KLVJ (FM)

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KLVJ
City Encinitas, California
Broadcast area San Diego County
Branding K-Love 102.1
Frequency 102.1 MHz
First air date January 20, 1962 (as KUDE-FM)
April 1, 1996 as KXST with the Triple-A format
Format Contemporary Christian music
ERP 30,000 watts
HAAT 192.7 meters
Class B
Facility ID 51503
Callsign meaning K-LoVe J
Former callsigns KUDE-FM (1962-1977)
KJFM (1977-1984)
KEZL (1984-1986)
KGMG (1/1986-10/1986)
KGMG-FM (1986-1991)
KIOZ (1991-1996)
KXST (1996-2002)
KPRI (2002-2015)
Affiliations K-Love
Owner Educational Media Foundation
Webcast Listen Live
Website klove.com

KLVJ is a radio station licensed to Encinitas, California and serves San Diego County broadcasting a contemporary Christian music format as an affiliate of the K-Love network. KLVJ (then KPRI)'s studios were previously located in the Sorrento Valley district in north San Diego.

Until 2015, KPRI was locally owned by Compass Radio Group. Both had backgrounds in the corporate side of radio and desired to create a station that was commercially viable while successful at the same time. The station was first licensed as KXST to Oceanside, California, but is now licensed to Encinitas. From 1998 through 2015, the station broadcast an adult album alternative format. On September 28, 2015, it was announced that KPRI would be sold to the Educational Media Foundation, pending FCC approval, and the station began carrying programming from EMF's K-Love network later that day.

History[edit]

When it first went on the air in the 1950s at 106.5 FM, the station billed itself as "KPRI: Capri-by-the Sea," a middle-of the-road and jazz station with studios on 5th Avenue in San Diego. This early version of KPRI featured popular DJs like Rod Page and George Manning. KPRI continued with its MOR format, supplemented by a progressive rock show hosted by pioneering underground disc jockey Steve Brown (under the name "OB Jetty"). Finally, in May 1968, KPRI switched full-time to Progressive Rock. The lineup included Gabriel Wisdom, Fred Nurk, Dana Jones, and Joe Chandler. Peter Franklin (with British accent) was an early program director. Later additions to the air staff included Jerry Lubin, Adrian Bolt, The Kapusta Kid, and Barrance Q Zakar. Larry Himmel was a DJ there at that time. Jim Lanter (air name "Jim LaFawn") was the Program Director from 1971 to 1973. He later went to KLOS in L.A and died some time ago. In the early 1970s, Gerry Gazlay was the station's News Director. Larry Shushan owned the station until 1971, when it was sold to Southwestern Broadcasting. In 1973 KPRI hired Michael Harrison as PD. He installed a more mainstream AOR format which influenced many other stations around the country. Gazlay left KPRI to work as a newscaster at competitor KGB & KGB-FM in 1973. Gabriel Wisdom, Larry Himmel and Barrance Q Zakar also went to KGB. KGB-FM and KPRI battled for rating supremacy for all of the 1970s and into the 1980s. Eventually, KPRI could not compete with the ratings success of KGB-FM.

On January 9, 1984, KPRI changed its call letters and format. The last song that the station played on its last evening as KPRI was "The End" by The Doors. 106.5 FM has been through several identity changes since and is now KLNV. According to David Tanny, operator of San Diego Radio News: "The KPRI that is back is basically the station that used to be KCBQ-FM ten years ago on 105.3 until it shifted radio transmitter locations from San Diego to Oceanside's 102.1 in a complex deal swap. In 2002, 102.1 picked up the KPRI calls when that became available. It was KXST from 1996-2002 between those times". While operating as KXST, the station called itself "Sets-102" and its programming featured sets of two or more songs by the same artist.[1] That format was dropped with the switch to the KPRI call letters in 2002.

KPRI's transmission emitted a city-grade signal that covered most of San Diego County, but due to the topography of the county, there were certain areas the station served better than others. San Diego's affluent North County Coastal areas received the signal without interruption, while areas in main San Diego such as Pacific Beach or La Jolla had degraded "in home" reception due to interference caused by Mount Soledad. Previous ownership had set up rebroadcasters scattered across San Diego to improve transmission of the station, but because those created as many problems as they solved, KPRI stopped using some of them in 1997. On February 13, 2008, KPRI moved its transmitter to Mount Soledad. In 2014, the owners turned down an $8 million offer to sell the station.

From 1998 through 2015, the station operated under an adult album alternative (AAA) format; being the only AAA station in San Diego, and one of the few stations offering the format across the entire state, KPRI became known for its eclectic playlist. KPRI held various listener appreciation concerts, hosting artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, and Norah Jones, as well as sponsoring the Green Flash concert series, held at the Birch Aquarium.[2][1]

Sale to EMF[edit]

On the morning of September 28, 2015, KPRI's 20 employees were told that they had been laid off, and that the station had been sold to the Educational Media Foundation. Later in the afternoon, after playing Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" as its final song, KPRI flipped to contemporary Christian music from EMF's K-Love network. Owner Hughes explained that KPRI had been a "true labor of love". He stated, "I thank each and every one who has helped us create and sustain a truly amazing radio station."[1] Hughes had noted that the independent ownership had made KPRI difficult to operate profitably, as other stations in the market are owned by conglomerates in clusters of multiple stations each, and enjoy financial synergies as a result of their scale. [2]

The sale to EMF, reportedly valued at $12 million, was subject to approval by the FCC, and was consummated on January 15, 2016.[2][1] KPRI is EMF's third and largest station in the greater San Diego area, behind KLVJ Julian (which also airs K-Love) and KYDO Campo (which airs sister network Air1).[2]

On October 27, 2015, KPRI changed their call letters to KLVJ.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Alt-rock radio station KPRI-FM sold". San Diego Union-Tribune. Tribune Publishing. September 28, 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "KPRI finds Jesus: "K-Love" Christian radio format takes over KPRI 102.1 FM". San Diego Reader. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°50′24″N 117°14′56″W / 32.840°N 117.249°W / 32.840; -117.249