KNAI (AM)

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KNAI
City Phoenix, Arizona
Broadcast area Phoenix metropolitan area
Branding La Campesina
Frequency 860 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1949 (as KIFN)
Format Regional Mexican
Power 940 watts day
1,000 watts night
Class B
Facility ID 1326
Transmitter coordinates 33°25′14″N 112°7′37″W / 33.42056°N 112.12694°W / 33.42056; -112.12694
Former callsigns KIFN (1949–1982)
KVVA (1982–1996)
KMVP (1996–2017)
Owner Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc.
Sister stations KNAI-FM

KNAI (860 AM) is a Regional Mexican-formatted radio station in Phoenix, Arizona. KNAI is owned by the Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc.[1] Its studios are located in Phoenix near Piestewa Peak and its transmitter is in South Phoenix near Broadway and 27th Avenue.

KNAI operates by day with 940 watts non-directional and at 1,000 watts at night with a directional antenna. The call letters are shared with KNAI-FM (88.3), which is owned by the Farmworker Educational Radio Network's parent organization, the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

History[edit]

The 860 kHz frequency was occupied by several radio stations in Phoenix. The first station signed on the air as early as 1949 with the call letters KIFN, Phoenix's first full-time Spanish-language radio station. [1] From the time it signed on until the early 1980s, KIFN operated as a daytime-only station. (860 is a Canadian clear channel frequency, limiting the coverage of American stations operating at 860.) For many years, KIFN was owned by the Tichenor family, which owned a group of Spanish-language stations that ultimately became the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation. After being sold in 1982, the call letters became KVVA ("Viva"), and the new owners retained its Spanish-language format. Among the programs aired in this era was a simulcast of Channel 10 KTSP's 10 p.m. news.

In 1996, Pulitzer Broadcasting Company purchased the station out of bankruptcy with intentions on moving play-by-play sports contracts from 620 KTAR (then a News/Talk outlet) to 860 with the new call letters KMVP (for Most Valuable Player, a sports term). Eventually, fans and team owners found the KMVP nighttime signal too weak to cover the entire Phoenix metropolitan area for play-by-play coverage, and the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks moved back to KTAR with KMVP retaining broadcasts of the Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rattlers games. Over time, KMVP added more national sports talk (including ESPN Radio) and less local programs.

Since then, ownership passed from Pulitzer to Hearst-Argyle, then Emmis Communications, and then Bonneville International,[2] a subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When KTAR became a full-time Sports station in 2007, it simulcast the programs of KMVP. The simulcast of KTAR and KMVP ended on April 14, 2007. On August 27, KMVP converted to Spanish language religious programming from Radio Vida Abundante. It later[when?] became a gospel music station, under a time brokerage agreement.

KMVP continued to air some sports programs. When Bonneville's two Phoenix Sports stations, 98.7 KMVP-FM and 620 KTAR were already committed to running other sporting events, KMVP aired the "overflow" games, such as Phoenix Coyotes play-by-play and Arizona State Sun Devils basketball. In 2016, Bonneville reassumed control of KMVP, and started simulcasting sister sports station KMVP-FM 98.7.

On March 9, 2017, Bonneville announced that it would sell KMVP to Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc. for $800,000; the foundation already owned KNAI (88.3 FM) in Phoenix.[3] The sale was completed on May 15, 2017;[4] concurrently, the call letters changed to KNAI[5] while 88.3 became KNAI-FM.

On May 15, 2017, 860 AM dropped the KMVP-FM simulcast and began simulcasting KNAI-FM's Regional Mexican format. Programming continues on 860 AM when KNAI-FM signs off and KPHF is operating.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KMVP Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ Federal Communications Commission. "Application Search Results for KMVP". Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Bonneville Sells Phoenix AM To Cesar Chavez Foundation - RadioInsight". RadioInsight. 9 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Call Sign History (KNAI)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 

External links[edit]