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|Broadcast area||Sacramento, California|
|Slogan||California's Rock Station|
|Frequency||98.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1959|
HD2: Live Rock
RoX (as in Rocks)
|Former callsigns||KXRQ (1959-1968)
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KIFM, KKDO, KSEG, KSFM, KUDL|
KRXQ is a commercial radio station in Sacramento, California, broadcasting on 98.5 FM. The station airs an active rock music format branded as "98 Rock". The station is owned by Entercom Communications. Its studios are located in North Highlands (with a Sacramento address) and its transmitter is in Folsom.
On November 1, 1959, with a dedication by then California Governor Edmund (Pat) Brown, FM radio station KXRQ, owned and operated by Dale Flewelling, made its debut in Sacramento at 98.5 MHz. With studios and transmitter located on the 13th floor of the Elks building in downtown Sacramento, KXRQ operated daily from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. with an effective radiated power of 35,000 watts. From its elevated location, KXRQ enjoyed broad coverage up and down the valley. Bruce Jensen was Program Director during the first year and programmed a varied mix of popular music during the day and Jazz late at night and weekend afternoons. From 1960 until mid 1966 Paul Thompson was Program Director and the format remained basically the same with the exception that the music became more sophisticated and swinging with an easy jazz touch during the daytime with more straight forward Jazz heard later at night. During this period KXRQ at one point became an all Jazz station for a year or two but commercial support waned and the station fell back on the swinging sound format. Following the departure of Thompson the station continued on in the same direction for a while but eventually things changed and by the spring of 1968, the station was having financial difficulties, and was only broadcasting from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In the summer of 1968, KXRQ was purchased by Lee Gahagen (California Talking Wireless Company). Gahagen also owned a classical station in the South Bay area, and intended to place a Classical format on his new Sacramento frequency.
The KZAP years
In the spring of 1968, Gahagen was approached by some students from Sacramento State University who worked at campus radio station KERS (90.7). They convinced Gahagen to run a “free form” radio station, similar to KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco. Gahagen agreed, and, on November 8, 1968, radio station KZAP made its debut, and its existence spanned 24 years (its formats ranging from free form rock to classic/album/hard rock) until 1992. In KZAP's final years, its competition was hard rock rival KRXQ, then known as "93 Rock".
KZAP's dropped to the lower 2s by late 1991. At midnight on January 20, 1992, after playing the song “Cristo Redentor” by Harvey Mandel, KZAP left the air, and the owners flipped the station to a country format known as “Fresh Country 98.5.” Shortly thereafter, the station changed call letters to KNCI. In February 1994, KNCI and rival country station would KRAK would swap frequencies.
On January 17, 1997, the station shifted its focus to classic country. The station’s ratings were short of stellar. EZ Communications owned KRAK at that time, and entered into an agreement with Entercom to switch the frequencies of KRXQ and KRAK in late 1997.
In the early 1990s, prime-time disc jockey Kosar Jaff experimented with other Californian Disc Jockeys with Beatmatching, which had not been done before on primetime radio. Beatmatching is a process where the starting and ending beats of two songs are merged together, so that there is a clear transition between the two. The beatmatching done on the air allowed longer commentary by him, because the ending and beginning beats could be played during the commentary, rather than stopping the music to commentate for a shorter period before the next track. The 1990s also saw success for the station, including big deals made with major artists such as Sting, which led to appearances at the concert by the disc jockeys in collaboration with the artists' concert.
On March 4, 1998, at 3 p.m., a frequency swap occurred. KRXQ, formerly known as “93 Rock” became “98 Rock”, while KRAK migrated over to 93.7 FM. The station continued its “Active Rock” approach. “Active Rock focused on the top 25 or 30 Rock singles, mixed in with recurrent and classic cuts. Generally, the station would have a running library of roughly 300 songs.
In the spring of 1999, Entercom fired KRXQ AM drive time hosts the Rise Guys (The Phantom, Whitey Gleason & Justin Case) from their shift and hired the Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show from KDOT (104.5) in Reno.
The station continued in this format and garnered a 12+ share (ratings) in the lower to mid 4s to lower 5s, and dominated in the target demo of 18- to 34-year-old adults, and male listeners.
Jim Fox was appointed station manager in late 2003, and recruited Joe Maumee—a charismatic, gruff-voiced "fun lover" for the night timeslot. With Rob, Arnie and Dawn on 5–10 a.m. and long-time staff member Pat Martin on 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (formerly KGB-FM in San Diego and KMET (defunct)|KMET in Los Angeles), Craig the Dogface Boy (Dog) joining in 2004, on 3 p.m. -7 p.m.
Dog and Joe teamed up in 2008 to form the Dog and Joe Show, Mikey (Mike Muscatello) assuming nights. Mikey left the night show for other opportunities, Cristi briefly taking over the 7 p.m. to midnight time night slot. Mikey returned to the night. Dog and Joe left 98 Rock in March 2017 to host mornings on 93.7 The River, Mikey assuming afternoons and Leeanne nights.
By the late 2000s (decade), the station completed the shift to active rock from mainstream rock with Nielsen BDS going first and Mediabase following suit later. Most recently KRXQ moved back to mainstream rock and is also noted that the station also plays hip hop from the beastie Boys, Eminem and House of pain that crossed over to the rock chart. The station plays music from alternative, classic rock, hip hop in addition to active rock competing with all Sacramentos other rock stations combined.
The Flannel years
On the weekend of April 29 and 30, 2006, KRXQ identified themselves as "The Flannel Channel" and slightly switched music formats, playing mostly rock hits from the 1990s with no recent or older songs. However, on Monday they went back to identifying themselves as the usual "98 Rock". No on-air explanation has been given for the temporary name-change, however it has come to light that the switch was an un-announced publicity stunt put on by the station to celebrate the release of Pearl Jam's new self-titled record the following Tuesday and to 'scare the listeners'. Station manager Jim Fox gave the following explanation, off the air:
This weekend 98 Rock celebrated the release of Pearl Jam's new CD by spotlighting 1990s Grunge bands. Over the weekend 98 Rock became "The Flannel Channel" and we played 1990s bands exclusively.
Based upon the feedback we've received, flannel is OUT! ...and so is the Flannel Channel.
Jim Fox Station Manager KRXQ/ 98 Rock
KRXQ's HD2 subcarrier offers a format that features live performances from Rock artists.
In 2004, KRXQ was fined USD 55,000 for broadcasting indecent material.
On May 28, 2009, Hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States from the "Rob, Arnie, and Dawn Show" drew media attention in reference to two news stories regarding transgender children. States said, "God forbid if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes". Williams and States took turns referring to gender dysphoric children as "idiots" and "freaks," who were just out "for attention" and had "a mental disorder that just needs to somehow be gotten out of them," either by verbal abuse on the part of the parents, or even shock therapy. In response, several advertisers (including Snapple, Sonic, Carl's Jr, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Chipotle Grill, AT&T, and McDonald's) temporary pulled their advertising from KRXQ. Nissan similarly declined to renew an advertising contract with the station.
- "KZAP has new tune: Country", The Sacramento Bee, January 20, 1992.
- Jaff, Kosar A., prod. "KRXQ Morning Jam." The Morning Jam. KRXQ. Sacramento, California, 7 Aug. 1991. Radio.
- Jaff, Kosar A., prod. "KRXQ at Sting" The Morning Jam. KRXQ. Sacramento, California, 23 Feb. 1 1991. Radio.
- "Frequency changes are becoming...frequent", The Sacramento Bee, March 3, 1998.
- Sacramento HD radio guide
- Dortch, Marlene H. (September 22, 2004). "Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Rowe, Michael (May 25, 2011). "KRXQ Sacramento Radio Hosts Encourage Violence Against Transgender Children". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Marra, Andy (June 5, 2009). "UPDATE: McDonald's Is 10th Company to Pull KRXQ Advertising". glaad.org. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KRXQ
- Radio-Locator information on KRXQ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KRXQ
- Michael Rowe's June 2, 2009 article, "KRXQ Sacramento Radio Hosts Encourage Violence Against Transgender Children"
- Michael Rowe's June 6, 2009 article, "KRXQ Sacramento Radio Hosts Have History of Obscenity Involving Children: FCC Report"