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|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Branding||FM News Talk 97.1|
|Slogan||In Touch and Up to Date|
|Frequency||97.1 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 97.1-2 FM "MyRedLounge"|
|First air date||1977|
|Callsign meaning||K FM TalK|
(Emmis Radio License, LLC)
KFTK is a commercial radio station located in Florissant, Missouri, United States, broadcasting to the Greater St. Louis area on 97.1 FM. KFTK airs news/talk local and syndicated programming leaning to the conservative side of talk and opinion. Owned by Emmis Communications, the station's studios are located in the Powerhouse building at St. Louis Union Stations, while the transmitter is located in O'Fallon.
Local talent includes former KMOV reporter Jamie Allman (mornings), Dana Loesch, and Dave Glover (afternoon drive), the lawyer-turned-comedy/current events talk show host whom the station developed its lineup around when it changed to a news format. Other local weekend talent include Dr. Randy Tobler, Dave Finkelstein (auto talk), Bob Stockdale (money talk), Max Foisey (movie show), and Rodney Boyd.
The station originally signed on the air in the mid-1970s, as KSCF – standing for St. Charles and Florissant, with a "Middle of the Road" Easy Listening format. One of the original owners was Harlan "Grant" Horton, a longtime St. Louis broadcaster at KSD, WRTH, KMOX, KXOK AM 630 and WEW. The sign on of 97.1 caused KADI-FM to move from their original frequency of 96.5 to 96.3 to accommodate the new radio station.
K-Lite 97.1/Breeze 97
In 1980, after the KCFM call letters were dropped by 93.7, they were picked up by 97.1, and the station aired an Adult Contemporary format until 1985, when the calls would change once again to KLTH "K-Lite 97" with a Soft Adult Contemporary format. KLTH gradually segued into a format called "Breeze 97," which was "New Adult Contemporary," an early predecessor to the Smooth Jazz format. In 1989, the station was sold once again, and the new owners flipped the station to Top 40 "Hot 97" with the call letters KHTK. The Top 40 format died when former Top 40 station WKBQ was briefly under lease by the station's owner Saul Frischling of Pittsburgh, and both top 40 stations were merged at 106.5, taking personalities from both stations.
Mix 97.1 KXOK
Around 1992, the call letters of 97.1 were switched to KXOK-FM known as "Mix 97-1" with an Urban Adult Contemporary format with Urban Oldies from the former KXOK 630AM was moved to FM. Mix 97.1 would try to comptete with the Urban AC leader in Saint Louis, KMJM ("Magic 108"). The two stations simulcasted briefly before the AM was taken off the air completely, pending a sale to a religious broadcaster.
97FM The Rock
In 1998, Frischling sold Mix 97.1 to Sinclair Broadcasting, who owned ABC affiliate KDNL TV-30. In September of that year, the Urban format was dropped, and the station began simulcasting KPNT. On September 25, KXOK began stunting with a 48-hour loop of "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'n' Roses. Two days later, KXOK switched formats to classic rock as "The Rock" while retaining the KXOK-FM call letters. The station enjoyed the most success seen on the frequency to that date as a competitor to Emmis Broadcasting's KSHE 95.
97.1 FM Talk
In the fall of 2000, Emmis Communications added to its St. Louis radio portfolio by purchasing properties from Sinclair Broadcasting, who wanted to focus on its television properties. The sale to Emmis led KXOK and KSHE to become sister stations. Upon purchasing KXOK, and to avoid overlap with KSHE, Emmis changed the format to news/talk on October 16, 2000. Initially, the station focused on a female audience, which included such syndicated personalities as Bob and Sheri, Joy Browne, Clark Howard, Dr. Laura, Phil Hendrie, Rhona at Night, Loveline, and John and Jeff, using the name "97.1 FM Talk." Failing to reach much of an audience, the station shifted towards more political talk in 2002, adding such talkers as Don Imus, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. The station briefly changed its name to "97-1 the Link...Real Life Radio" but soon returned to the "FM Talk" moniker.
KFTK is the only talk station in St. Louis that carries more than one nationally syndicated radio show. The two main talk stations in St. Louis, KTRS and KMOX carry mostly local shows. KTRS carries Coast to Coast AM, while KMOX airs Rush Limbaugh.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KFTK
- Radio-Locator information on KFTK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KFTK