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|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Slogan||"Where Hip-Hop Lives" (Current)
"L.A.'s Party Station" (1997)
"L.A.'s Hottest Music" (1991)
"Pure Energy...Dance Now!" (1986)
|Frequency||105.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
105.9 HD-2 for WorldBand Media (South Asian Radio)
|First air date||July 15, 1946 (as KFI-FM)|
|Callsign meaning||Kalifornia's PoWeR!|
|Former callsigns||KFI-FM (1946-1958)
KPWR (105.9 FM, "Power 106") is a commercial radio station located in Los Angeles, California, broadcasting to the Greater Los Angeles area on an analog signal and in HD Radio. KPWR airs a Rhythmic Contemporary radio format playing hip hop and R&B with occasional rrhythmic pop/dance music. It is owned and operated by Emmis Communications and is one of its two flagship stations alongside WQHT ("Hot 97") in New York City.
105.9 FM signed on as easy listening KFI-FM on July 15, 1946, later becoming KBMS in 1958 before adopting the KWST call letters and "K-West 106" moniker in 1969. During its years as KBMS and later KWST, its format had been beautiful music prior to its flip to a rock format on January 1, 1975. K-West emulated the then-popular sound of KMET & KLOS. By 1981 though, the ratings had slipped and KWST had changed to a Top 40 format, and let all of their disc jockeys go. KWST eventually evolved into KMGG, or "L.A.'s Magic 106 FM" in summer 1982, and played upbeat Adult Contemporary music.
In May 1984 Century Broadcasting sold KMGG and St. Louis's KSHE to the Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, who immediately saw a niche to counter Top 40s KIIS and KKHR and urban-music outlets KDAY, KJLH, and KACE (the latter three all signal challenged), and converted KMGG from adult contemporary to a dance music/Top 40 direction at 6 p.m. on January 11, 1986, changing the call letters to KPWR, "The All New Power 106, The Fresh New Music Mix." The first song on the newly christened "Power 106" was "Say I'm Your Number One" by Princess. Jay Thomas was hired as host of The New Power 106 Morning Zoo and then later The Power 106 Morning Zoo or The Original Morning Zoo. Power 106's first tagline in 1986 was "Pure Energy...Dance Now!", followed in 1991 by "L.A.'s Hottest Music", then in 1997 as "L.A.'s Party Station", and most recently in 2005 with the current tagline "Where Hip-Hop Lives". At the time it broadcast what it announced as "72,000 Watts Of Music Power...Less Talk!" (mentioned in on-air station identifications by Chuck Riley and future WQHT jock herself Deborah Rath), a reference to its then-actual ERP of 72kw (whose signal coverage can be heard in San Diego, Kern and Santa Barbara Counties), before their reduction to 25kw in 1993.
KPWR picked up additional competition in May 2005 when KXOL dropped their Spanish adult contemporary format for a Hispanic Rhythmic, or hurban, format known as "Latino 96.3". The format is a crossover mix of Hispanic hip hop, reggaeton, dancehall, and R & B/hip hop targeting a bilingual audience. However, the abrupt switch violated a transmitter lease agreement that KXOL's parent company, Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), had with Emmis; the agreement required formal notification to Emmis of any change in format and expressly prohibited KXOL from programming to directly compete with KPWR. SBS switched formats anyway, and Emmis filed a lawsuit to force SBS to either drop the format switch or find a new transmitter. SBS announced that KXOL would move to another transmitter site a month later, and both parties settled the dispute sometime after.
Shortly after the debut of Latino 96.3, KPWR replaced the majority of their non Latino DJs with personalities of Latino descent who often pepper their broadcasts with Spanish words, in an effort to regain some of the audience lost to Latino 96.3. Today, Big Boy (African-American), DJ E Man (Filipino), DJ Vick 1 (Armenian), Krystal Bee, Rikki Martinez and Louie G. (Latino) all represent the multi-cultural population of Los Angeles.
On August 17, 2006, KPWR's Country music sister station KZLA flipped directions to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "Movin' 93.9." Most of the songs played on Movin' 93.9 consisted of Rhythmic Pop and Dance hits from the 1980s and 1990s to the present day, along with classic Disco and Freestyle tracks thrown in for balance. But after almost a year in the format, KMVN shifted directions to Rhythmic Oldies. With the unique combination of both KPWR and KZLA, the move gave Emmis and Los Angeles its first Rhythmic duopoly, as well as the second duopoly in California with this arrangement, the other being Clear Channel Communications siblings KMEL and KYLD in San Francisco. But that arrangement ended on April 15, 2009, when KMVN flipped to a Spanish format under a LMA with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City.
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In its first seven years, KPWR's music selection focused on a mix of dance, house, freestyle, and urban pop, while avoiding hard rock. This mix of music became known as crossover (later called Rhythmic Top 40), due to the way in which dance and urban music were presented to an audience that liked pop, and vice versa. By 1992, KPWR began to focus on a mix of hip hop and R&B music, given that it gained competition from the former urban outlet KKBT and that the original KDAY signed off around that time. It even embraced house in addition, although the station no longer focused on the genre in 1997. By January 2005, the station had woven in non-R&B/hip-hop artists such as Natalie, Baby Bash, NB Ridaz and Gwen Stefani to the mix, resulting in a return to Rhythmic Top 40.
Approximately 60% of KPWR’s listenership is Hispanic. and contributes to both Mediabase and BDS Rhythmic reporting panels. KPWR airs dance music on its daily and weekend mix shows and the program "Power Tools", produced by Gerry Meraz and hosted by Richard Vission. Power Tools is the station's longest-running program, debuting in 1992.
From its launch in 1986, the morning drive slot was held by Jay Thomas until his departure in 1992, when The Baka Boyz took over the slot. By fall 1997, KPWR hired former security guard Big Boy to replace the duo and has held that position since then. "The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" was launched as a local show on KPWR in 1997 featuring Big Boy with Rikki Martinez, Krystal Bee and Louie G. serving as co-hosts/sidekicks, serving up a eclectic mix of music, pop culture, celebrity interviews, and comedy segments. The program served as a launching pad for both co-host/sidekicks Tattoo, who left the station in 2010, and Luscious Liz Hernandez, who departed on August 22, 2011 to pursue a television career.
The program became a nationally syndicated morning show on August 20, 2007, after Big Boy signed a multi-year deal with ABC Radio Networks (later Citadel Media, now Westwood One) to syndicate the show, along with his weekend countdown show, which was formerly called "The Big Boy's Hip Hop Spot". In the fall of 2008, the show began to air on KPWR's sister station WQHT, but would drop the show in July 2009 due to low ratings. In 2010, after Citadel announced that they would no longer syndicate the program, Dial Global picked up the show.
KPWR launched a Spanish-language HD2 subcarrier channel called Power Dos in August 2006. A press release from Emmis describes the new channel as a “bilingual and musically extended version” of KPWR. Power Dos left the air in 2008 due to lack of interest. 
On 2008-09-08, Emmis announced a programming partnership with WorldBand Media, using KPWR's HD-3 signal to produce programming for the South Asian communities in three major cities including Los Angeles. The said content began in Mid-October 2008, and by the Summer of 2009 moved to HD2, replacing Power Dos.
In September 2011, Power 106 was named Large Market CHR Radio station of the year and awarded the Marconi at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago, Illinois, and was nominated in 2012 for Major Market Station of the Year by the NAB.
Power 106 DJs as of 2014
"The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" (5-10a)
- Big Boy
- Rikki Martinez
- Krystal Bee
- Louie G.
- Yesi Ortiz
- J. Cruz
- Jeffrey "Jeff G." Garcia
- DJ Eric D. Lux
- Wendy Carrillo
- DJ E Man
- DJ Reflex
- DJ Felli Fel
- DJ Ever
- DJ Disko Drew
- DJ Justin Credible
- DJ Eric D. Lux
- DJ Coke E.
- DJ Sourmilk
- DJ Los
- DJ Fuze
- DJ Vick 1
- DJ P. Jay
- DJ Ingwell
- DJ Carisma
- DJ Epic 12
- DJ Icy Ice
- DJ Big Syphe
- DJ Virman
- DJ Inferno
- DJ Vice
- DJ Echo
- DJ Mikee Mike
Power Tools DJs
- Eric Edwards (since the station's debut in 1986)
Former Power 106 DJs
- Jay Thomas
- Monica Brooks
- Hal "9000" Abrams
- Patricia "PowerMouth Patty" Lotz
- Tommy Jackson
- Ann Jefferies (KPWR's 1st traffic reporter)
- Michael "Buster Bodine" Hanks
- Jeffrey "Wyatt On The Radio" Wyatt (KPWR's first PD)
- Al Tavera (KPWR's first MD)
- Brenda Ross
- Franklin "On The Loose" Lozano
- Laurie Allen
- Mucho Morales
- Michelle Mercer (KPWR's second PD)
- Jim "The Poorman" Trenton
- Joe Nasty
- Todd Parker
- Billy Alexander
- George Moore
- Ricky Cummings (KPWR's Operation Manager)
- Deborah Rath
- Rick Allen (The voice of KPWR's Power Max)
- Jesse "The Brown Beauty On Duty" Torrero
- Charlie Huero
- DJ Boris
- DJ Chris
- Geoffrey St. John
- DJ Tony B.
- Joseph "The Boomer" Servantez
- George McFly
- Gregory "Greg The Mack Attack" Macmillian
- DJ Julio G.
- The Fantastik 4our Crew
- The Baka Boyz
- Yolanda "Yo-Yo" Whitaker
- Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus
- William "Flavor Flav" Drayton Jr.
- Elizabeth "Luscious Liz" Hernandez
- David "Tattoo" Gonzales
- DJ J. Boogie
- DJ Junior M.
- DJ Class1c
- DJ Eddy Xpress
- Fuzzy Fantabulous
Former station voices
- Bobby Ocean
Former station Jingles
- The PowerJam Concert
- The PowerHouse Concert
- The Cali Christmas Concert
- "Power 106 Turns 25 Today In Los Angeles" from All Access (January 11, 2011)
- KPWR's Broadcast of Jay Thomas' morning show from YouTube
- KPWR 1991 TV Commercial from YouTube
- From YouTube
- From Radiorevista.com
- "Cox Media Group And Emmis Communications Radio Stations Join iHeartradio". AllAccess.com. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- Maloney, Paul. "TuneIn adds Entercom, Cox, Emmis stations to tuning service". RAIN, 2012.
- from Billboard/Google Books
- "Part of a Rhythm Nation" from Radio-Info (November 12, 2012)
- BDS monitored radio panel update
- "Bye Bye Big Boy" from All Access (February 17, 2010)
- "Big Boy's Neighborhood Going Global ... Dial Global" from All Access (March 15, 2010)
- "Emmis and WorldBand Media Partner to Launch First-of-Its-Kind Digital Radio Network" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-13. "Top 3 U.S. markets to offer programming in HD for the South Asian ethnic community"
- 2011 NAB Marconi Radio Award Winners press release from National Association of Broadcasters (September 15, 2011)
- Power 106 official website
- Power 106 MySpace page
- KPWR's history as KWST at socalradiohistory.com
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KPWR
- Radio-Locator information on KPWR
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPWR