|City||Wood River, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Branding||590 The Fan|
|Frequency||590 kHz AM|
|First air date||1961 (as WBBY)|
|Callsign meaning||K FaNS (former branding)|
|Former callsigns||WBBY (1961-1965)
(Markel Radio Group LLC)
KFNS is an AM radio station licensed to Wood River, Illinois, and targeting the St. Louis metropolitan area. Located at 590 kHz, KFNS' studios are located in St. Charles, while its transmitters are located near Bethalto.
KFNS (AM) is currently owned by Randy Markel through licensee Markel Radio Group LLC, and broadcasts with 1 kW of power, 24 hours per day. KFNS broadcasts using 4 towers during the daytime hours and 3 towers at night. Its former antenna array, as WRTH, was three towers day and night with 500 watts days and 1000 watts nights, which was an unusual configuration.
KFNS currently airs programming provided by TalkSTL.com, with programs including The Front Page w/ Dave Rapp, Behind the Glass, The Football Dealers w/ Howard Balzer and Marc Lillibridge, Kevin Slaten, Todd Blackstock, The Charlie Tuna Show, Ray Eye, and a weekly "STL United FC" club show. KFNS is also affiliated with the Motor Racing Network.
KFNS first went on the air circa 1961, as WBBY with an easy listening format. WBBY served the Wood River, Illinois area with local news, sports and other programming. In 1965, WBBY changed call letters to WRTH and the easy listening music format became among the most highly rated stations in St. Louis (this would later shift to standards). Among the most well-known announcers were Grant Horton, Paul Warner, Frank Akers, Jim Scanlan and Ed Goodman. The station continued playing standards until September 1988, when WRTH flipped to oldies as WKLL, "Kool 590". In 1990, the format changed again to an all-business news format under the call-letters WCEO. A year later, the standards were back as WCEO became KEZK; at the time, the station was co-owned with KEZK-FM. On April 5, 1993, KEZK flipped to sports talk as KFNS, "590 the Fan". KFNS held the affiliation for One-on-One Sports (which later became Sporting News Radio).
KFNS previously aired St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer, University of Illinois football and men's basketball, the Gateway Grizzlies minor-league baseball team, and selected Mizzou Tigers football and basketball games, along with the weekly "Tiger Talk" radio coaches show. In 2009, KFNS was the radio home for the Frontier League's River City Rascals baseball games. KFNS-FM was the radio home for the club in 2006, before losing out to KSLQ-FM in 2007 and 2008.
KFNS also broadcast on an FM radio station, known as KFNS-FM, based in Troy, Missouri and located at 100.7 MHz from 1999 until July 15, 2009. It was heard in Lincoln, St. Charles and Warren counties in eastern Missouri, with the same programming as its AM partner. Today, 100.7 FM still operates with the branding of "100.7 The Viper," and airs a classic rock format.
KFNS flipped to a talk/comedy format on May 1, 2013, branded as "590 The Man". In addition, sister station KXFN flipped to a female-centric talk format as "1380 The Woman." In 2014, KFNS shifted back to sports, with the previous format shifting over to KXFN. Its investors include former St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace and former St. Louis Blues player Keith Tkachuk. The station has been subject to significant turmoil, including lawsuits against the ownership, physical fights behind the scenes and verbal attacks on-air, since 2013.
KFNS went off the air on October 31, 2014 after the station stopped paying its bills, resulting in Ameren turning off the power to its transmitter site. Following the shutdown, Grand Slam Sports announced that the company would focus on sister station KXFN and sell KFNS to a religious group. Since 2009, the station had faced increased competition for the sports radio audience in St. Louis from WXOS, WGNU, and WQQX. After payment was made on the power bill, KFNS resumed broadcasting with NBC Sports Radio programming on November 10, 2014; however, shortly afterward, Grand Slam Sports' investors, at the urging of the company's operations manager, chose to again suspend the station's operations until the completion of the sale. The sale to a religious group never followed through; instead, the station returned to air on November 5, 2015, after being leased out to Markel Radio Group, operators of talkstl.com, who had already been leasing KXFN. TalkSTL programming was simulcasted on both stations until December 2015, when KXFN went silent (TalkSTL programming remained on KFNS). The station was sold to Markel Radio Group, effective February 22, 2016, for $300,000.
- [httpped://www.yourmidwestmedia.net/mainsite/formatchanges.html "Format Changes"]. Your Midwest Media.
- Dan Caesar (Mar 8, 2013). "Caesar: KFNS, 1380 to drop all-sports format". St. Louis Post‑Dispatch. Retrieved Mar 12, 2013.
- Caesar, Dan (November 3, 2014). "KFNS off the air and not coming back". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- Caesar, Dan (November 11, 2014). "KFNS briefly returns to airwaves, but plug to be pulled again". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KFNS
- Radio-Locator Information on KFNS
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KFNS