|Broadcast area||Portland, Oregon|
|Slogan||The Station That Sounds Like Portland|
|First air date||September 25, 1960 (as KGMG)
June 18, 1965 (as KXL-FM)
|HAAT||386 meters (1,266 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||BFF = Acronym for Best Friends Forever|
|Former callsigns||KGMG (1960-1965)
(Alpha Media Licensee LLC)
|Sister stations||KINK, KUFO, KUPL, KXTG, KXL-FM|
KBFF (95.5 FM, "Live 95-5") is a contemporary hit radio (CHR) and top 40 radio station licensed to Portland, Oregon, and serving the Portland area. The station is owned by Alpha Media. Its studios are located in downtown Portland, and its transmitter is in Terwilliger Boulevard Park in the city's southwest side.
KBFF is one of two CHR-top 40 stations in the Portland market, the other being Z100.
Early History/Heritage Music-FM
On September 23, 1959, the FCC granted a construction permit to build an FM station on 95.5 MHz in Portland to International Good Music, Inc. (IGM). In early October 1959, calls KGMG were assigned, standing for "Good Music", the format term for classical music. By September 9, 1960, KGMG was testing intermittently.
On September 25, 1960, at 7 AM, KGMG began regular operations by airing programming from the IGM automation system. KGMG broadcast from 7 AM to 1 AM daily. Only selected commercials were played and no singing jingles were allowed. By March 1962, KGMG was broadcasting the recorded "Heritage Concert" series. On March 17, 1962, KGMG became the second Portland station to broadcast in multiplex stereo. In July 1962, KGMG began leasing antenna space to Pacific Motor Trucking Co. for a 25 watt VHF transmitter.
On April 20, 1964, KGMG switched to an automated MOR format from IGM. By mid-1964, KGMG was broadcasting 9 AM to 11 PM daily.
On May 13, 1965, the FCC approved the sale of KGMG, Inc. to Seattle, Portland & Spokane Radio, a joint venture of Dena Pictures, Inc. and Alexander Broadcasting Co. for $125,000.
KXL-FM/Stereo 95/KXL-FM 95
On July 5, 1965, KGMG became KXL-FM and began duplicating KXL's "Good Music" format 9 AM to 9 PM as "KXL & KXL-FM Stereo".
In September 1966, KXL-FM staff began taping its evening "Good Music" programming for syndicator IGM, now known as BPI (Broadcast Programming International), which provided the software to many FM stations nationwide. In 1969, KXL-FM raised power to 100KW and increased antenna height to 990 feet.
In 1970, KXL-FM and their AM sister switched to a "Popular Music" format as KXL-FM Stereo. KXL-FM continued to simulcast from 9 AM to 4 PM through 1974.
In March 1984, KXL-FM switched to TM's Beautiful Music service and was playing 5 to 6 vocals an hour until 1989, when they began running Unistar's "Special Blend" satellite format with George Walker doing local mornings.
K95.5/Star 95.5/95.5 KXL
In April 1990, KXL-FM changed format to "Lite Favorites", also known as soft rock, and was branded as K95.5. This format also utilized a satellite music service except for drive times. By Summer 1991, the station had a full-time air staff that included Lee Gordon in Mornings, Randy O'Neil in Middays, Tom Parker in Afternoons, Scott Curtis in Evenings, and Claudia Marshall as News Director.
On September 27, 1993, KXL-FM switched to a Hot AC format as Star 95.5 but proved to be unsuccessful.
On October 18, 1994, KXL-FM switched to All '70s Hits as Seventies 95.5. The KXL-FM air staff at this time included John Williams with Gloria Johnson doing News, Captain Steve Sanders with Traffic & Tom Hunter, Producer in mornings; Randy O'Neil mid-mornings; Chuck Tyler early afternoons; Shawn Taylor PM drive and Scott Forrest hosting nights. Dan Packard began a succession of name changes during the hosting of the Saturday night "70's Dance Party".
Music Radio 95 KXL/Mix 95.5/95.5FM
On April 15, 1996, KXL-FM modified its 1970s format to include 1980s music and adopted the branding Music Radio 95 KXL.
In the Fall of 1996, KXL-FM modified its format again to Hot AC. In March 1997, KXL-FM switched to a new slogan as Mix 95.5.
In December 1997, Carl Widing was hired as Program Director of KXL-FM, and in February 1998, KXL-FM switched to a Triple A format as 95.5FM. The station's lineup at this time included David Shult & Marie Dodds mornings, Ruby Blake middays, Scott Tom afternoons, Terri Magnuson nights and Barbara Voight overnights.
On November 3, 1998, KXL-FM was sold to Rose City Radio Corp. for $55 Million.
On April 30, 1999, KXL-FM changed their calls to KXJM and introduced their on-air lineup which included The Breakfast Party with Ebro, Christina and Doug Zanger mornings, Alexa Smith middays, Mario Devoe afternoons, Louie Cruz nights, and Pretty Boy Dontay late nights. In October 1999, Mark Adams became KXJM's Program Director. On February 22, 2000, The Playhouse debuted with PK, Scooter, Ebro, Sonie and Doug Zanger.
The station achieved ratings success because of its edgy content, hosts and heavy listener interaction. KXJM also made a commitment to playing Hip Hop and R&B music that wasn't being played in the area, as well as having special features such as a local music show, countdowns, mix shows, and public service programming with "What's Good in The Hood".
Unfortunately, ratings began sliding in 2007, most likely because the station began introducing dance product in their playlist.
95-5 The Game
On May 1, 2008, Rose City Radio announced that KXJM would change formats to all sports on May 12, 2008 as "95.5 The Game" via the stations new website at www.955thegame.com. The shift almost left Portland without a hip-hop-based station (and possibly The Playhouse), and as a result, would leave Portland listeners with only two choices: Mainstream Top 40 KKRZ, whose playlist included many hip-hop songs, and KVMX, the market's Rhythmic Adult Contemporary station.
On May 9, 2008, at 6 PM, KVMX officially ditched their Rhythmic AC format and became Portland's new home for Rhythmic Contemporary as "Jammin' 107.5", with both KXJM and KVMX simulcasting the format during the weekend until KXJM's flip on May 12, 2008 at 9 AM. KVMX also acquired the KXJM call letters, the website and all intellectual properties from Rose City. In addition, the new KXJM became the new home for the Playhouse on May 13, 2008.
On May 27, 2008, the original KXJM officially chose KXTG as their new call letters to better reflect their format and "The Game" moniker. The station changed hands in May 2009 to Alpha Broadcasting. Despite the station's emphasis on local hosts, ratings were not that great, usually peaking at about a 2.0 share in the Arbitron ratings.
On May 21, 2011, Alpha announced that on Wednesday, May 25, at 5:00 PM, KXTG's sports format would be moving to KXL 750. 95.5 would then launch a new format at the same time. The question of what the format would be began to take on a life of its own when RadioInsight reported that Alpha registered several domains for the station in order to keep people guessing. On May 24, 2011, a logo and website for "Live 95.5" appeared in a Google cache, with the hint referenced in its moniker as "Today's Modern Mix", indicating a contemporary music format.
On May 25, at 5 PM, KXTG flipped to a Hot AC/Adult Top 40 format as Live 95-5, Today's Modern Mix For The Modern Woman with the first song being "Raise Your Glass" by P!nk and began with a 10,000 songs-in-a-row promotion to attract listeners interest. The station also changed its call letters to KBFF, and Keola Lui-Kwan was named Program Director. The station initially competed with Top 40 KKRZ, Hot AC KRSK and Alternative Rock KNRK, as well as, to a lesser extent, Rhythmic Top 40 KXJM.
In July 2011, the station introduced its initial on-air lineup which included CJ & Nikki mornings, Revin John middays, market vet Stacey Lynn afternoons and Cabana Boy hosting nights.
Instantly, KBFF saw its ratings and fortunes improve, going from a 1.9 in its last book as a Sports outlet in May 2011 to a 3.6 share in the June 2011 book, along with a spike in its audience cumes, topping 105.1 The Buzz for the Adult Top 40 crown.
However, beginning in 2012, the station saw its fortunes starting to slide and began to move further away from Adult Top 40 to a more Mainstream CHR/Top 40 approach, putting it in direct competition with Z100. In September 2012, KBFF was added to BDS' CHR/Top 40 reporting panel due to its format shift. To capitalize on this, the station shortened its slogan to "Today's Modern Mix", and then eventually "Portland's #1 Hit Music Station."
In August 2014, under new Program Director Phil Becker, KBFF dropped its entire on-air lineup and relaunched as "Live 95-5, The Station That Sounds Like Portland." In September, VH1 personality Amanda "Ice" Habrowski was added to the lineup for afternoons and Live Mornings with Bryan LaRoche and Hannah Byrom was added to mornings.
In 2015, the station restructured its on-air lineup, adding Brooke & Jubal from Seattle's KQMV for mornings, Dan "Huggie" Amsden afternoons, Joe "Brady" Blum for nights and Myk "M-Y-K" Saavedra on overnights and swing duties.
KBFF currently ranks at #5 (5.4 share) in the Portland market according to the December 2015 PPM Ratings release.
On-Staff & Programming
The current lineup (as of September 2016) is as follows:
- Morning Show (6 a.m.-10 a.m.): Brooke & Jubal - Jubal Flagg, Brooke Fox, Jose Bolanos, "Young Jeffery" DeBeaux & Steve Boyd
- Mid-Days (10 a.m.-2 p.m.): Amanda "Ice" Habrowski
- Afternoons (2 p.m.-7 p.m.): Dan "Huggie" Amsden
- Nighttime (7 p.m.-12 a.m.): Lauren "Lo" Sessions
- Overnights (12 a.m.-6 a.m.): Live After Dark - Myk "M-Y-K" Saavedra
- Friday Nights (9 p.m.-1 a.m.): Huggie's House Party - Dan "Huggie" Amsden & DJ Sway-Z
- Saturday Nights (8 p.m.-12 a.m.): The Radio Remix - DJ Noodles
- Sunday Mornings (6 a.m.-10 a.m.): The Daly Download - Carson Daly
- Mixers: DJ Noodles & DJ Sway-Z
- Station Voices: Damen Oaks/Jamie Frye
- Program Director: Phil Becker
- Creative Services Director: Matt Steele
- "KXTG Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Portland Gets An FM Sports Station". Radio Ink. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- The Game Portland Moving to 750; Modern AC Live 95.5 To Debut from Radioinsight (May 24, 2011)
- Preview from Google[permanent dead link]
- Portland ratings from Radio-Info