|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Broadcast area||Greater Los Angeles|
|Branding||Radio Centro 93.9|
|Frequency||93.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1958 (as KPOL-FM)|
HD2: Spanish Oldies
|ERP||18,500 watts horizontal|
16,000 watts vertical
|HAAT||917 meters (3,009 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||K EXitOS (previous format)|
|Former callsigns||KPOL-FM (1958–1978)|
|Operator||Grupo Radio Centro|
|Owner||93.9 Holdings, Inc. |
(93.9 License, LLC)
KXOS (93.9 FM) is a Regional Mexican radio station serving Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The station is owned by 93.9 Holdings, Inc. through licensee 93.9 License, LLC and operated by Grupo Radio Centro, which owns dozens of radio stations in Mexico. The station has studios located in Burbank and its transmitter is based on Mount Wilson.
On April 15, 2009, 93.9 switched to Spanish-language programming at midnight under a seven-year Local Marketing Agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City that also gave GRC an option to purchase the station from Emmis Communications, if the FCC in that time allowed a foreign broadcaster to own an American broadcasting concern.
93.9 FM signed on in 1958 as KPOL-FM, a simulcast of KPOL 1540 AM with an easy listening format. In 1977, under the ownership of Capital Cities Communications, KPOL-FM broke away from the simulcast and adopted a soft rock format similar to crosstown KNX-FM using the on-air identity "94 FM". They changed call letters to KZLA in 1978 (one year later, 1540 AM rejoined the simulcast and also adopted the KZLA call letters).
Metromedia's KLAC 570 AM had adopted a country format in 1970, initially competing with 2 stations with much weaker signals. In 1980 KHJ 930 AM, owned by RKO General, changed formats to country. Around the same time, KZLA AM and FM dropped their soft rock format for country.
The three country music outlets struggled, including KZLA. In 1983, KHJ dropped country and returned to an adult contemporary format. KLAC held its own. At this point, KZLA began to grow in the ratings as Los Angeles' only FM country station. On its website, it claimed to be the United States' most-listened-to country radio station, even though they never managed to dent the top 15 in the Los Angeles Arbitron ratings during its 26-year run.
In 1984, Capital Cities sold KZLA (AM) to Spanish Broadcasting System (which rechristened it KSKQ) and KZLA-FM to Malrite Communications Group. Metromedia sold KLAC in 1987 to Malrite, which moved it to a classic country format. By 1994, Malrite had changed KLAC to an adult standards format from Westwood One, leaving KZLA as the established country music station in the market.
In 1994, Shamrock Broadcasting acquired KZLA and KLAC in a merger with Malrite; in 1996, Chancellor Media acquired all of Shamrock's stations, including KZLA and KLAC. The following year, Chancellor merged with Evergreen Media Corporation. Evergreen already had KKBT (then on 92.3) and KOST 103.5; Chancellor subsequently acquired Viacom's KYSR 98.7 and KXEZ 100.3. This gave Chancellor six FM stations. In 1998, Bonneville Broadcasting made a corporate deal to swap several stations with Chancellor, giving the latter six FM stations, including KOST, KBIG, KYSR, KKBT, and KXEZ (which would change formats and calls), plus two AM stations: KFI 640, and KLAC 570. Bonneville, in return, would acquire KZLA.
KZLA modified the country format over the years, at times mixing in a few non-country pop songs and also playing more classic country. Bonneville exited Los Angeles in 2000 by selling KZLA to Emmis Communications. Under Emmis' ownership, most of the country songs they played during its tenure in the format were from 1987 to the present day, with some classic cuts mixed in.
In 2006, KZLA began to carry NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races as the local affiliate of the Motor Racing Network. The first broadcast was the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
On August 17, 2006 at 10:20 a.m., after playing "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban, KZLA flipped to rhythmic adult contemporary, branded as "MOViN' 93.9." The first song on "MOViN" was "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas. The first DJ to be "let go" was the very popular Brian Douglas, who did evenings for four years. Soon after that, the station's demise was well under way with others losing their positions as well.
They were also the second station in the United States to adopt the "Movin'" concept, the first being KQMV Seattle. KQMV was not owned by Emmis; however, they did acquire the rights to use the moniker from consultant Alan Burns, who helped launch KQMV's format. Burns also teamed up with fellow consultant Guy Zapoleon (whose partnership with Burns dates back to the launch of KHMX Houston in 1990) on the new upstart.
Jimmy Steal, Emmis' vice president of programming, cited declining ratings of the country format as well as an opportunity to increase overall station and corporate revenue.
For a time, KZLA continued online, but the stream was later dropped. The FM station changed its callsign to KMVN on September 1, 2006. Tilden moved to KABC, where he worked until being laid off in cost-cutting moves in 2008. Other personalities moved to KKGO. Garner's show, which was flagshipped at KZLA, moved to Clear Channel Communications but did not have a Los Angeles affiliate.
On the heels of launching KMVN, Emmis also signed legendary entertainment personality Rick Dees to host the morning drivetime show. Dees was host at another area station, KIIS-FM, from 1983 to 2004. Dees returned to the airwaves on September 25 and also picked up his "Rick Dees' Weekly Top 40" program on Sunday mornings, which started October 1. KMVN aired Weekly Top 40 with most of the non-Rhythmic hits (mostly Rock/Pop) edited from the show because of KMVN's format. The morning show, Rick Dees in the Morning, aired from 5-10am and featured Patti "Long Legs" Lopez and Mark Wong. Over the course of a few months, the station began adding more staffers to its lineup, with Tera Bonilla doing middays, Mario Fuentes hired for afternoons, and Nena handling nights and weekends. In addition, DJ Enrie and DJ Rawn (both from KPWR) and DJ Icy Ice (a veteran of KKBT and KDAY) became the station's mixers, as KMVN started adding mixshows to its lineup, which aired weekdays at noon and 5pm, and on Fridays ("Fiesta Mix") and Saturdays ("Movin' Party Mix", hosted by Clarence Barnes) from 7pm to midnight.
The station had failed to bring in more than half of the audience it did as a country music station according to Radio and Records. After being stuck below a 1.0% share in the first two rating periods, KMVN finally recovered in the Spring 2007 Arbitrons when it started to show its first increase to a 1.2% share. With KBIG's decision to shift to a mainstream Adult Top 40 direction in September 2007, KMVN was hoping to inherit its rival's displaced listeners, who had grown accustomed to hearing the Rhythmic fare that KBIG used to play.
By October 2007, KMVN began to phase out most of its currents and '90s songs, along with the mix shows, in an effort to improve the ratings, which had not been spectacular. They also changed their slogan to "The '70s and '80s Mix That Makes You Move," to identify with its gold-based direction. The changes had yet to translate into ratings. In the May 2008 Arbitrends, KMVN was in 34th place with a 0.8% audience share. By Summer 2008, KMVN began adding Classic and Dance-friendly Modern/New Wave hits from the 1980s to its musical mix, but continued to stay within the Rhythmic Gold realm.
KMVN had been in competition with KHHT "Hot 92.3", which began shifting from Urban AC to a Rhythmic AC approach in early 2008 in an effort to counter KMVN, whose format targeted the same Black/Hispanic audience as KHHT.
On April 3, 2009, Emmis announced that they had entered into a seven-year local marketing agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City. Beginning April 15, GRC started to provide Spanish-language programming and sell advertising time. GRC also entered into a seven-year call and put option agreement with Emmis which would allow them to purchase the assets of KMVN, although that portion of the deal was contingent on the FCC allowing a foreign broadcaster to own an American station, which is currently disallowed. At midnight on April 15, 2009, after a brief message from then-morning host Rick Dees thanking Movin' 93.9 listeners, explaining the reason for the change, and redirecting listeners of his show to his website rick.com, followed by "Last Dance" by Donna Summer, the station flipped to Spanish AC as "Éxitos 93.9".
On June 4, 2009, KMVN changed its call letters to KXOS, to go with the "Éxitos" branding.
Effective August 23, 2012, 93.9 License, LLC exercised a call option to purchase KXOS from Emmis for $85.5 million. 93.9 License, LLC is owned by 93.9 Holdings, Inc., in which GRC indirectly holds a 25% ownership interest. GRC later used a similar facility to acquire the radio stations of Univision Radio in El Paso, Texas, in 2016.
On November 9, 2012, the entire KXOS airstaff was let go, and the station switched to a teen-oriented CHR/Rhythmic top 40 format, similar to that of sister stations XHTO-FM in El Paso and XHFAJ-FM in Mexico City. It also used some of XHFAJ's DJs to voicetrack in key dayparts on KXOS, but the station also was required to utilize local talent because of the FCC's ownership rules.
Radio Centro 93.9
On January 19, 2014, KXOS changed its format to Regional Mexican, branded as "Radio Centro 93.9." The move came after KXOS hired former KLAX morning host Ricardo ‘El Mandril’ Sánchez for the same duties. Sanchez had been the subject of controversy during his tenure at KLAX involving claims of ratings fraud and tampering which were never proven. His show at KLAX was taken off the air on November 2013 due to contract negotiations that were not successful.
In August 2015, former station general manager Sean O'Neill, office manager Rosa Ambriz, and 50 unnamed employees, sued Grupo Radio Centro, its LA subsidiary, as well as Sánchez. O'Neill and Ambriz alleged that they were fired after reporting ratings fraud and uncovering the station's hiring of undocumented immigrants.
- "Mexico's Grupo Radio Centro will lease L.A.'s KMVN (93.9) for $7 million a year". Radio-Info.com. April 3, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-28. Retrieved 2015-09-15. HD Radio Guide for Los Angeles
- Leeds, Jeff (August 19, 2006). "With a Change at KZLA-FM, Country Radio Says Adios to Los Angeles". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- "Entertainment – Los Angeles Times". latimes.com.
- Venta, Lance (April 3, 2009). "Grupo Radio Centro to LMA "Movin 93.9" KMVN Los Angeles from Emmis". RadoInsight. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- "Movin 93.9 Gives Way To Exitos". formatchange.com. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- "Exitos 93.9 Los Angeles Is Bilingual - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 22 November 2012.
- Venta, Lance (January 19, 2014). "KXOS Flips To Regional Mexican With El Mandril Addition". RadioInsight. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- Becerra, Hector; James, Meg (December 3, 2013). "Mystery surrounds hiatus of top-rated morning radio show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- Vehling, Aaron (August 13, 2015). "LA Radio Station Fired Pair For Reporting Fraud, Suit Says". Law360. Retrieved July 29, 2017.