|Broadcast area||Phoenix, Arizona|
|Frequency||1230 kHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||93.7 El Patrón|
|Slogan||¡Más y Mejor Música Para Phoenix!|
(AMFM Radio Licenses, L.L.C.)
|KESZ, KFYI, KGME, KMXP, KNIX-FM, KYOT, KZZP|
First air date
|1950 (as KRIZ)|
Former call signs
|Translator(s)||93.7 K229DB (Phoenix)|
KOY (1230 AM) in Phoenix is the oldest radio station in the state of Arizona. It is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. The station is currently branded as "93.7 El Patrón". Its studios are located in Phoenix near Sky Harbor International Airport and its transmitter is located southwest of downtown Phoenix near the intersection of Interstate 17 and Buckeye Road.
KOY was the first radio station in the state of Arizona, signing on in 1921 as Amateur Radio station 6BBH on 360 meters (833 kHz). Earl Nielsen was the holder of the 6BBH call sign (there were no country prefixes for hams prior to 1928). At that time, broadcasting by ham radio operators was legal.
In 1922, the station received its broadcast license, under the Nielsen Radio & Sporting Goods Company business name, with the callsign KFCB. While the KFCB call letters were sequentially assigned, the station adopted the slogan "Kind Friends Come Back" to match the callsign.
A Phoenix teenager and radio enthusiast named Barry Goldwater was one of the new station's first employees.
When the AM broadcast band was opened in 1923 by the Department of Commerce, KFCB moved around the dial, as did many stations at the time. It was on 1260, 1230, 1310, and 1390 before moving to its long-time home of 550 kHz in 1940. KFCB became KOY on February 8, 1929.
In 1936, Earl Nielsen sold KOY to Prairie Farmer, dba Salt River Valley Broadcasting Company. He remained Station Manager for a couple of years. Prairie Farmer was the owner of WLS radio in Chicago at the time.
In March 1937, KOY moved its transmitter from its long-time home on N. Central Ave. to 12th St. and Camelback Rd., though the station never maintained studios there. That location is now the home of a car dealership. The 550 transmitter was relocated to its present site, near 36th St. and Southern Ave. in south Phoenix, in 1968.
For a brief period KOY entered the television business, sharing the operations of Channel 10 with KOOL (now KSAZ-TV). Because early television involved large expenses and very small income, it was decided that KOY would do much better if it concentrated on radio.
KOY also had a sister station, KOY-FM (formerly KRFM, KQYT, now KYOT-FM 95.5), which was known in the 1980s and early 1990s as Y-95 after an attempt to move 550 KOY's adult contemporary format to FM failed. Y-95 was a contemporary hit radio (Top-40) station and was owned by Edens Broadcasting, headed by Gary Edens.
KOY and its Adult Standards format moved to AM 1230 when station owner AM/FM (now iHeartMedia) purchased the call letters, studio, and sports-talk programming of KGME 1360, and moved it to 550 in April 1999.
For many years, KOY was the Valley's top station. KOY still maintains a loyal audience and is regularly at the top of the Adults 55+ ratings and often in the top 10 in the Adults 35+ demographic.
On August 5, 2014, KOY flipped from Business Talk to Conservative Talk. It still branded itself as an extension of KFYI by rebranding with the change to KFYI 2; selected Bloomberg Radio programming is still carried during early morning and weekend hours.
On September 14, 2017 KOY changed their format from conservative talk to regional Mexican, branded as "93.7 El Patrón" (simulcast on FM translator K229DB 93.7 FM Phoenix).
1230 kHz in Phoenix
1230 kHz, and its pre-NARBA predecessor 1200 kHz, has been occupied in Phoenix since 1940.
From sign-on in 1940 to March 1941, KPHO occupied 1200 kHz and was the home of the NBC Blue Network, which later became ABC. Prior to KPHO's sign-on, both NBC Red and NBC Blue network programs aired on KTAR. On March 28, 1941, KPHO and all other stations on 1200 moved to 1230, when NARBA took effect. On September 21, 1949, KPHO moved to 910 kHz. 910 was later the home of KJJJ and KFYI, and is now XTRA Sports 910.
In 1950, AM 1230 returned to the air under a new license as KRIZ, which became an extremely successful AM top 40 station beginning in the late 1950s. KRIZ died in 1978, replaced by religious broadcaster KFLR. KFLR moved to FM 90.3 in the 1980s (they briefly simulcasted). After that, 1230 was KAMJ, KISP, KYOT, and KISO prior to becoming KOY in 1999, running adult-contemporary (simulcast on 101.5 for a time), news/talk/sports, urban adult-contemporary, and classic country formats. While the station did carry the KYOT call sign, it never simulcast KYOT-FM. The call sign was parked on 1230 until Sundance finished acquiring what was then KOY-FM. The station did not change back to KISP after KYOT-FM launched despite its "Kiss" branding; when management decided to change it back, the KISP calls were not available so it settled for KISO. KAMJ was the original home of Rush Limbaugh, before he moved to KFYI.
The 1200/1230 transmitter has been located at 2345 W. Buckeye Rd. in Phoenix since sign-on in 1940; Howard Loeb, KRIZ's original owner, bought the facilities from KPHO (which had built new ones upon moving to 910). The KRIZ studios were also located there. In 1984, the KRIZ call letters were assigned to a radio station in Renton, Washington.
- For KOY's history, see link  Archived 2008-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
- Federal Communications Commission. FCC History Card: KOY (550) (PDF) https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=43860&.pdf. Retrieved 22 June 2017. Missing or empty
- "KFYI2 Launches In Phoenix - RadioInsight". 5 August 2014.
- El Patrón Arrives in Phoenix Radioinsight - September 14, 2017
- "KPHO Ups Power Effective Today". Arizona Republic. September 21, 1949. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- "KOY Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Sixth Phoenix Radio Station Gets FCC Okay". Arizona Republic. March 9, 1950. p. 28. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- Official website
- KOY in the FCC's AM station database
- KOY on Radio-Locator
- KOY in Nielsen Audio's AM station database
- K229DB in the FCC's FM station database
- K229DB on Radio-Locator
- El Patron 93.7 & 1230 Facebook
- FCC History Cards for 1230 AM Phoenix (KRIZ, KFLR)