|Broadcast area||Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex|
|Branding||Radio Salaam Namaste|
|First air date||January, 1953|
|Format||Hindi Hit Music|
|Power||50,000 watts (day)
1,900 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Paying homage to the old "K-BoX" radio station
D = Dallas
(Issued 2 13 1952)
(5 16 1952–1958)
(ACM JCE IV B LLC)
KBXD (1480 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Dallas, Texas. The station features a Hindi hit music radio format for the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex South Asian community. It calls itself "Radio Salaam Namaste." KBXD's broadcast license is held by ACM JCE IV B LLC and the owner is Chris Muse.
In recent years, the station got a boost in daytime power to 50,000 watts, the maximum for AM stations. It reduces power at night to 1900 watts to avoid interfering with other stations on AM 1480. The transmitter is off of South Saint Augustine Road in Dallas.
The station, now known as KBXD, signed on as KGKO on January, 1953. The station played pop music and jazz. In 1958, KGKO changed its call sign to KBOX and it adopted a Top 40 format to compete with Gordon McLendon's top-rated 1190 KLIF. Future WABC disc jockey Dan Ingram was an early voice on KBOX. Within a year, the station, known variously as "Wonderful K-Box in Dallas," "Big Top Radio," and "Tiger Radio," had rocketed from the bottom of the ratings to a near-tie with KLIF, and remained highly rated through the coming decade. K-Box was the only radio station covering President John F. Kennedy's motorcade live when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. (Although KLIF was widely acclaimed for its later coverage of the President's death and the ensuing events, it was not broadcasting live from the motorcade route.)
Group One Broadcasting of Texas acquired KBOX from Balaban Broadcasting in 1967 for $2 million.
KBOX Goes Country
KBOX had never been able to defeat KLIF in the Top 40 arena. So on January 24, 1967, KBOX changed direction and went to a country format. The first song played on the new country KBOX was "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" by Buck Owens (a nod to the station's former "Tiger Radio" moniker).
KPCN 730 AM (now KKDA) was the first country station in the area, having started in 1962, but it broadcast during the daytime only. KBOX quickly became the ratings leader for country music in Dallas. In its first ratings book, it moved from a 10.0 share Q3 1966 to a 12.1 share in Q1 1967. KBOX had six years of solid ratings, posting a high of 14.4 in the Q3 1967 book. In 1972, 830 WBAP began giving KBOX stiff competition as a country-formatted 50,000 watt powerhouse. WBAP gained many listeners from KBOX.
In 1973, the Arbitron markets for Dallas and Fort Worth were combined into one book, to reflect the merging of the two cities into one metropolitan area. KBOX, like other smaller stations, was hurt by this redefinition. Some, like KBOX, did not even appear in the new ratings book. WBAP became the clear country winner at that point, as KBOX barely reached the Ft. Worth half of the newly defined market.
In April 1974, Group One applied for a nighttime power increase from 500 watts to 1 kilowatt and a move of the transmitter site to 32 52 15 N 96 42 54 W. The Federal Communications Commission approved it in February 1975. This gave KBOX a better signal, which is probably what allowed it to struggle into the 1980s, providing a more local service to Dallas, since WBAP is licensed to Fort Worth. But by 1980, FM radio was growing in dominance and the ability of KBOX to compete with a music format was waning.
Into the 1990s and 2000s
In 1989, KMEZ-AM broke away from the FM station to adopt a Business News/Talk format as KDBN. This was followed in 1991 by the satellite-fed "Stardust" Adult Standards service from the Unistar Radio Network as KCMZ.
Marcos A. Rodriguez purchased the station and changed the format to Spanish-language Banda music with call sign KMRT (1993–1998). Marcos A. Rodriguez picked the calls to connote the retailer K-Mart and imply good value for advertisers. KMRT was the first radio station in America to air the Banda format all the time. It operated with an automated Audio Server delivery.
Eventually, the call sign changed to KDXX (1998–2002), and KHCK (1998–2005), a simulcast of Tejano KHCK-FM "Kick FM" until the FM changed format to Cumbia music as KFZO and the AM continued as a stand-alone Tejano station for a few months. The KNIT call letters and a Southern Gospel format were adopted in March 2005, when it was briefly owned by Salem Communications.
In June 2007, the station joined the Spanish language sports network ESPN Deportes Radio, and it was the first ESPN Deportes station to be managed and operated by ESPN. 1540 KZMP picked up the ESPN Deportes format on June 1, 2009, almost two years after the format was first aired in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The Deportes format was dropped by 1480 in August 2009.
Move to South Asian Programming
KBXD, along with co-owned stations WFLL, WFTL, and WMEN, was purchased out of bankruptcy by Mark Jorgenson's ACM JCE IV B LLC in a transaction that was consummated on August 6, 2015, at a purchase price of $5.5 million. In turn, Jorgenson sold KBXD to Chris Muse for $1.5 million on May 13, 2016, plus a $13,000 payment to break the station’s tower lease. The transmitting site was acquired from Salem Radio Properties. KBXD switched its format to South Asian pop music.