|City of license||Palm Springs, California|
|Broadcast area||Palm Springs, California|
|Branding||The Big 106|
|Slogan||Today's Best Country|
|First air date||1974 (as KPAL)|
|Callsign meaning||K-PaLM, as in "Palm Springs"|
|Former callsigns||KPAL (1974-1979)|
KPLM is one of four Class B FM radio stations serving the Palm Springs, California, area and one of only two 50 kW stations. The others are 1960s and 1970s oldies-formatted 42 kW KDES Palm Springs at 104.7 MHz; contemporary album-oriented rock-formatted 26.5 kW KCLB Coachella at 93.7 MHz and beautiful music 50 kW KWXY-FM Cathedral City at 98.5 MHz. KPLM broadcasts at 106.1 MHz.
The station then called KPAL was founded in 1974 by Los Angeles radio personality Magnificent Montague, whose trademark shout, "Burn!" was expanded to "Burn, baby, burn" during the 1965 Watts riots. The construction permit for the station was the first issued to an African-American in four decades. Call sign "KPLM" became available in 1979 when a local television station was purchased by Esquire magazine. Today, that same TV station retains the call letters of KESQ-TV although Esquire no longer owns it.
KPLM was an easy listening station through the first years of its existence. By the early 1980s, Montague sold his interest in the station which soon featured legendary Los Angeles radio personality Al Lohman in the weekday morning drive slot. A change was made to a contemporary country music format on January 5, 1994 giving KPLM an exclusive audience; no other FM country music station was on the air in the area at that time. After signing off the old format with "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, the new format's first three songs were "Don't Rock the Jukebox" by Alan Jackson, "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus.
1996 saw new parent company RM Broadcasting expand its market share with the acquisition of financially troubled, Palm Desert-based KLCX, only on the air for a brief time at 102.3 MHz under a classic rock format. KLCX was immediately reformatted into KJJZ, a pioneering smooth jazz radio station under the program direction of Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a major smooth jazz concert promoter from New York who has been in the morning drive slot since the station's inception. Studios for both stations are in the same Palm Springs location.
KPLM has the distinction of covering a greater terrestrial area than any other Palm Springs station coupled with a worldwide audience via the internet as of November 30, 2006. KPLM's transmitter is on a mountain along the edge of Joshua Tree National Park. As a result, the station not only blankets the Coachella Valley but reaches northward to the Mojave Desert, southward to Imperial County and northern Baja California and westward via two repeaters to the San Gorgonio Pass cities of Banning, Temecula and Hemet. The first is located on Snow Peak above Banning; the second is within the city of Hemet.
The station also plays an active role in bringing major country acts to the area; indeed, the station is the most active of all Palm Springs stations in sponsoring major concerts. Concerts in 2007 included Vince Gill with wife Amy Grant, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. Superstar duo Montgomery Gentry concluded the 2007 calendar in October at the Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs. 2008 concluded with Wynonna Judd who appeared for a holiday concert at the McCallum Theatre in December; 2009 began with Josh Turner at the McCallum and Brooks & Dunn at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, both in February.
As previously mentioned, both KPLM and KJJZ stream in real time via the internet. Both dial-up and broadband connections are supported and the KPLM stream is immediately accessible via the website listed to the right.
- KPLM Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPLM
- Radio-Locator information on KPLM
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPLM