|Broadcast area||Rio Grande Valley|
|Branding||TUDN Radio 1530 AM|
|First air date||August 20, 1941 (as KGBS on 1240 kHz)|
December 1, 1951 (KSOX on 1530 kHz)
September 1, 1953 (KGBS on 1530 kHz)
|Power||50,000 watts day|
50,000 watts critical hours
10,000 watts night
|Former callsigns||KCUE (CP)|
KGBS (October 7–December 31, 1953)
|Owner||Uforia Audio Network |
(Tichenor License Corporation)
Early years of KGBS and KSOX
In 1941, McHenry Tichenor, former publisher of the Valley Morning Star newspaper, broke ground on a new radio station at a site known as Harbenito, between Harlingen and San Benito. The "Harbenito station", KGBS on 1240 kHz, took to the air at dawn on August 20, 1941. It was the third radio station in the Valley. The station obtained a CBS radio affiliation in 1943, just two years after signing on.
Meanwhile, after several years of protests from the 1530 AM station in Cincinnati, the FCC approved the application of Roy Hofheinz to build a new station in Harlingen. The city would become the smallest in the country to host a 50,000-watt radio station, which finally went on air on December 1, 1951. KSOX was a Mutual Broadcasting System affiliate. Three thousand residents attended the station's open house to see a modern studio facility, a scaled-down version of his KTHT in Houston.
KGBS moves to 1530 and becomes KGBT
Two years later, effective September 1, 1953, KGBS bought the KSOX facilities and moved its entire intellectual unit there, including its CBS Radio affiliation. (The 1240 license was surrendered; the frequency was revived in 1957 using the KSOX call letters.) The Harbenito facilities were converted to television station KGBS-TV, which launched on October 4. On New Year's Day 1954, KGBS became KGBT, matching the TV station, which changed its call letters on December 9, 1953. The Tichenor group in the Valley was completed with KELT FM 96.9.
Into the 1960s, KGBT became a highly successful station in the market, particularly once it flipped to Spanish-language programming. In 1967, it commanded more than a 60 percent share of local radio listening just on the United States side of the border. In 1991, it still rated third in the market despite being on AM.
The Tichenor family's media holdings, later renamed the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, were acquired by Univision in 2003 in a $3 billion merger, ending 62 years of Tichenor ownership of KGBS/KGBT.
KGBT was affiliated with the Univision America network from 2012 until its demise in mid-2015, when KGBT and several other former Univision America stations changed to a Spanish Christian format known as "Amor Celestial".
On December 20, 2016, Univision announced that KGBT would be one of the charter affiliates of their new Spanish-language sports network, Univision Deportes Radio; the launch occurred in March 2017. The network became known as TUDN Radio in 2019.
- "New Radio Station". Brownsville Herald. April 25, 1941. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "KGBS Begins Broadcasting". Brownsville Herald. August 20, 1941. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "New Valley Radio Station Opens". The Monitor. August 20, 1941. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Columbia Network Programs Signed Up By KGBS Now: Harlingen Station To Go On Chain". Brownsville Herald. August 18, 1943. p. 1. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
- "New Harlingen Radio Station To Be In Operation March 1". Brownsville Herald. January 14, 1951. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "KSOX To Go On Air Saturday". Valley Morning Star. November 25, 1951. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Hofheinz Opens Swank Studios Of Radio KSOX". Valley Morning Star. December 2, 1951. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Harlingen TV Set for Oct. 4". Valley Morning Star. September 20, 1953. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "Hofheinz To Sell Harlingen Station". Austin American-Statesman. Associated Press. August 14, 1953. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- "How FIRST Can You Get?". Brownsville Herald. October 4, 1967. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- Seale, Avrel (July 28, 1991). "Ratings reveal the shifting sands of Valley radio". The Monitor. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- Rutenberg, Jim (June 13, 2002). "Univision Buys Big Holder of Hispanic Radio Stations". Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- Venta, Lance (December 19, 2016). "Univision To Launch "Univision Deportes Radio"". RadioInsight. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- FCC History Cards for KGBT
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KGBT
- Radio-Locator Information on KGBT
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KGBT