KMLE's first owners got a permit in 1979, under the KLRG call sign. It was never used, and it eventually acquired the KMLE call letters on June 18 of that year. KMLE is one of two country music outlets in the Phoenix market, since it is locked into a long time battle with Clear Channel-owned KNIX-FM, which began in 1988. The battle could be ground down to the conglomerates that own the two stations: Clear Channel (KNIX) and CBS Radio (KMLE).
KMLE's HD Radio signal is multiplexed. The main signal is a simulcast of KMLE's country music programming. The second channel carried KMLE County, Tim and Willy's Classic Country.
Tim and Willy were terminated from the radio station during the summer of 2012. The "brand" on the second channel was changed to Top 20. It left Phoenix with no classic country availability over the air.