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Area1029 logo.jpg
City of license Belen, New Mexico
Broadcast area Albuquerque area
Branding Area 102.9
Slogan New Mexico's Modern Rock
Frequency 840 kHz
Translator(s) 102.9 K275AO (Albuquerque)
First air date 1961 (at 860)
Format Modern Rock
Power 840: 1,800 watts (day)
30 watts (night)
ERP 102.9: 990 watts
Class B
Facility ID 25528
Transmitter coordinates 35°00′31″N 106°42′52″W / 35.00861°N 106.71444°W / 35.00861; -106.71444Coordinates: 35°00′31″N 106°42′52″W / 35.00861°N 106.71444°W / 35.00861; -106.71444
Callsign meaning K ARea S
Former frequencies 860 kHz (1961-2013)
Owner American General Media
(AGM-Nevada, LLC.)
Sister stations KABG, KAGM, KDLW, KHFM, KKIM, KLVO
Webcast Listen Live
Website area1029.com

KARS (840 AM) is a radio station licensed to Belen, New Mexico, USA, which also serves the Albuquerque area. The station is owned by American General Media.[1] KARS also broadcasts on FM translator K275AO at 102.9 MHz at 99 watts from atop Sandia Crest. KARS airs a modern rock format that leans a bit on adult album alternative featuring music from the 1980s to the present branded as "Area 102-9". The format launched at noon on July 24, 2013.[2] Its studios are located in Northeast Albuquerque and the transmitter tower for KARS is located in South Valley, New Mexico.

Broadcast translators of KARS
Call sign Frequency
City of license Facility
Class FCC info
K275AO 102.9 Albuquerque, New Mexico 139243 990 D FCC


KARS used to broadcast at 860 kHz at 1,300 watts during the day and 185 watts at night. The signal in Albuquerque had been a bit weak there during daytime hours and was even harder (but not impossible) to hear at night due to its transmitter being located near Belen about 40 miles south of Albuquerque and using low levels of power. However the station mostly served the Valencia County area and did not really target Albuquerque.

KARS has featured a variety of programming over the years from Classic Country and Spanish-language programming as well as community information for Belen and other parts of Valencia County. In 2010 it began airing an Adult Standards format and later featured some religious programs before changing to the all news format in April 2012. The station used to brand itself as "The Heart of New Mexico".

From April 2012 until March 2013 KARS broadcast an all news format with most of its content coming from Talk Radio Networks "America's Radio News". Local news, weather and traffic reports were featured in the mornings and afternoons.

KARS had filed an application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to move to 840 kHz at a new transmitter site, increase day power to 1,800 watts and decrease night power to 30 watts. A construction permit to make these changes was granted by the FCC on January 17, 2013. This upgrade also allows for it to re-broadcast on FM translator K275AO on 102.9 at 990 watts from atop Sandia Crest.[3]

On March 28, 2013 KARS went off the air while the station upgraded its signal. It returned to the air on July 11, 2013 at 840 kHz covering the Albuquerque area well during the day and improving night time coverage. The FM translator at 102.9 was also upgraded from 10 watts to 99 watts. 102.9 had previously re-broadcast the classical music format from KHFM at 95.5 since late 2005. The translator was intended to improve coverage in the northeast heights. After a week of informing listeners that KHFM was no longer on the translator this station had been playing a loop of the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind repeatedly for nearly five days. Area 102.9 launched with "10,000 songs in a row" however it was nearly four months before the station started to run commercials regularly as is sometimes common with new stations.


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