|City of license||Redondo Beach, California|
|Broadcast area||Los Angeles, California|
|Slogan||"LA's #1 for Back In The Day Hits"|
|First air date||early 1970s|
|HAAT||117 meters (384 ft)|
|Former callsigns||KFOX (?-2000)
(Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC)
|Sister stations||KDEY-FM, KWHY-TV|
KDAY in Redondo Beach, California, (93.5 FM) is one of a pair of synchrocasting radio stations based in South Los Angeles that airs a Urban Contemporary format aimed at African Americans & Hispanic Americans in the 18-49 range. KDAY is owned by Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC and broadcasts at 93.5 MHz on the FM dial.
From 2004 to 2008, KDAY and KDAI in Ontario, California were a pair of synchrocasting radio stations serving LA/Orange County and Riverside/San Bernardino. But on August 14, 2008 both stations ended their simulcast as KDAY increased its signal coverage and began focusing on the Los Angeles area as a hybrid Urban/Talk outlet targeting 18-49-year-olds, while KDAI became KWIE and flipped to a Rhythmic Adult Contemporary format covering the Inland Empire. In September 2009, KWIE dropped the Rhythmic AC format and returned to simulcasting KDAY as KDEY-FM.
The "Original" KDAY
KDAY is a resurrection of the original R&B/dance/pop and Hip-Hop station of the 1970s and 1980s, KDAY AM 1580.
Those instrumental in bringing "The Original" KDAY's R&B/Dance music format (during the 1970s and early 1980s) to a 4.0 Arbitron rating prominence included early radio pioneers Russell Dean "Bobby Jimmy" Parr, Jim Maddox, Steve Woods, JJ Johnson, Donald Tracy, Dereke Clements (Public Affairs Director), Romelle Price, ( Promotions Director) Roy Latimer (News), Doug Banks, Jack Patterson, Roger Aldi (News), and Jonny Badeaux (Production and Music Director). Community-based public affairs involvement and larger than life promotions including the "1580 KDAY Gold Give-A-Way", basketball games at the L.A. Lakers Forum with The Jacksons and Cameo, Bike-A-Thon with the Sylvers and Funkadelics, and the Annual KDAY Toys for Tots Drive with Lakeside, Shalamar and Side Effect, helped to make AM Stereo 1580 KDAY the most popular hit music radio station in the Los Angeles market.
Lee "King News" Marshall, Jesse "The Brown Beauty On Duty" Torrero, Lisa Canning, Mark Morganella, DJ Dr. Dre, DJ Yella Boy, DJ Hen Gee, DJ Battlecat, DJ Bobcat The KDAY's HI-NRG Mixers, DJ Hazze The Hamburgar Helper, DJ Eddie La Flavour, Rory Kaufman, Eddie Kirby (General Manager), Andy Laird (chief Engineer), brothers DJ Joseph & Keith Cooley, DJ Julio & Tony G., with The KDAY Mixmasters and so many others during this era, really helped to make KDAY the power house of innovation, change, and musical leadership in the Hip-Hop, R&B, and Dance music worlds. With shows like "The KDAY's 5:00 Traffic Jam", "KDAY's Friday Night Live", "The KDAY's HI-NRG Mixtape Supershow", "KDAY's World On Wheels", "KDAY's Live From Skateland USA Rolling Rink", custom song mixes, interviews, heavy community service in schools, community centers, youth and church groups, community events, and the in-street cutting edge programming, contests, imaging, sweepers, jingles, and overall style, many major players in the radio and record business began their careers at this 50,000 watt AM directional signal in Los Angeles. If an new artist or a new rap group came to the West Coast, 1580 KDAY was the only destination station in Los Angeles.
AM 1580 was sold in 1991 to realtor Fred Sands (who also owned iconic heavy metal station KNAC); it officially went off the air on March 29 of that year. Hours before that, phone calls were streaming into the station as the on-the-air DJs encouraged KDAY listeners to protest against the shutting down of the station. It was too late and KDAY turned into business-oriented radio station KBLA later that day. The final songs played that signaled the end of the original KDAY was "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'" by MC Breed and "Turn Off the Lights" by Teddy Pendergrass. After that, silence came to one of the AM band's last new music stations in the Los Angeles market.
KDAY was resurrected on 93.5 FM in September 2004, offering a rhythmic contemporary format that emphasized on old school hip-hop, a nod to their AM heritage. In April 2006, KDAY began moving away from a Rhythmic Contemporary direction to an Urban Contemporary approach as the station refocused its target audience towards African Americans. This was probably in response to competitor KPWR tilting back from Urban to Rhythmic in order to target Hispanic listeners. Due to sinking ratings, a month later, long-time hip-hop/R&B station KKBT eliminated hip hop from the format in favor of becoming a mixture of Urban AC and urban talk radio, similar in format to KHHT and KJLH. (Only afterwards did KKBT change its calls and name to KRBV "V-100"). In addition, KDAY brought Steve Harvey on board on Memorial Day Weekend, 2006. Harvey had been released by KKBT the previous year. Weeks later, rival KKBT signed on Tom Joyner to carry his syndicated morning show there, but in December 2006, KKBT would ax Joyner due to low ratings, partly attributed to Harvey's success. Technically, the Steve Harvey Show plays R&B music on an Urban AC format, which backs up KDAY's Urban Contemporary format. Since the format altering, KDAY added slow jams during late evening hours and gospel music on Sunday mornings.
On July 23, 2007, KDAY/KDAI temporarily moved from an Urban Contemporary format to a rhythmic format under the consultancy of Harry Lyles and newly installed PD Theo. In a statement to the website All Access, Lyles commented to the changes: "I am very excited and thrilled to be working with Don McCoy, Roy Laughlin and Theo. All we're doing is playing to the taste of Los Angeles and if we play what they want, they will listen. With PPM coming, this will make things a lot more interesting in Los Angeles." The format turnback might have been spurred by Magic's sale of KWIE. The KDAY call letters were originally intended to be dropped in favor of the station changing to "Wild 93.5" and picking up KWIE calls in its place. For a time, the station only referenced itself as "93.5" in the promos until it could come up with a name and calls to fit the rhythmic format. This happened in July 2007, when the sale of KWIE "Wild 96.1" was completed to Liberman Broadcasting and that station became KRQB. The KWIE call sign moved to the Ontario station, which was KDAI. After the sale was completed, it turned out that the format altering was only temporary so they could have the KWIE listeners in the Riverside/San Bernardino area migrate to the 93.5 signal, as KDAY reverted to urban contemporary the following August.
On April 8, 2008, Radio One inked a deal with KDAY, which saw the station pick up the former "Beat" logo and several syndicated shows from Radio One. The move came after Radio One sold KRBV to Bonneville International, who in turn dropped KRBV's Urban AC format the previous day (April 7, 2008); that station is now KSWD. From that point, the station used the slogan "The Beat of LA," a nod to the popular hip-hop station during the 1990s and early 2000s (decade). Michael Baisden, host of the syndicated afternoon show Love Lust and Lies, returned to Los Angeles on KDAY on August 18, 2008, as KRBV previously aired the show until the format switch.
On August 14, 2008, KDAY was upgraded from 3.4Kw to 4.2Kw, thanks to a new tower that gave the station more coverage in the metro. The new tower will replace its former one, which had been in use for fifty years. Another move was the alteration of its Mainstream Urban format, as KDAY tweaked its direction to a hybrid Urban Adult Contemporary/Urban Talk approach (a direction similar to Urban AC, but featuring current adult-friendly R&B music with and on-air talk personalities and some Hip-Hop product) targeting an 18-49 audience, with most of its programming being filled by syndicated shows during the day, except for DJ Theo's slow-jam show "Theo After Hours," which aired live from 8PM to 12AM weekdays. The move also ended the simulcasts of both KDAY and KWIE, as the latter flipped to Rhythmic Adult Contemporary and targeted the Inland Empire on the same day.
Despite the changes, there had been criticism from listeners over KDAY's decision to move away from being a station that once supported Hip-Hop and a live airstaff to one that featured syndicated shows and an Urban Adult Contemporary/Talk format, claiming that the owners had ruined the legacy of both KDAY and "The Beat". Those upset with that new approach predicted its demise as it was already tried before (and failed) at KKBT, while also feeling that Los Angeles could not support two Adult R&B outlets (referring to KDAY's main competitor, KJLH; KHHT is a Rhythmic AC aimed at Hispanics). But according to station management, the decision to tweak the format was due to Arbitron's plans to implement the PPM in the Los Angeles radio market and where they feel they can tap into certain areas where they can attract the African American audience. The new changes resulted in R&R and BDS removing the station from the Urban reporting radio panel in its August 29, 2008 issue.
There had been hints of possible changes coming over the past several months, which became evident in its decision to replace Mo'Nique's syndicated show in October 2008 for more music-driven local content. Another move would come with Theo's exit several weeks later. As a result, KDAY made a shift back to Urban and was reinstated to R&R/BDS' Urban panel in January 2009. The following March, KDAY re-added local air personalities to its lineup, with DJ Dense taking middays and Tha Goodfellas, who had been handling afternoons and weekends, was moved to the 7–10 pm slot. The Steve Harvey morning show was dropped on May 29, 2009, but later resurfaced on KJLH. In addition, Michael Baisden's nationally syndicated show, which aired in the afternoon drive, was dropped on Friday, July 31, 2009. Keith Sweat's nationally syndicated show, The Keith Sweat Hotel, was next in line to be dropped from KDAY.
At the "Fresh Fest" concert in Downtown Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre, hints were made on stage that a full-blown format flip to resemble the original KDAY's Classic Hip Hop sound would occur on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 7:30 am, when they would drop the branding of The Beat and become simply KDAY. The new logo was shown on all stage banners and screen graphics.
As promised, the change came that very Monday morning with Boyz II Men's End Of The Road signaling the wrap of the old format, and Snoop Dogg's Gin & Juice being the first song under the new format. Station spots in between songs indicated that the previous syndicated fare was a programming mistake that did not reflect what Los Angeles fans were looking for and that the station would "never do that again." It officially left Los Angeles as the largest market without an urban contemporary station, unseating Houston, Texas in that title.
In a press release, the station's PD/OM, Adrian (A.D.) Scott, explained in detail: "The landscape of Los Angeles radio has been ever changing over the last several years and the programming at 93.5 is taking an exciting turn for the better. “The Beat” will be dropped as focus is placed on the brand equity in KDAY and its deep musical roots. Los Angeles has been missing the west coast sound. By eliminating syndicated programming, KDAY can now focus on its strengths as a local, independent station that connects with the diverse culture that is Los Angeles. With a mix of the old school and the new music that is enjoyed today, I feel we have a unique and winning recipe." While they may have returned to the format, KDAY remains largely automated. In September 2009, KWIE, after splitting from KDAY to broadcast a Rhythmic Hot AC format to target the Riverside-San Bernardino market, returned to simulcasting KDAY's format.
In November 2009, station management at KDAY made more changes by bringing in veteran programming consultants Bill Tanner and Steve Smith to help evolve the station alongside PD Scott, new OM Brian Bridgman and new GM Zeke Chaidez. In an interview from All Access, Tanner explained what was in store for KDAY pertaining to the future adjustments for the format: "Brian, Steve and I have offered some refinements based on our many years of experience in Los Angeles," then added that "We’re just getting started with the music. We will be adding jocks and more surprises in the weeks ahead." Mixing was soon brought back to the station with the additions of DJ Mr. AD, DJ Eddy Express, DJ Class1c, and DJ Dense.
On June 7, 2015, KDAY began carrying Art Laboe's syndicated six-hour Sunday-night oldies program, "The Art Laboe Connection," which had previously been heard on KHHT until February 2015, when the station dropped its rhythmic oldies format and switched to urban as KRRL. 
As of early 2012, KDAY has added more current Hip hop and R&B into its playlist, but still retains old school. Currently, KDAY competes with urban contemporary station KRRL, urban AC's KTWV and KJLH, and rhythmic CHR KPWR.
Change of ownership
On December 27, 2010, Radio-Info reported that the KDAY/KDEY simulcast had been sold by Magic Broadcasting to SoCal935, LLC for $35 million. The principal investors Warren Chang and John Hearne also have a financial stake in recent Riverside Rhythmic Top 40 station KQIE. The FCC approved the sale on December 8, 2011. However, even after three extensions of time to consummate the sale, the transfer of ownership never took place.
On April 10, 2013, Lance Venta of RadioInsight reported that KDAY/KDEY were both sold again, this time to RBC Communications, a group led by Chinese/Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix Television and its editor-in-chief and current affairs anchor Anthony Yuen. However, on October 1, LA Weekly reported that RBC had pulled out from the deal marking the 2nd failed attempt by Magic to sell off KDAY.
In May 2014, KDEY and KDAY were sold to Meruelo Radio, which also owns Los Angeles television station KWHY.
History of 93.5 FM
The 93.5 frequency, in Redondo Beach, signed on in the early 1960s as KAPP-FM. Chuck Johnson and Lonnie Cook came to 93.5 from 103.9 in Inglewood. The frequency was shared as the signal's programming came from Redondo Beach in the daytime, and the Pop / Blues / Doo Wop / Jazz format being aired by Johnson and Cook(from Chuck's home) at night. It has been determined that their FM Top 40 chart is the oldest one known to exist. In 1960 Alan Freed , who signed off at WABC in NYC, appeared for a short while on KDAY.
The next known transmission of 93.5 was KKOP and it played mellow pop music. One of the station's early owners was game show producer Jack Barry, who later stated that he bought the station specifically because it would require him to have a license from the FCC, and that if the FCC would be willing to grant him a license, it would effectively show that he no longer was "tainted" by the game show scandals.
Later in the 1970s the call letters KFOX were assigned to the station, which like its predecessor at 1280AM (now KFRN) played country music. The format in the early 1980s was an adult contemporary hit music station, with several soon to be very well known disc jockeys like Brian Thomas and Steve Lehman. In 1981/1982, 93.5 KFOX employed LA's Youngest Disc Jockey at the time, a 16-year-old student of Torrance High School, Brett Nordhoff, who later changed his on air name to Kidd Kelly. By 1983, the owner decided to sell blocks of air time to various producers; KFOX evolved into a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual format such as Radio Rangarang (Persian), Radio Omid (Persian) and Radio Naeeri (Armenian). In the mid-1990s, this became "Radio Korea USA" with an all-Korean format. This continued until 1999, when the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, which, as a condition of selling 96.3 KXOL-FM moved the KFSG call letters and format to 93.5, which was acquired by 96.3's new owners, Spanish Broadcasting System, specifically for the purpose of relocating KFSG. In 2002, the lease arrangement with Foursquare ended, and SBS switched to a Spanish-language outlet, first as KMJR (La Mejor) and later KZAB.
Comedian George Carlin got his West Coast break at KDAY with original comedy partner Jack Burns as a morning team in the early 1960s. The pair spent much of their down time rehearsing their sketches for local coffee house performances. When those performances went well, they soon left radio for touring and television. Carlin asked that his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame be placed outside the KDAY studios.
Wolfman Jack did a program in the early 1970s at the original KDAY(AM) (licensed to Santa Monica) after his departure from border blaster station XERB (then at 1090-AM which is now XEPRS).
- Don McCoy's Magic House - Life Story
- KDAY Says R.I.P. to Rap Format. Los Angeles Times. February 27, 1991. Retrieved on 2009-08-19.
- From Radio-Info Los Angeles message board
- From Radio-Info Los Angeles message board
- KDAY goes back to independent programming From The Daily Breeze (August 18, 2008)
- from Los Angeles Times (August 12, 2008)
- From Los Angeles Times (August 14, 2008)
- From R&R
- "KDAY Continues To Evolve" from All Access (November 30, 2009)
- "$35 million sale for a Southern California combo". Radio-Info.com. 27 December 2010.
- "Application Search Details (BALH-20101223ACF)". FCC Media Bureau. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
- 93.5 KDAY's official website
- Magic Broadcasting LLC official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KDAY
- Radio-Locator information on KDAY
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KDAY
- Steve Harvey Is Back On-the-Air in L.A.