|City||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Broadcast area||Albuquerque Metropolitan|
|First air date||1994 (as KRZN)|
|Format||Soft Adult Contemporary|
|Callsign meaning||KRKE = AlbuQUeRQUE (sic)|
KWQK (1990-1994, CP)|
|Owner||Vanguard Media LLC|
KRKE-FM (101.3 MHz) is a radio station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, broadcasting to the Albuquerque metropolitan area at 3,700 watts from a tower atop Nine Mile Hill in west Albuquerque. Its studios are located in Northeast Albuquerque (a mile north of Central Avenue).
The station is owned by Vanguard Media. KRKE-FM airs a Soft Adult Contemporary music format branded as "Cindy 101.3".
This station was granted an original construction permit in October 1990 under call sign KWQK.
101.3 first signed on in September 1994 as KRZN a station playing new-age music and smooth jazz, branded as "The Horizon". In 1996, it was acquired by Simmons Media Group and would shift to focus only on Smooth Jazz. In spring 1997, Simmons moved KRZN to the stronger 105.1 FM signal, which would make the format available in Santa Fe and other surrounding areas. However, the format was dropped in April 1999 in favor of Top 40.
In the Summer 1998, 101.3 changed again to a Rock music format branded as "K-Rock" with slogan "The Rock of New Mexico". The call letters would later change to KRQS. The format on this station was very similar to KZRR and often imitated features on that station such as the "All 80's Weekends". The Bob and Tom Show was added in morning drive in early 1999; it was the first time that program had aired in Albuquerque. In 2000, it had rebranded as "The Bone" and shifted to a more modern focused Active Rock format towards the end of its run at the end of the year.
On Christmas Day, 2000, Simmons had revived the Smooth Jazz format and "The Horizon" brand on 101.3. In November 2001, it had again moved back to 105.1 FM along with the KRQS call sign (later changed to KAJZ a year later).
In December 2001, 101.3 became "The Range" with a classic country music format to attract former listeners of KTBL, which had changed to Adult Alternative earlier that year. The new call letters were KKRG. In fall 2002, Simmons had sold its five FM stations to Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation (HBC), and the format was dropped to make way for Spanish-language programming. The "Range" was revived again in April 2004 on 105.1 after the smooth jazz format was moved to 101.7. It was dropped again in March 2006.
In November 2002, HBC launched a new Regional Mexican music format called "La Jefa" with new call letters KJFA. HBC became Univision Radio in 2003. For the first few years, KJFA was not as competitive with then-top Spanish station KLVO "Radio Lobo", but at the end of 2006, Univision moved KJFA to 105.1 FM, and made changes in programming, including adding the Piolin morning program which had helped make "La Jefa" the top Spanish-language station in the market for a few years.
After KJFA moved, 101.3 broadcast a Spanish Oldies format used in many markets as "Recuerdo". Recuerdo was originally heard in Albuquerque on 105.1 FM in March 2006, but in December 2006, KKRG switched frequencies with KJFA, which had been on 101.3 for four years, moving KJFA's Regional Mexican format to the stronger 105.1 frequency and "Recuerdo" to 101.3. The KKRG call letters had also moved back to 101.3.
On May 28, 2010, KKRG began broadcasting a Latin Pop format branded as "La Kalle" (The Street). The format featured pop and reggaeton hits in Spanish as well as current popular English hits. The stations' presentation was mostly in Spanish. Initially, the station generated decent ratings, but after two years, KKRG had fallen to close to a 1 share overall. On February 21, 2014, KKRG began stunting airing a loop of Frank Sinatra's "Theme from New York, New York".
On February 25, 2014, at 4 p.m., KKRG switched to a Classic hip-hop format, branded as "Yo! 101.3 FM". This move came less than two months after Clear Channel launched the similarly formatted "Hot 100.9" on K265CA, giving the market two 1990's-based Rhythmic music stations. "Hot" moved to 95.1 (a 100kW signal) in November 2014. On September 28, 2015, Univision moved "Yo!" to 105.1 FM while returning "La Jefa" to 101.3 FM. With the frequency swap, KKRG took on the call sign KJFA-FM.
On June 14, 2017, Univision announced that it would sell KJFA-FM (as well as its entire Albuquerque cluster) to American General Media, who in turn would sell the station to Vanguard Media (owner of cxontemporary jazz station KOAZ) to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership rules. The price for the sale to Vanguard Media was $250,000. The sale was approved by the FCC on August 23, 2017 and consummated on September 1, 2017. Vanguard will also program KDLW 106.3 under a time brokerage agreement with BB Broadcasting.
On September 18, 2017, the Regional Mexican format and "La Jefa" brand moved over to American General Media owned KARS/K275AO in Albuquerque and KSFE in Santa Fe. Nine days later, on the 27th, KJFA launched a new Soft AC format, branded as "Cindy 101.3". On October 25, 2017, KSFE swapped call letters with 102.9 Pecos, with that station becoming KJFA-FM and 101.3 taking the KSFE-FM call sign. A week later, on November 1st, 101.3 swapped call letters with 1090 Milan, moving the KRKE call sign (as KRKE-FM) to 101.3, with 1090 taking KSFE. The KRKE call letters had previously been assigned to Vanguard's former properties at 1600 and 1550.
- "American General Media Acquires Univision Albuquerque; Spins Four" from Radio Insight (June 14, 2017)
- La Jefa Moves in Albuquerque
- Cindy Brings Soft Hits to Albuquerque