Logos for KLUV's primary and secondary channels.
Logo for KLUV's third HD subchannel.
|Broadcast area||Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex|
|Slogan||North Texas' Greatest Hits! (General)
The Christmas Station (Nov.-Dec.)
|Frequency||98.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)
98.7 HD-2 for '50s & '60s Oldies
98.7 HD-3 for Radio Disney (CHR/Children's)
|First air date||1961 (as KROW)|
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
|HAAT||507 meters (1,663 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||K-LoVe (station branding)|
|Former callsigns||KROW (1961-1963)
CNN Radio Network
(sale to Entercom pending)
(CBS Radio Texas Inc.)
|Sister stations||KJKK, KMVK, KRLD, KRLD-FM, KVIL
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: TV stations KTVT and KTXA
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 CBS Radio 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 HD 2 subchannel. And the children's format known as Radio Disney is heard on the HD 3 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 was never used. It 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 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, it 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 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 and Kate Garvin, and Ken Fine, who was Chief Engineer.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
Most years, on Memorial Day weekend, KLUV features a "Top 500 Countdown" in which the top 500 oldies, as picked by the station's listeners, are played in descending order for the entire weekend.
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).
KLUV was the first radio station in the United States to report the death of Michael Jackson in July 2009.
On October 25, 2010, Jody Dean and the Morning Team started simulcasting the show on co-owned Channel 21 KTXA. In January 2013, Jody Dean and the Morning Team was reduced to just Jody Dean and Rebekah Black.
Dallas-Forth Worth's Christmas Station
Its 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. However, because of that station's format retooling to Hot AC, 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. 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" when the station first acquired the all-Christmas playlist, CBS stated that there are no plans to change KLUV's format, thus 98.7 remains Classic Hits. This format change was highly unlikely anyway, because the CHR format is already being heard on KHKS, KLIF-FM, and now on KVIL, which ironically rebranded as "AMP 103.7" after they gradually transitioned to Top 40 themselves full-time in January 2017.
From the evening of Christmas Eve to Christmas night, KLUV would simulcast its Christmas music on sister TV station KTXA during its annual Yule Log special.
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.
KLUV HD channels
KLUV launched HD Radio operations in 2006, including an HD2 sub-channel. Originally, it was called "The Fab Format", where fans of The Beatles could hear their music 24/7. In January 2008, it changed the format to KLUV's previous oldies format, playing music from the 1950s and 60s. Using an HD radio, it can be heard on 98.7 HD2, as well as online through CBS Radio's radio.com platform.
In early May 2016, KLUV launched another digital subchannel on 98.7 HD3, and began airing Radio Disney, a CHR format that caters to children and younger teens. Radio Disney was previously heard on KMKI (now KEXB) 620 AM until September 15, 2015.
- KLUV Playlist (accessed April 17, 2017)
- Philpot, Robert (November 11, 2013). "KLUV/98.7 FM to launch Christmas format ... soon". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- 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.