Logos for KLUV's primary and secondary channels.
|Broadcast area||Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex|
|Slogan||North Texas' Greatest Hits!|
K-LUV The Music, K-LUV The Fun! (secondary)
|Frequency||98.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1961(as KROW)|
HD2: Oldies ("Smokin' Oldies")
HD3: Classic AOR ("KLUV Classic Trax")
|HAAT||507 meters (1,663 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||K-LoVe (station branding)|
|Former callsigns||KROW (1961–1963)|
CNN Radio Network
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KJKK, KMVK, KRLD, KRLD-FM, KVIL|
KLUV (98.7 MHz, "98.7 K-LUV") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Dallas and serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. KLUV is owned by Entercom and airs a classic hits radio format. The K-LUV name on 98.7 was a holdover from an adult contemporary music format from the early 1980s. Even though the moniker is pronounced K-Love, the station's name pre-dates the national K-Love Radio Network, which carries a Contemporary Christian format. To avoid confusion, that network is not heard in Dallas.
KLUV's studios are located at North Central Expressway and North Fitzhugh Avenue in Dallas, and the transmitter site is in Cedar Hill. KLUV broadcasts in HD. A 1950s/'60s oldies format is heard on the station's HD2 subchannel. A classic album-oriented rock (AOR) format known as "KLUV Classic Trax" is heard on the HD3 subchannel. From mid-November to December 25, KLUV switches to an all-Christmas music format.
KROW and KLIF-FM
In 1959, when the station was not yet on the air, it was given the call sign KOST, but that was never used. The station was then rebranded KROW and signed on in 1961 as a Top 40 station under the ownership of noted radio programmer Gordon McLendon. Two years later, the call sign changed to KLIF-FM as a simulcast of McLendon-owned AM 1190 KLIF (now KFXR).
In July 1966, the station changed its call letters to KNUS and began an automated progressive rock/underground rock format, with live disc jockeys added in mid-1967. (McLendon had originally planned to provide an all-news format on the station, hence the NUS (pronounced like "news") call letters, but that never took place.) When McLendon sold his AM Top 40 flagship station KLIF to Fairchild Industries in 1972, he offered the company KNUS as well, but Fairchild declined. As part of the sale, McLendon agreed not to operate any AM station within a 150-mile radius of Dallas. But since the agreement did not forbid him to operate an FM station, McLendon continued to own and program KNUS.
By 1971, the station had morphed into a rock-based Top 40 station, which played hit music without teen-oriented "bubblegum" songs. (The station's initial promotion to plug the new Top 40 format had a disc jockey positioned at the top of a flagpole at McLendon's Gemini Drive-In Movie Theatre. The pole had large "KNUS" lettering mounted vertically on each side of the square truss. The pole was still intact in the 1990s, long after the KNUS calls were dropped, and the Gemini had shut down.)
Transition to oldies
KNUS eventually transitioned into a more mainstream Top 40, and it paid off when the station passed KLIF in the ratings in the fall of 1975, becoming one of the first FM Top 40 stations to defeat its chief AM competitor. By the end of the 1970s, however, KNUS had fallen out of the top ten. Gordon McLendon sold KNUS to the San Juan Racing Corporation in May 1979, which, in turn, sold the station to John Tenaglia's TK Communications on October 27, 1982. Under Tenaglia's ownership, the station switched to an adult contemporary format as KLVU on October 19, 1981. Initially, the station played hits from 1964 through the 1980s and including then-current product. A handful of pre-'64 oldies were also mixed in. In 1984, after an AM oldies station changed formats, KLVU began adding more pre-1964 oldies in the mix. The music began to lean slightly more uptempo as well. The station morphed into an all-oldies format in 1985, playing pop oldies from the late 1950s, '60s, '70s, and early '80s. The music from the mid to late-1970s and '80s gradually was eliminated in 1986. By then, KLUV was playing only hits from 1955 to 1973.
Owner John Tenaglia purchased the more-coveted "KLUV"-spelled call letters for $10,000 from a Haynesville, Louisiana, station, trading 98.7's former KLVU calls (which were established at 98.7 on October 19, 1981, under the station's San Juan Racing ownership). By the late 1980s, KLUV evolved into a 1964 to 1969-based oldies format playing a couple pre-1964 songs each hour and one or two early 1970s songs per hour. Tenaglia sold the rebranded KLUV to CBS on April 21, 1995, for a then-staggering $55 million.
The years when Chuck Brinkman was the program director (1988–2006) included many personalities such as Hubcap Carter, Glen Martin (who had also previously been there during the KNUS and KLVU days), Jason Walker, Jonathan Hayes, Jim Brady, Johnny Michaels, Steve Eberhart, Al Forgeson, Paula Street (who in 1987 went to WODS Boston, now KLUV's sister station), Dave Van Dyke, Debi Diaz, John Summers, Jim Prewitt, Jay Cresswell, Bob Gomez, Sandi Sharp, Ben Laurie, Bob deCarlo, Roger Manning (who inherited the Saturday Night Oldies Party from Hubcap Carter), Johnny Stone, John McCarty, Tony Moreno, Mike Wade, Brian Pierce, Kate Garvin, and Ken Fine, who was Chief Engineer.
Death of Ricky Nelson
On December 31, 1985, singer Ricky Nelson and his band were flying to KLUV's New Year's Eve sock hop, hosted by Ken "Hubcap" Carter. The plane crashed near DeKalb, Texas, 136 miles northeast of Dallas, killing Nelson and his entourage.
Transition to classic hits
In 1997, KLUV, like many oldies stations around the United States, began mixing in (in this case, bringing back) hits of the late 1970s and even a few from the early 1980s. In 1998, the station largely removed most of the 1955 to 1963 songs from its playlist. Another CBS station, KLUV (AM) 1190 (now KFXR) and, coincidentally, the same dial position as former sister station KLIF, existed from 1998 to 2000 and primarily played 1950s music. Meanwhile, the main station continued modifying its format to more of a classic hits sound with songs from the mid-1960s to early 1980s. By 2003, KLUV no longer played pre-1964 music, with a few rare exceptions. Most years, on Memorial Day weekend, KLUV featured a "Top 500 Countdown" in which the top 500 oldies, as picked by the station's listeners, were played in descending order for the entire weekend.
In 2002, the station was temporarily the radio home of the Dallas Cowboys football team, featuring live broadcasts of their games. In 2006, Dallas Cowboys broadcasts moved to sports radio station KTCK.
From November 23, 1998, to June 27, 2003, KLUV competed with Disney/ABC Radio's KMEO ("Memories 96.7") and again from June 30, 2008, until March 12, 2010, with Citadel Broadcasting's KPMZ ("Platinum 96.7"). Both stations aired a classic adult contemporary format playing soft hits of the 1960s to the 1980s with a couple of pre-'64 songs per hour. (Today, 96.7 is sports station KTCK-FM).
In 2005, with the retirement of long-time radio veteran and morning host Ron Chapman, KLUV hired noted Dallas news personality Jody Dean as his replacement. On October 25, 2010, Jody Dean and the Morning Team started simulcasting the show on then co-owned Channel 21 KTXA. In January 2013, Jody Dean and the Morning Team was downsized to just Jody Dean and Rebekah Black, later adding David Rancken.
Dallas-Fort Worth's Christmas station
KLUV's sister station, then-adult contemporary KVIL (103.7 FM), would usually flip to Christmas music from mid-November to the day after Christmas Day for many years until 2013 when the station shifted to a Hot AC format in May that year. Therefore, the Christmas music format moved to KLUV and began on November 15, 2013. For 2014, the Christmas format began on November 13 and ended at midnight on December 29. Since 2013, KLUV has simulcast its Christmas music on sister TV station KTXA during that station's annual Yule Log special, which runs from the evening of Christmas Eve to Christmas day.
When the station first acquired the all-Christmas playlist, there had been rumors that KLUV would drop its longtime classic hits format on December 26 to become a Top 40 CHR station as "Amp Radio 98.7". CBS stated that there were no plans to change KLUV's format, thus 98.7 remained classic hits. This format change was highly unlikely anyway, because the CHR format was already being heard on KHKS, KLIF-FM, and later on KVIL, which ironically rebranded as "AMP 103.7" after they gradually transitioned to Top 40 themselves full-time in January 2017. In November 2016, KDGE (formerly known as alternative "102.1 The Edge") also switched to Christmas music after the station was relaunched as mainstream adult contemporary "Star 102.1". (KVIL itself shifted to alternative a year later.)
KLUV HD channels
KLUV launched HD Radio operations in 2006, including an HD2 subchannel. Originally, it was called "The Fab Format", playing The Beatles 24/7. In January 2008, the HD signal changed format to KLUV's previous oldies format, playing music from the 1950s and 60s. The station can be received on 98.7 HD2, as well as on Entercom's Radio.com platform. As of August 2018, it is rebranded as "Smokin' Oldies" with the same oldies format as before.
In early May 2016, KLUV launched another digital subchannel on 98.7 HD3, and aired Radio Disney (previously heard on KMKI 620 AM until September 15, 2015), a CHR format that caters to children and younger teens until Entercom's deal with Radio Disney expired at the end of May 2018. The next month, KLUV-HD3 flipped to a classic AOR-format known as "KLUV Classic Trax", playing deep cuts from the 70s to the 90s.
- Philpot, Robert (November 11, 2013). "KLUV/98.7 FM to launch Christmas format ... soon". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues.-Thurs., Dec. 24-26) -- so how'd the TXA21 yule log do? | Uncle Barky's Bytes". www.unclebarky.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
- "CBS Radio To Merge With Entercom - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- KLUV Playlist (accessed April 17, 2017)
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=10 HD Radio Guide for Dallas-Ft. Worth
- K-Luv Oldies - Radio.com (accessed November 6, 2013)
- KLUV official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KLUV
- Radio-Locator information on KLUV
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KLUV
- 2006 Top 500 Countdown
- DFW Radio/TV History
- DFW Radio Archives
- Wilonksy, Robert (October 23, 2009). "A Friday (Acid) Flashback, or: Local Radio Newscasts Could Still Use a Little More Sitar". Dallas Observer.