KMJ-FM

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KMJ-FM
KMJ NOW 105.9.jpg
City Fresno, California
Broadcast area Fresno, California
Branding KMJ Now
Frequency 105.9 MHz
First air date 1979
Format News/talk
ERP 2,400 watts
HAAT 597 meters (1,959 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 26933
Transmitter coordinates 37°04′23″N 119°25′51″W / 37.07306°N 119.43083°W / 37.07306; -119.43083
Owner Cumulus Media
(Cumulus Licensing LLC)
Sister stations KMGV, KMJ, KSKS, KWYE
Webcast Listen Live
Website kmjnow.com

KMJ-FM (105.9 MHz, "KMJ Now") is a commercial FM radio station located in Fresno, California. The station, owned by Cumulus Media, simulcasts the news/talk format of its sister station, 580 KMJ. Its studios are located at the Radio City building on Shaw Avenue in North Fresno and its transmitter is off Auberry Road in Meadow Lakes, California.[1]

When 105.9 first became a talk station, it sometimes aired programs that were different than 580. But now, both stations' programming and ratings are combined, regardless of whether the listener tunes in 580 or 105.9. The station focuses primarily on locally produced news/talk programming in the daytime and runs several nationally syndicated programs at night, including Mark Levin, Armstrong & Getty, Red Eye Radio and America in The Morning from Westwood One, a subsidiary of Cumulus Media, the parent company of KMJ-AM-FM.

History[edit]

Rock Station KKDJ[edit]

When it first signed on in 1979, 105.9 was an album rock station known as "106 KKDJ." (The KKDJ call letters were previously used in Los Angeles). KKDJ was the premiere rock station in Fresno throughout the 1980s, largely due to the popularity of its morning show, the Dean and Don Breakfast Club. Dean was also known as Bobby Volare and Don as "Donnie Rotten." The Breakfast Club had an avid following in Fresno during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It also brought 1980s concert acts such as The Knack, Huey Lewis and the News, the Motels, the Baby's and many others to the Star Palace and Warner's Theatre.

In 1980, Dean and Don recruited the KKDJ Cheerleaders, composed of eight women and one man. The applicants had to submit a written essay of why they wanted to become a KKDJ Cheerleader. The hip and sexy 1980s cheer team was recruited to promote concerts and other events, hosted by the Breakfast Club. Some of the team members included; Susan Johnson (a.k.a. Sexy Susan), Becky Perryman (a.k.a. Becky Baby), Mayer Daher (a.k.a. Mary Maybe), Julie Contreras (a.k.a. Jules), Susan Riley (a.k.a. Sassy Sue), Cecelia (a.k.a. Lusty Lolita), Jim Michaels and others. Other DJs at the station during this time included Jeffrey "D" Reidel, Mike Wild (the Wild Kingdom) and "Dead Air" Dave Sozinho. Dean's weekend show was called Dean Opperman's Off-Ramp to Nowhere.

KKDJ's dominance as a rocker was hurt when 103.7 KMGX changed its format from Top 40 to hard-edged rock in 1989, as KRZR (today KFBT). In 1991, KKDJ changed its format from album rock to alternative rock under the nickname "105.9 The Edge". This format lasted until January 1994, and KKDJ once again made a go at competing with KRZR, but that was also short lived.

Spanish Ballads and Hot Talk[edit]

When Henry Broadcasting acquired KKDJ, it was relocated from its studios on Shaw Avenue to a small trailer in the KSKS/KMJ parking lot, a trailer previously used by sister station KDON-FM for live remotes. Henry Broadcasting also changed the format of KKDJ to Classic Rock, to compete with KJFX. In 1996, KKDJ's format changed again, this time to Spanish soft ballads as KRNC, "Romance 106." That evolved into a more uptempo Spanish popular music format as "Viva 106," which was replaced in 2005 by a hot talk format known as "The Edge," with the call sign KKDG, featuring Howard Stern's syndicated show in the morning. The talk format barely made a dent in the ratings, and Spanish Pop "Viva 106" was temporarily revived, while still running Howard Stern in AM drive time.

Jack-FM[edit]

In September 2005, the format was changed again to adult hits as an affiliate of the Jack FM format, rebranded as "105.9 Jack FM," and changing its call sign to KFJK. Jack-FM was among the highest-rated stations in the Fresno market for several years, due to its large playlist, consisting of a variety of rock, alternative and popular hits from the past and present, as well as its own unique system of playing these songs at random, hence the slogan, "Playing What We Want." In addition, Jack had no DJs, which was heavily promoted. One station announcement said, "You don't hear someone talk in between songs on a CD, so why would you hear someone talk in between songs on the radio?" In response to the success of KFJK, in December 2006, KWYE changed its format, which had previously been Top 40.

News/Talk KMJ-FM[edit]

Jack FM's popularity declined by 2009, eventually ranking 15th (out of 38).[2] On March 26, 2009, KFJK changed its format to news/talk, branded as "KMJ Now," in tandem with KMJ 580 AM. On March 27, 2009, KFJK changed its call letters to KMJ-FM. (There had been a KMJ-FM in past years, playing classical music at 97.9 MHz. That station today is co-owned KMGV.) KMJ-FM's switch to talk created the region's fifth such station. At first KMJ-AM and FM shared only some programs, but today the two stations are simulcast. The ratings for both stations are combined, so it does not matter whether a listener tunes in 580 or 105.9.

On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Townsquare Media would purchase Peak Broadcasting, and then immediately swap Peak's Fresno stations, including KMJ-FM, to Cumulus Media in exchange for Cumulus' stations in Dubuque, Iowa and Poughkeepsie, New York. The deal was part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global; Peak, Townsquare, and Dial Global are all controlled by Oaktree Capital Management.[3][4] The sale to Cumulus was completed on November 14, 2013.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]