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KTAO logo.png
City Taos, New Mexico
Branding Ktaos
Slogan "World Famous Solar Radio"
Frequency 101.9 MHz
First air date 1991
Format Adult album alternative
ERP 1,200 watts
HAAT 852 meters (2797 feet)
Class C1
Facility ID 64602
Transmitter coordinates 36°14′48″N 105°39′15″W / 36.24667°N 105.65417°W / 36.24667; -105.65417
Callsign meaning TAOS
Former callsigns KXRT, KVNM[1]
Owner Taos Communications Corporation
Webcast Listen live
Website www.ktao.com

KTAO ("KTAOS 101.9") is a solar-powered FM radio station licensed to serve Taos, New Mexico. The station is owned by Taos Communications Corporation. It airs an adult album alternative music format.[2] The station was assigned the KTAO call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on October 6, 1986.[1]



KTAO’s transmitter was in the town of Taos prior to 1991. Following FCC approval to increase to 1,200 watts, a new transmitter site was needed. A new transmitter was located at 10,800-foot Picuris Peak, which does not have grid power. According to former owner Brad Hockmeyer, solar power was the only option. The high-altitude location of its transmitter gives KTAO rimshot broadcast coverage from as far south as Albuquerque, New Mexico, and north into southern Colorado. This broadcast area is the largest of any solar-powered station in the world.[3][4] On June 8, 2010, Brad Hockmeyer sold KTAO and the Solar Center to [5] Katie Speirs, gaining controlling interest of KTAOS Solar Radio 101.9 FM, and the KTAOS Solar Center, a full bar, restaurant, and music venue attached to the operating radio station office building.

KTAO is the largest solar powered radio station in the United States.[6]


New Mexico Broadcasters Association (2011)

NMBA Station of the Year

Public Service Announcement: “Holiday Shop Local Campaign”

Station Promotional Announcement: “Testimonial Campaign”

Complete Newscast: Paddy Mac in the Mornings

Single Topic News: Brad Hockmeyer interview with Tom Udall

30 Second Commercial: “Gay Pride Taos – Gayest Dog Wash EVER”

30 Second Commercial: “Taos Solar Music Festival 2010”

NonSports Talk Show: Paddy Mac in the Mornings Valentine’s Day Matchmaking

Sports Talk Show: Tigerbeat

Best of Taos (2011)

Best DJ: Paddy Mac

Best Live Music Venue: The KTAOS Solar Center

Solar Center[edit]

The KTAO studio offices are located five miles north of the town of Taos in El Prado. Outside the studio and offices is a festival-style performance venue that includes a tent that allows KTAO to host events year-round. The site is located equidistant from Taos Ski Valley and the Historic Town Center, and beneath the tallest peak in New Mexico. The concert space adjoins the home of two radio stations, solar powered KTAOS 101.9 FM and Luna 103.7 FM. Food services are available to concert-goers.


  1. ^ a b "Call Sign History". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  2. ^ "Arbitron Station Information Profiles". .arbitron.com. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  3. ^ Diddlebock, Bob (2006-10-01). "Media: Still Tuned In". TIME. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  4. ^ "K-TAOS 101.9FM – World Famous Solar Radio, Taos, NM – Mediapage". Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  5. ^ "The Music Radio Trade Publication". RadioInfo. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  6. ^ "KTAO – The Solar Powered Radio Station". Green Passive Solar Magazine. April 7, 2011. Retrieved 2017-11-05.

External links[edit]