|City||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Broadcast area||Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah|
|Slogan||Today's Hits And Yesterday's Favorites|
|Frequency||98.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1947 (as KDYL-FM)|
|HAAT||894 meters (2933 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||K Bee|
|Former callsigns||KDYL-FM (1947-1959)
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
|Sister stations||KBER, KENZ, KFNZ, KHTB, KRRF, KKAT, KUBL-FM|
KBEE, branded as B98.7, is a commercial FM radio station in Salt Lake City, Utah, broadcasting at 98.7 MHz. It is one of the oldest FM stations in the Western United States, tracing its history to 1947. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and it airs an adult contemporary radio format. KBEE's studios are located in South Salt Lake (behind the I-15/I-80 interchange). The station is also broadcast on HD radio.
In 1947, the station first signed on as KDYL-FM. It was the sister station to KDYL, one of the first AM radio stations in Utah, which went on the air in 1922. KDYL-FM mostly simulcast its AM counterpart through its early years. The owner, Sidney S. Fox, is considered a pioneer in Utah broadcasting history. Two years later, in 1949, he put Salt Lake City's first TV station on the air, Channel 4 KDYL-TV (now KTVX).
Top 40 Era
In 1953, Fox sold KDYL-AM-FM-TV to publisher Time-Life Corporation for $2.1 million. In 1959, the stations were purchased by Columbia Pictures and the radio station call letters were changed to KCPX and KCPX-FM. The two stations carried a Top 40 format that was very popular in the Salt Lake City area. During this time, the stations competed heavily for listeners with crosstown rival 1280 KNAK (now KZNS).
In 1967 the Federal Communications Commission required FM stations in medium to large cities to be programmed separately from their AM sister stations for most of the day. KCPX-FM switched to an album rock format, while 1320 KCPX continued as a Top 40 station. In the 1980s, when AM 1320 left the Top 40 format, KCPX-FM picked up its CHR sound, first known as HitRadio 99 KCPX, and then as Power 99. Columbia Pictures, which had just been acquired by The Coca-Cola Company, sold KCPX and KCPX-FM to Price Broadcasting in 1982. (The TV station had been sold to separate owners in 1975.)
KCPX-FM's Top 40/CHR format would last until December 1992, when it flipped to hot adult contemporary as Variety 98.7, KVRI. In May 1995, after Citadel Broadcasting bought the station, the station rebranded as "B98.7" and adopted the KBEE call letters. The station's music focus has varied slightly over the past decade, heading to a more Modern AC for a time. However, in 2002, the station returned to its roots as an AC station as "B98.7."
Moving Between AC and Hot AC
In 2010, the station changed formats to adult top 40. However Mediabase and Nielsen BDS reported the station as adult contemporary still, particularly from when in 2009, rival 97.9 KBZN acquired a more adult contemporary sound to replace smooth jazz and 106.5 KOSY-FM retired its longtime soft adult contemporary format, also moving to mainstream AC music. In July 2011, KBEE was moved to the hot adult contemporary panel per Mediabase.
Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011. By February 2012, the station reverted to adult contemporary per Mediabase reports. Even with the panel changes, Cumulus has always described the station as an AC. It is now also listed on the Nielsen BDS AC chart. On July 3, 2013, KBEE again moved to adult top 40. On March 6, 2015, KBEE returned to adult contemporary.
From atop Nelson Peak, 10 miles (16 km) west of West Jordan, Utah, the station has an effective radiated power of 40,000 watts, which makes KBEE audible throughout most of north central Utah, including all of the Wasatch Front. The station has a height above average terrain of 894 metres (2,933 ft). KBEE also operates two translator stations, 92.3 K222CM in Heber City and 95.3 K237AL in Park City.
History of Call Letters
The call letters KBEE-FM were previously assigned to a station in Modesto, California. That station began broadcasting April 3, 1948, on 103.3 MHz. It was owned by the McClatchy Company, which publishes the Modesto Bee newspaper, from where it got its call letters.
- "KBEE Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "KBEE Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
- "HD Radio Station Guide". HD Radio. iBiquity.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-215
- Utah Broadcasting History by Tim Larson and Robert K. Avery, retrieved 4-7-2017
- Wharton, Tom (September 15, 2015). "Whatever happened to ... KNAK and KCPX?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 22, 1982. p. 50. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 22, 1982. p. 72. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- KBEE Salt Lake City Returns to AC
- "McClatchy Firm Starts KBEE (FM) at Modesto" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 5, 1948. Retrieved 22 November 2014.