|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (May 2008)|
|City of license||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Slogan||LA's #1 Party Station|
|First air date||1949 (as KFSG)
2001 (as KXOL)
|Former callsigns||KFSG (1949-2001)|
|Owner||Spanish Broadcasting System|
For many years, 96.3 was a Christian radio station in Los Angeles known as KFSG, owned by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (the call letters stood for "FourSquare Gospel"). They ran religious programming produced by their own church along with syndicated staples like "Focus on the Family", "Joni and Friends", "Insight for Living", "In Touch", among others. They ran such shows half the time, playing music the other half.
For years, the station played traditional Christian music with contemporary Christian for only a few hours a week on Saturday. But by 1981 they began to mix in softer contemporary Christian songs to their format. By 1987 KFSG was an adult contemporary Christian station playing artists like Twila Paris, Steven Curtis Chapman, Petra, David Meece, Randy Stonehill, PFR, White Heart, among others.
The station was owned by the Foursquare Church until 2001 when it was sold to the Spanish Broadcasting System. On April 30, 2001, KFSG moved its programming to 93.5 (now KDAY), but dropped the music and went to religious talk programming full-time. By 2003, KFSG was off the air when that station was sold to another Spanish group.
The new owners gave 96.3 a Spanish AC format, and the call letters were changed to KXOL on May 9, 2001. The station became known as El Sol 96.3 and their morning show was hosted by Sylvia Villagran who became the first woman to host a morning radio show in Los Angeles. According to Arbitron between 2001 and 2004 the show garnered high ratings, consistently placing it among the top three morning shows in Los Angeles. '"El Sol" was one of two Spanish Soft AC radio stations in Los Angeles until May 2005, when its format change left KLVE as the only station in L.A. now playing the format.
KXOL decision to drop their Spanish adult contemporary format for hurban wasn't without controversy: The abrupt switch violated a transmitter lease agreement that KXOL's parent company, Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), had with Emmis Communications; the agreement required formal notification to Emmis of any change in format and expressly prohibited KXOL from programming to directly compete with Emmis' Rhythmic Contemporary outlet KPWR. SBS switched formats anyway, and Emmis filed a lawsuit to force SBS to either drop the format or find a new transmitter. SBS announced that KXOL would move to another transmitter site a month later, and both parties settled the dispute sometime after.
Latino 96.3, and LA 96.3
KXOL has had success as a Latin Urban, and much of that success is likely attributed to KXOL snatching some of (the now-defunct) KKBT and KPWR's Hispanic base. However, it has begun to tilt its direction slightly towards Hip-Hop but still remain within the urban area. By May 2012 KXOL dropped the "Latino 96.3" moniker and replaced it with the newer but shortened "LA 96.3" and began billing themselves as "L.A.'s Party Station." The playlist has also shifted further towards a conventional English-language Rhythmic direction save for a handful of urban tracks. By late 2012 the station decided to switch back to Latino 96.3 and as of May 2013 is playing mostly urban again with a blend of English and Spanish hits.
On May 16, 2014, at 2PM, KXOL suddenly changed formats to Spanish AC as Mega 96.3 to compete with WPAT 93.1 Amor in NYC.
In November 2014, the station kept its "Mega 96.3" name but switched back to its previous format and is currently playing mostly urban again with a blend of English and Spanish hits.
KXOL has 7 competing stations. 105.9 KPWR (Power 106), 93.9 KXOS (Exitos), 102.7 KIIS (KIIS FM), and 97.1 KAMP (AMP Radio) compete with KXOL in the L.A. area. 99.1 KGGI competes with KXOL in the IE and parts of east L.A. County. 104.7 KCAQ (aka Q104-7) and 103.3 KVYB (aka The Vibe) compete with KXOL in parts of Ventura County and L.A. County (in areas near the L.A. County-Ventura County border line). KVYB's signal can only be heard in very little of KXOL's signal coverage areas because of KVYB's signal coming from distant Santa Barbara.
96.1 KWIE at one point had the same hurban music format as KXOL, but then later changed to a Rhythmic Top 40 music format up until its flip to Regional Mexican in August 2007. KVYB, whose format originally started out as a hybrid Hurban/Rhythmic because of its target audience at the beginning of that station's debut, has now completely shifted to a more Rhythmic direction.
- KXOL-FM official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KXOL
- Radio-Locator information on KXOL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KXOL