|City||Cathedral City, California|
|Broadcast area||Coachella Valley|
|First air date||1964|
|Former callsigns||KWXY (1964-2006)
KWXY is a Class C commercial AM radio station licensed to Cathedral City, California, USA. The station was founded in 1964 on 1340 AM, and broadcast on 98.5 MHz FM between 1976 and 2010. It is one of the area's "heritage" stations and is one of the very few remaining beautiful music stations in the country. On February 2, 2010, the station returned to its original frequency of 1340 AM, and in June 2014 added a translator station at 107.3 FM.
The station previously simulcast on 1340 AM, but sold the AM frequency to R&R Radio Corp. of Palm Springs, who flipped the format to progressive talk on August 7, 2006 and changed the call letters to KPTR. KPTR was the area's first Air America Radio affiliate; that network went bankrupt October 13, 2006 but had resumed operation under new ownership until it ultimately shut down in January 2010 and filed for liquidation.
KWXY not only had the same format since its inception in October 1964 but the same owner as well. KWXY was owned by veteran broadcaster Glen Barnett (1924-2014), a broadcast engineer who actually built and wired the studios and transmitter and most recently was the station's general manager.
KWXY (AM) began in 1964 as a 24-hour, 250-watt AM station. Power was increased to 500 watts in 1968 and again to 1 kW in 1973, where it remains today. FM operations began in 1969 at 103.1 MHz with a 3 kW signal. The move to 98.5 MHz and a boost to 50 kW occurred in 1976.
Both full-time residents of the Coachella Valley as well as seasonal visitors from the northern part of the United States and Canada made KWXY one of the most successful stations in the area both in demographics as well as revenue. In addition, the on-air lineup boasted Dave Hull, named one of the top ten greatest broadcasters in Los Angeles radio history, and his KFI colleague Scott Ellsworth. KWXY also broadcast news reports from Canada for Canadian citizens who visit the Coachella Valley during the winter season.
In January 2010, it was announced that KWXY-FM would cease broadcasting on 98.5 FM and broadcast only on the 1340 AM frequency. Dave Hull signed off the FM station at 11:59 pm February 1. KDES, another R&R Broadcasting station originally broadcasting at 104.7, has taken over the 98.5 frequency allocation and will continue with its classic hits programming. Licensing of the 104.7 frequency then moved from Palm Springs to Riverside.
In June 2014 KWXY signed on a FM translator at 107.3 and changed its branding to "Legend 107.3: The Sound of the Desert". It was later amended to its present branding "KWXY 107.3: The Sound of the Desert".
In November 2015 KWXY changed their format to talk, while the programming rights to its previous standards format and the 107.3 translator (due to a sale to Alpha Media) moved to KDES-HD2 as Mod 107.3 FM but continues to play classic songs from The Great American Songbook as well as easy listening favorites.
In August 2016, the station owner announced that KWXY would go dark on August 12. The station was listed for sale.
- Gruszecki, Debra (2010-01-31). "Changes ahead on the radio". The Desert Sun. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Historic Coachella Valley radio stations to go silent". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- FCC History Cards for KWXY
- KWXY FM fan site with Don Wardell show transcriptions
- Aircheck of KWXY FM final sign off Feb. 2, 2010
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KWXY
- Radio-Locator Information on KWXY
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KWXY