rock/metal rock-emphasizing active rock station known as "The Funky Monkey 104-9" (or "The Monkey 104-9"). The call letters were changed to KFNK. The station gained a noticeable presence in the South Puget Sound area as an alternative to commercially-owned stations KISW and KNDD, which are both owned by Entercom. Even after Ackerly Communications bought the station from Rock on Radio, Inc. in 2001 (and later, Clear Channel in 2002), the station still emphasized on listener participation and playing music that may not be heard elsewhere, as well as giving air time to local acts. The station also had a nationwide and worldwide presence, as the station streamed online throughout its history. The station briefly aired syndicated programming in 2001, such as the "Lex and Terry" morning show, which is based out of Dallas, Texas. However, this led to low ratings, so the station dropped the show by 2002. However, the station aired syndicated programming again in 2010, when the station began carrying Nikki Sixx's "Sixxth Sense" show. The station was somewhat anomalous in that it rarely had disc jockeys hosting segments of airtime, and relied heavily on broadcast automation, which the station capitalized on (as some of their liners included "without the dumb-ass DJs and useless bullsh*t"). There was one full-time disk jockey, and 3 part-time air personalities did one show a week each. Most songs ended with a voiceover identifying the song title and artist, also called a "backsell."
On November 10, 2010, at Noon, the station dropped its 11-year old active rock format and flipped to a '90s-leaning adult hits format as "GenX 104-9". The final songs on The Monkey were "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys, "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M., and "Closing Time" by Semisonic. GenX's first songs were "Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited, and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, and "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-lot. The call letters were changed to KSGX on November 28. Throughout its life as "GenX", ratings for the station were negative, usually peaking at a 0.3 share, as compared to The Monkey's, which usually hung around the 1 share.
At 12:01 AM on November 1, 2011, the station reverted to active rock as "The Brew 104-9". The first song on "The Brew" was "Epic" by Faith No More. On December 6, 2011, KSGX changed call letters to KKBW to match "The Brew" moniker. The station's second go-around with the format does not have the grunge/metal-lean like their predecessor. The station's playlist consists of current and well-known hard rock tracks, and some classic hard rock from artists like AC/DC, and Guns N' Roses, which The Monkey rarely played. Some of the station's airstaff is voice-tracked from other Clear Channel stations across the country (similar to iHeartRadio's Rock Nation on 104.9 HD2), unlike The Monkey.
KKBW is owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications, which also owns and operates six other radio stations in the Puget Sound region: KBKS-FM (Top 40 Mainstream), KHHO (Sports), KJR-FM (Oldies), KJR (AM) (Sports), KUBE (Rhythmic), and KYNW (Adult Top 40).
- The Brew 104.9
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KKBW
- Radio-Locator information on KKBW
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KKBW