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93.5 KDAY Hip Hop Back In The Day logo.jpg
City Redondo Beach, California
Broadcast area Los Angeles, California
Branding 93.5 KDAY
Slogan L.A.'s Hip Hop Back In The Day
Frequency 93.5 MHz
First air date 1961 (as KAPP-FM)
Format Classic hip-hop
ERP 4,200 watts
HAAT 117 meters (384 ft)
Class A
Facility ID 10100
Transmitter coordinates 34°00′19″N 118°21′44″W / 34.00528°N 118.36222°W / 34.00528; -118.36222
Callsign meaning BacK in the DAY
Former callsigns KAPP-FM (1961-1965)
KKOP (1965-1978)
KFOX (1978-2000)
KMJR (2000-2001)
KFSG (2001-2003)
KZAB (2003-2004)
Owner Meruelo Group
(Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC)
Sister stations KDEY-FM, KPWR, KWHY-TV
Webcast Listen Live
Website 935kday.com

KDAY (93.5 FM, 93.5 KDAY) is a radio station based in Los Angeles that airs a classic hip-hop format. KDAY is owned by Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC, and is licensed to Redondo Beach.

From 2004 to 2008, KDAY and KDEY-FM in Ontario, California were a pair of synchrocasting[1] 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- to 49-year-olds. Due to low ratings, in September 2009, KDEY would resume simulcasting with KDAY; the simulcast would be dropped again in February 2017.

The studios for KDAY are located in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles, and its transmitter is located on a site in Baldwin Hills.


The "Original" KDAY[edit]

KDAY is a resurrection of the original AM stereo CHUrban station of the 1970s and 1980s, KDAY AM 1580. As KDAY began losing listeners to FM stations like KJLH in the early 1980s, KDAY hired Greg Mack out of KMJQ in Corpus Christi, Texas as music director in 1983. Mack eventually added hip hop to its playlist to appeal to mostly young black and Latino listeners. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella Boy became the first mixer DJs at the station.[2]:214–216

Former KDAY radio personality Greg Mack (far left) and "mixmaster" DJ Julio G (center) at the KDAY AM 1580 20th anniversary in 2003.

In the first ratings period under Mack's leadership, KDAY's ratings beat another Los Angeles black AM station, KGFJ and "began to enjoy a second life as the only rap-friendly station in town and, frankly, in the entire country."[2]:217

After violence in the stands forced the cancellation of an August Run-DMC show at the Long Beach Arena for the group's Raising Hell tour,[3] KDAY organized a "Day of Peace" on October 9, 1986.[2]:218 In a two-hour special, KDAY featured Run-DMC, singer Barry White, and boxer Paul Gonzales appealing on rival gangs to stop feuding and opened phone lines for callers to describe gangs' impact in their communities.[4] There were no murders or incidents of gang violence that day. Within two weeks, the Bloods and Crips, the two largest gangs in Los Angeles, signed a peace treaty.[2]:218

By 1990, FM stations were playing hip hop. KDAY upgraded its sound to AM stereo, described by Dan Charnas as "sounding like two tinny AM radios playing side by side."[2]:293 Mack left KDAY that year to work for FM rival KJLH. Realtor Fred Sands, who also owned iconic heavy metal station KNAC, bought KDAY the next year.[2]:293–294[5]

At 1 p.m. on March 28, 1991, KDAY switched to a business format with call letters KBLA.[6][2]:294

Current KDAY[edit]

On July 23, 2007, KDAY/KDAI temporarily moved from an Urban Contemporary format to a rhythmic format. 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.[7]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[8]

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".[9]

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).[10]

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.[11][12] The new changes resulted in R&R and BDS removing the station from the Urban reporting radio panel in its August 29, 2008 issue.[13]


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.[14] 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 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 ... 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.[15]

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.[16]




As of 2017, KDAY's musical direction features a mix of Classic Hip-Hop/R&B, old school, and Rhythmic throwbacks. Currently, KDAY competes with urban contemporary station KRRL and urban AC's KTWV and KJLH.

Change of ownership[edit]

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.[17] The FCC approved the sale on December 8, 2011.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] In May 2014, KDEY and KDAY were sold to Meruelo Radio, which also owns Los Angeles television station KWHY.

On May 9, 2017, Emmis Broadcasting sold KPWR to Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. Meruelo began operating KPWR under the new ownership in July 2017. As a result of the acquisition and retaining KPWR's Rhythmic format, air staff and management, Meruelo announced that it will move KDAY and KDEY to KPWR's Burbank studios effective with the deal, with KDAY refocusing on Classic Hip-Hop and Rhythmic throwbacks to avoid overlap.[21][22]

History of 93.5 FM[edit]

The 93.5 frequency, in Redondo Beach, signed on in 1961 as KAPP and was owned by South Bay Broadcasting Company; the station was awarded after grants for KPOL-FM and KNX-FM were denied. 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 station changed its callsign to KKOP with its sale to Southern California Associated Newspapers in 1965 and began playing mellow pop music. The transmitter moved to Torrance in the 1970s. In 1978, KKOP became KFOX-FM upon its sale to the former operators of KFOX at 1280 AM (now KFRN; like its predecessor, KFOX played country music. The format in the early 1980s was an adult contemporary hit music station. In 1981-82, 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.[citation needed]

By 1983, KFOX had 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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Don McCoy's Magic House - Life Story". Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Charnas, Dan (2010). The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop. New York: New American Library. ISBN 9780451229298. 
  3. ^ Ramos, George (August 19, 1986). "'Rap' Musicians' Concert Is Canceled at Palladium After Long Beach Fights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ Boyer, Edward J. (October 10, 1986). "Celebrities Use Airwaves to Take On Street Violence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ KDAY Says R.I.P. to Rap Format. Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1991; retrieved August 19, 2009.
  6. ^ "Billboard" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. April 13, 1991. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  7. ^ "yes.com". Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ https://archive.is/20110814011941/http://www.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,106150.0.html
  10. ^ KDAY goes back to independent programming From The Daily Breeze (August 18, 2008)
  11. ^ Carney, Steve (August 12, 2008). "Radio will get meter readings". Retrieved March 11, 2017 – via LA Times. 
  12. ^ Carney, Steve (August 14, 2008). "KIIS up as radio ratings go tech". Retrieved March 11, 2017 – via LA Times. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  14. ^ "KDAY back in LA!!". August 19, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ "KDAY Continues To Evolve". Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Art Laboe's Killer Oldies Return To L.A.'s Airwaves Again". Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  17. ^ "$35 million sale for a Southern California combo". Radio-Info.com. 27 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Application Search Details (BALH-20101223ACF)". FCC Media Bureau. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  19. ^ "KDAY Los Angeles Sold - RadioInsight". 10 April 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  20. ^ Westhoff, Ben (1 October 2013). "Sources: KDAY Saved". Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  21. ^ "Emmis Sells Power 106 Los Angeles To Mereulo Group", RadioInsight.com, May 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Meruelo Takes Over KPWR; Sets New Management" from Radio Insight (July 6, 2017)

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