|Broadcast area||Fresno, California|
|Branding||103.7 The Beat|
|Slogan||"The Valley's Greatest Throwbacks"|
|Frequency||103.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1976|
|Callsign meaning||Kickin' to the Fresno's BeaT!|
|Former callsigns||KMGX (1982-1989)
(Capstar TX LLC)
|Sister stations||KALZ, KBOS, KCBL, KRZR, KFSO, KHGE, KRDU, KSOF
KFBT (103.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Rhythmic adult contemporary format. Licensed to Hanford, California, United States, the station serves the Visalia-Tulare-Hanford, Fresno area. The station is currently owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. The station is also broadcast on HD radio. Its studios are located on Shaw Avenue in North Fresno, and the transmitter tower is south of Fresno near Caruthers.
The station currently known as KFBT broadcasting on 103.7 FM. Originally known as KIOY a.k.a. "K104 FM", the station broadcast as a Top 40/CHR format in the late 1970s from its studios in a vineyard between Fresno and Hanford. In the early 1980s, the call letters were changed to KMGX, and the moniker/nickname "The New Magic 104 FM" was adopted.
For much of the 1980s, their highly successful Top 40/CHR format of Magic 104 was more popular than the format at rival KBOS, known at the time by the on-air moniker/nickname of "Rockradio K-Boss 95 FM". Playlists from 1985 show Sheena Easton, Prince, and Teena Marie getting heavy airplay at Magic 104, while KBOS was big on Billy Squier, Bruce Springsteen and David Lee Roth.
In the late 1980s KMGX's nickname was changed to "The All New X104". X104 was one of the first radio stations in the US to blend the CHR format with the Urban format into a fully fledged CHUrban foramt. The stations appeal grew to dominant audience shares within Fresno's Latino community throughout the 1980s. At its peak in popularity, the station hosted the largest single Latino audience share of any general market radio station in the country (70 percent). The secret to the stations success, was its high appeal to second and third generation Latino/Mexican Americans who were attracted to its popular Morning Host: Richard Cano. and known by most of its younger listeners was Evenings Host: Kid Landon
Cano was not new to the market. A Fresno State alumni and former KYNO DJ and KBOS Program Director, Cano returned to the Fresno market in 1984 claiming some of the highest morning ratings in the History of Fresno radio. Market sales manager Chuck Lontine (who joined the station from the San Francisco radio market) created a "Spanglish" sales & marketing strategy that kept the station vital for a period of time. But, ultimately the station began to lose audience share to a growing number of Spanish language stations in the market and the format was dropped in 1989, when the impending format change caused local news coverage even before it happened.
In June 1989, 103.7 KRZR was launched by southern California broadcasting veteran Jim Votaw (VP/GM), X104 exec Chuck Lontine (GSM) and programmer Brian Burns. At the time, the station was owned by Olympia Broadcasting of Seattle. KRZR introduced the Rock 40 format to the Fresno radio market. The station was initially patterned after Olympia's wildly successful Rock 40 station KXXR-FM in Kansas City & Scott Shannon's Pirate Radio in Los Angeles (which was owned by Westwood One).
KRZR's first slogan was "Today's Rock 'N' Roll" with an on-air offering of what is now widely described as "hair metal" or "glam metal" and various "format homeless" (at the time) artists. Plenty of promotional attention was gained with a weekly giveaway of $10,000 to randomly spotted owners of cars sporting the station's bumper/window stickers and who called into the studio within the allotted time.
The original KRZR air staff included, Pete Hansen (mornings) with, newswoman Kelly Boom, and then 18-year-old Clovis high school student and intern Larry "Sparky" Long (given the air name "Larry The Pocket Producer"), E. Curtis Johnson (P.D.) and Kevin Musso (using the air name "Nick NRG") split the mid-day shift, Mcfly (Brian Degus, also music director)did afternoon drive, Chris Daniel (evenings) and Scott Stevens (overnights). In July 1989, former crosstown KCLQ deejay Clay Steiner (using the air name "Matt 'The Healer' Clayton") hired on for weekends and overnights. Intern Larry Long was later hired that same month to deejay fill in shifts.
Shortly after the station sign on, both Burns and Lontine left the company. Brian Burns became a renowned program consultant & programmer in radio. Chuck Lontine left KRZR to join ABC/CapCities' WLS in Chicago. Kevin Musso is now a very successful Television weatherman in Fresno. Pete Hansen is still in radio and once in a while can be heard on 101.5 KGB DSC and his podcast "The Pete Hansen Show" . Larry "Sparky" Long now lives and works in Northern California
On October 6, 2010, at Noon, after playing Rage Against the Machine's Freedom, KRZR changed their format from active rock to rhythmic adult contemporary, and call letters to KFBT and branded as "The Beat", while KRZR's DJs were fired to other stations without prior warning and the rock format moved to its HD-2 digital subchannel. The first song on "The Beat" was Get Ready for This by 2 Unlimited.