Que Buena Logo
|City||Long Beach, California|
|Broadcast area||Los Angeles/Orange County, California|
|Branding||Que Buena 105.5/94.3 FM|
Sirius XM Channel 563
|First air date||1967as KNAC|
|Audience share||1.7 (January 2017, Nielsen Audio)|
|Callsign meaning||K(Que) BUEna|
|Former callsigns||KNAC |
(LBI Radio License LLC)
|Sister stations||KBUA, KEBN, KHJ, KRQB, KWIZ
Also part of the Liberman Cluster: TV Station KRCA
105.5 FM was formerly KNAC, a heavy metal music station until February 15, 1995, after the station was sold to Liberman, a Spanish-language broadcasting company. It acquired the KBUE call letters a few weeks later on March 6. KBUE's weak signal only reached the southern portion of Los Angeles County and northwestern Orange County. The format was "Ranchera Mexican style," said program director Fidel Fausto.
The Long Beach-based 105.5 frequency made its debut in 1961. The station was signed on as KLFM by Harriscope Broadcasting. Its studios were initially located in a trailer adjacent to its transmitter on Signal Hill, moving to Lakewood Center and then to 4406 Greenmeadow Road. Its initial programming was top 40 in a period where FM was broadcasting almost entirely beautiful music and classical music.
Arguably, this station was the first commercial FM station to program a non-simulcast Rock-based format on FM. In 1966, 105.5 was sold to International Cities, and its call letters changed to KNAC and adopted a full-time MOR format. The new owners (under general manager/chief engineer Bob Switzer) increased its ERP from 330 watts to more than 2000 watts, and moved its studios to the International Tower in downtown Long Beach.
The station continued in this mode for roughly a year. In late 1967, the station began programming Progressive Rock from 6PM to 6AM. The programming proved successful enough to make the Progressive Rock format full time at the station by 1969.
Air talent at KNAC during this era included Jim Ladd (later of KLOS, KMET, KLSX and KEDG), Jerry Longden (later of KLOS, KEZY, KWST, KROQ, KGIL) and Program Director Ron McCoy. Ladd left KNAC to work for KLOS in 1971, while McCoy stayed on through much of the 1970s. The station remained in a Progressive Rock vein until 1980, when it made a significant adjustment in its Rock format.
In 1980, the station adopted one of the first full-time commercial Alternative Rock formats in the country. Up to that point Pasadena-based KROQ-FM and stations in Phoenix, Seattle and New York City had attempted such formats. KROQ-FM notwithstanding, most commercial attempts at Alternative Rock were short-lived. KNAC adopted the slogan "Rock and Rhythm" and programmed a mix of Contemporary "New Wave", Techno, Commercially-Viable Punk and fitting Classic Rock from the 1950s and 1960s. The station gathered media attention, but was dwarfed by KROQ-FM's stellar ratings and Rick Carroll-consulted "Rock of the 80s" Alternative format. In late 1985, the station was acquired by Fred Sands, a Los Angeles-based realtor.
On January 8, 1986, the station flipped to a "Hard Rock/Heavy Metal" based format. It was the first full-time "Heavy Metal" based format in the United States. Several air staff members of the original KNAC (metal incarnation) went on to the original satellite-distributed, nationally syndicated "Z Rock" format the following September. While much of KNAC's station's core-base of artists were quite mainstream, the station played enough "cutting edge" artists of the day and acquired a legend that survived long beyond its demise in spring 1995. The station was legendary enough to inspire tribute pages and a radio station on the Internet.
The station at 94.3 FM in San Fernando first signed on the air as KVFM in 1958, but for a long time it was KGIL-FM, a radio station playing pop standards, and sister station to KGIL AM. On August 5, 1989, it became KMGX, "Magic 94.3".
On November 18, 1994, the two stations on 94.3 began simulcasting the same country music format and 94.3 in San Fernando became KYKF. This lasted until October 31, 1996, after the San Fernando station was sold to Liberman and started simulcasting KBUE, and on January 31, 1997 it acquired the KBUA call letters. "Que Buena" now reached most of metropolitan Los Angeles County, though reception remains difficult in some regions, such as the San Gabriel Valley and Malibu. A booster station, KBUA-FM1 in Santa Clarita, California, extends the signal's reach into the Santa Clarita Valley.
On June 25, 2000, 94.3 in Garden Grove became "Cool 94.3" in Anaheim, with a "cool AC" format (somewhat of a precursor to the Jack FM format), and the call letters changed to KMXN on September 29, the call letters likely being chosen because the format was similar to previous Orange County station KXMX known as "Mix 95.9" (now KFSH-FM). Liberman acquired KMXN in 2003 and on January 7 started simulcasting the KBUE/KBUA signal, giving "Que Buena" coverage in nearly all of Orange County. On May 15, the call letters became KEBN.
On August 1, 2007, Liberman added another "Que Buena" to the lineup with the acquisition of Rhythmic Contemporary KWIE, licensed to San Jacinto, California, from Magic Broadcasting. The call sign was immediately changed to KRQB. The addition of the new station extends Liberman's "Que Buena" brand into Riverside and San Bernardino counties. (The previous owners transferred the KWIE calls to 93.5 in Ontario, a simulcast of KDAY.) Other than the morning show, programming on KRQB is separate from that of these stations.
Currently Que Buena primarily targets the "Mexican American" or "paisa" community of the greater Los Angeles area. Paisa being a slang term in Spanish meaning those who are culturally Mexican or "paisanos". Thus listen to such legendary Mexican artists such as Chalino Sánchez and Saul Viera. Other artists who gained quick popularity because of KBUE where El Narquillo, Adán Sánchez, and Lupillo Rivera to name a few. "La Que Buena" or "Aqui Suena La Que Buena", as it is commonly referred to, also plays the genre "banda" with primarily the "La Banda el Recodo" as its focus. Other artists who have airplay are El As de la Sierra, El Chapo, Valentín Elizalde, Jenni Rivera, Rogelio Martínez, El Potro de Sinaloa, El Coyote y su Banda, Los Tucanes, Los Rieleros, Los Incomparables, Los Tucanes, Los Razos, Los Originales de San Juan, and many others.
There has been a recent boom within the "paisa" community with the beginning of "el movimiento alterado". Artists that fit this criteria are Larry Hernandez, Roberto Tapia, Enigma Norteno, Gerardo Ortiz, Noel Torres, Aldredito Olivas, El Komander, and others.
- "Call Sign History". Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- Stark, Phyllis (March 18, 1995). "Vox Jox". Billboard. 107 (11): 78.
- "KIK-FM (now KMXN) 94.3 MHz, Garden Grove (Anaheim), CA
- Que Buena website (Spanish)
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KBUE
- Radio-Locator information on KBUE
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KBUE
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KBUA
- Radio-Locator information on KBUA
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KBUA
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KEBN
- Radio-Locator information on KEBN
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KEBN