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|City of license||Golden Valley, Minnesota|
|Broadcast area||Minneapolis-St. Paul|
|Slogan||Radio Disney Twin Cities|
|Frequency||1440 kHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||May 1948|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
500 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Kids DIZney|
|Former callsigns||KEYD, KEVE, KQRS, KGLD|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company
(RD Minneapolis Assets, LLC)
The original call letters were KEYD and the station played country music for many years. The station was launched in May 1948 by former management and advertisers of WDGY, who had become disenchanted with the owners of that station over the discontinuance of religious programming. Family Broadcasting basically started the station as a new home for the spurned WDGY programming. KEYD got a sister TV station in 1955, KEYD-TV 9 (now KMSP-TV), and the two stations were co-owned by Family Broadcasting until mid-1956. The original KEYD radio studios were located in downtown Minneapolis on 9th Street off of Hennepin Avenue practically next to the Orpheum Theater (see photo link below). According to the 1955 Broadcasting Yearbook, both the AM and TV stations were co-located in the Foshay Tower by the end of 1955.
The call sign was changed to KEVE in June 1956 and the studios moved to the station's transmitter and antenna site at 917 Lilac Drive in Golden Valley. During that time, the station played country music. KEVE-FM (92.5 FM) signed on September 1, 1962 and by October 1963 it was given the call letters KADM to match its AM sister as the pair became known as "Adam and Eve in the Valley"; the city of license for the two stations is the suburb of Golden Valley. A gradual shift from country music to a mix of classical music, show tunes and adult standards began in 1960 and was completed on both stations by March 1963. On December 1, 1964, the call letters for both stations became KQRS for "Quality Radio Stations".
In 1967, the stations began experimenting with freeform rock music from midnight to 5 AM every night via the "Night Watch" program, playing R&B, jazz and psychedelic rock. The foray proved successful and by the end of 1968 it became the full-time format.
The two KQs were a simulcast until 1982, when the AM briefly switched to an oldies format as KGLD before returning to the simulcast. FCC files show that the KGLD calls became effective November 22, 1982 with the KQRS calls returning on March 28, 1984.
In 1985, ABC Radio Network, then a division of the original ABC, Inc. bought the station and its main FM counterpart with it. Along with its main FM sister, it was ABC's first foray into the Minnesota broadcast market. At first, ABC programmed the station with a classic rock'n'roll format albeit essentially being an AM simulcast of its FM sister at the time from 1985 until 1996.
The station again broke away from the simulcast in late 1996, this time permanently, when it became one of the four initial affiliates of the new Radio Disney with a children's format that competed with WWTC, then the flagship station of "Radio Aahs," which had its own children's format. FCC files show a call letter change to KDIZ effective November 15, 1996.
Disney had previously been collaborating with Radio Aahs, which was based in Minneapolis and had launched its children's format in 1990. Radio Aahs had grown to approximately 30 affiliate stations around the country. Disney withdrew from the Aahs contract and began competing against Aahs with Radio Disney. Children's Broadcasting Corp. sued Disney and was awarded $9.5 million in 2002. Disney appealed and after the court upheld the judgement, it was paid in 2005; with accumulated interest, the total was $12.4 million.
On November 12, 2005 the station made world news when a riot erupted at its "Jingle Jam Concert" featuring B5, forcing the venue, Brookdale Mall, to be closed. Members of the group were stripped of shirts, shoes and earrings.
It holds the distinction of being not only the longest-tenured Radio Disney station in its history but also one of ABC's longest-tenured non-mainstream radio stations in its history. It is also the last-remaining Disney/ABC broadcast property in Minnesota, having had sold the others in 2007 taking ABC Radio with it to Citadel Broadcasting (KXXR, acquired in 1993, Love 105, acquired in 1997, and KQRS-FM, acquired in 1985).
- Lafayette, Jon (August 13, 2014). "Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
- "Radio Disney to Sell the Majority of Its Stations". Billboard. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Radio Disney's website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KDIZ
- Radio-Locator Information on KDIZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KDIZ
- KEYD-AM exterior photo, 1953, from The Minnesota Historical Society
- TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks.com Recordings of KDIZ predecessor, KQRS, and other Twin Cities radio stations
- KEYD 1949 promotional station profile
- University of Minnesota 1970 thesis on the history of WDGY at radiotapes.com, page 67
- Historical reference to KEYD-AM and TV Pavek Museum Of Broadcasting
- Broadcasting Yearbooks 1949-1965
- Station's call sign changes at FCC database
- Radio Aahs receives $12 million payment from ABC, Disney