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City Tempe, Arizona
Broadcast area Phoenix metropolitan area
Frequency 1580 kHz
First air date June 1, 1960 (as KYND)[1]
Format Silent
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 7701
Transmitter coordinates 33°27′22″N 111°50′1″W / 33.45611°N 111.83361°W / 33.45611; -111.83361Coordinates: 33°27′22″N 111°50′1″W / 33.45611°N 111.83361°W / 33.45611; -111.83361
Callsign meaning Former callsign of KXEG
Former callsigns KYND (1960-1967)[2]
KTUF (1967-1973)
KNIX (1973-December 31, 1989)[3]
KCWW (January 1, 1990-1998)[4]
KMIK (1998-2015)
Owner Jacob Barker
(Gabrielle Broadcasting Licensee I, LLC)
Sister stations KXEG

KHEP (1580 AM) is a radio station licensed to Tempe, Arizona. It is owned by Jacob Barker, through licensee Gabrielle Broadcasting Licensee I, LLC, and is currently silent pending a format change after previous owner Radio Disney shut down the station on October 15, 2015.



The station first began broadcasting on June 1, 1960, with the callsign KYND.[1] The station's license was assigned by the FCC on July 25, 1960.[5] KYND was originally owned by Dick Gilbert, a singer, music editor, and disc jockey.[6] During the period the station was KYND, it broadcast middle of the road music, and was branded as "The Kind Station".[2][6]

The station originally broadcast only during daytime hours, with a power of 10,000 watts.[7][6] In the mid 1960s the station's power was increased 50,000 watts during the day, with a power of 10,000 watts during critical hours.[7][8] In 1966, the station's owner, Dick Gilbert sold the station to Rene Cote for $341,250, which included $148,250 for station equipment and a noncompetition agreement, and $193,000 for a 10-year consultation contract.[9][10]

Buck Owens era[edit]


In 1967, the station was purchased by Buck Owens for $350,000.[2] Owens had the station's callsign changed to KTUF, and changed its format to country music.[2] In April 1969, KTUF's programming began to be simulcast on KNIX-FM during daytime hours when KTUF was on the air.[11] KNIX-FM had been purchased by Buck Owens the previous year.[12]

During the period the station was KTUF, the station was branded as "All American Radio" and "All American Country Radio".[13][14]


In 1973 the station's callsign was changed to KNIX, matching the callsign of its FM sister station.[3] In 1980, the station began broadcasting 24 hours a day.[15] In 1985, the station began simulcasting the programming of its sister station KNIX-FM.[16]


On January 1, 1990, the station became an affiliate of Satellite Music Network's "Real Country" network and the callsign was changed to KCWW.[16][17] While its full callsign was given during station identifications, the station's primary branding and over the air identification was "KCW".[17] During this period, KCWW served as the flagship station of the "Real Country" network, which station owner Buck Owens was co-owner of at the time.[18][19]

In July of 1998, longtime station owner Buck Owens sold the station to ABC/Disney for $8,850,000.[4] KCWW continued to air the "Real Country" country music format until its sale.[20][21][22]

Radio Disney era[edit]

After the station's purchase by ABC/Disney, the station became an affiliate of the Children's/Contemporary hit radio network Radio Disney.[23] On December 4, 1998, the callsign was changed to KMIK.[24] On August 13, 2014, Disney put KMIK and twenty-two other Radio Disney stations up for sale, in order to focus more on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network.[25][26]

On August 16, 2015, ABC agreed to sell KMIK to Gabrielle Broadcasting Licensee for $1.4 million. Gabrielle is owned by Jacob J. Barker, the general manager of KXEG 1280; the station is to carry a (currently undetermined) "locally focused spoken word format". KMIK will also change its call letters to KHEP.[27] Gabrielle consummated the purchase on October 20, 2015. [28]

On October 20, 2015, KMIK changed its call letters to KHEP, which were the longtime call letters of 1280 from 1956 until 1999, now known as KXEG. Gabrielle plans on downgrading 1580 from a Class B to a Class D station, along with a tower relocation and a major nighttime power decrease from 50,000 watts directional to 95 watts non-directional, diplexed with KXEG west of central Phoenix. [29] The current Radio Disney programming for the region has since moved to the KOOL HD3 digital subchannel.


  1. ^ a b "Broadcasting Yearbook", Broadcasting Publications, (1966) p. B-9
  2. ^ a b c d "The History of KNIX - 1964" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  3. ^ a b "The History of KNIX - 1970" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  4. ^ a b J. Duncan, "American Radio, Volume 23, Issue 1", (1998) p. 12
  5. ^ "For the Record - Station Authorizations, Applications", Broadcasting. August 8, 1960. p. 93. Accessed July 16, 2015
  6. ^ a b c Chas. S. Stough, "KYND Opens... New Radio Station", SAGE, Vol. VI No. 17, June 16. 1960. p. 3 & 8
  7. ^ a b "Broadcasting Yearbook", Broadcasting Publications, (1964) p. B-9
  8. ^ United States Federal Communications Commission. "Federal Communications Commission Reports: Decisions, Reports, and Orders of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States", U.S. Government Printing Office, (1969) p. 1048
  9. ^ "Broadcasting", Broadcasting Publications, (1966) p. 49
  10. ^ "Changing Hands", Broadcasting. January 17, 1966. p. 47. Accessed July 16, 2015
  11. ^ "FM Country Format Bows", Billboard. April 12, 1969. p. 28. Accessed July 18, 2015
  12. ^ "California Country Station Bows", Billboard. June 29, 1968. p. 28. Accessed July 18, 2015
  13. ^ "All American". Duke University Libraries. Accessed July 16, 2015
  14. ^ "GIANT All American Country Radio". Duke University Libraries. Accessed July 16, 2015
  15. ^ "The History of KNIX - 1980" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  16. ^ a b "The History of KNIX - 1985" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  17. ^ a b "The History of KNIX - 1990" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  18. ^ "West, Nicholson Join KNIX, Real Country Network", Radio & Records, Issue Number 990. April 30, 1993. p. 3. Accessed July 17, 2015
  19. ^ "Buck Owens - From the Streets of Bakersfield", The Mix, Volume 22, Issues 7-12, 1998. p. 64
  20. ^ "The History of KNIX - 1995" KNIX-FM. Retrieved July 16, 2015
  21. ^ Debbie Ross, Salvatore Caputo. "The Insiders' Guide to Phoenix", Insiders' Publishing, Incorporated, (1999) p. 368
  22. ^ Steven N. Wood, John M. Fry. "North American Radio, 1991: The Official Guide to Radio Stations of Your Choice", W F Innovations, Incorporated, (1991) p. 4
  23. ^ "Adult Leaning, News-Heavy AM Band May Have A Future In Kids And Music", Billboard. August 28, 1998. p. 90. Accessed July 16, 2015
  24. ^ "KHEP Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  25. ^ Lafayette, Jon (August 13, 2014). "Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital". Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Radio Disney to Sell the Majority of Its Stations". Billboard. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Consummation Notice". Federal Communications Commission. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  29. ^ "APPLICATION FOR CONSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL BROADCAST STATION". Federal Communications Commission. October 29, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 

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