|Broadcast area||Salt Lake City|
|Slogan||Utah's Original Alternative|
|Frequency||96.3 MHz FM|
|Callsign meaning||K X RocK|
|Webcast||"Listen Live" on Station Website|
KXRK (96.3 FM, branded as X96) is commercial radio station located in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, broadcasting an alternative rock music format to the Provo, Ogden, and Salt Lake City area. Owned by Broadway Media, the station's studios are located in Downtown Salt Lake City and its transmitter site is located southwest of the city on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains.
KXRK had a long history in the Utah market, first concentrating on Provo, as a top-40 station in the 1970s and 1980s as KAYK and later KFMY-FM.
In 1978–1979, Lee Charles Kelley—who is now a mystery novelist living in New York City—worked the evening shift at K-96, as KXRK was then known, under the name of "Charlie Harris". In 1981, Kidd Kraddick was hired to take over the 6-10 pm shift. W. Eugene Manning was the general manager at the time and he also hired Jim Sumpter to work at the station. K-96 was always in the top five in the ratings, and in Provo it was said that the station had 25% of all listeners, though this remains largely unverified because Arbitron did not collect ratings data for Provo until the mid-1980s. Fox News commentator Glenn Beck also worked at K-96 in late 1982 to 1983 when he was 18. It was his second professional job in broadcasting.
The format began to drift and some[who?] say it was never the same again. In 1988, Marriott Corp sold the station to a local Native American tribe and the station changed to a satellite oldies format as KZOL on September 1, 1988.
In 1990, the station began to add more current songs and it seemed like the format had returned to top 40. However, in February 1992 the station abruptly changed to alternative and took the present callsign KXRK.
KXRK was founded and began broadcasting in February 1992. The new station was owned by Acme Broadcasting, which had been organized by a group of DJs and managers who left KJQ in a programming dispute.
X96 used to broadcast at frequency 96.1, but changed to 96.3 when it increased broadcast wattage in 1996. The frequency shift also allowed it to move to a more favorable transmitter location on Farnsworth Peak, which eventually also allowed KMGR 95.7 in Delta to move to 95.9 and move its transmitter to a location that would reach Utah County. KMGR has an application pending at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move to Humphreys Peak and serve the rest of the Salt Lake market from there, thus also benefiting from the move of KXRK from 96.1 to 96.3.
In April 1998, ownership of the station switched hands from Acme Broadcasting to Simmons Media Group. Simmons, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, owns and operates Simmons Radio in Utah, Western Broadcasting, Simmons Lone Star Media, Simmons Outdoor Media, Simmons Ventures and the most prominent travel-related company in the Western United States, Morris Murdock Travel.
The studios for X96 are currently located on the corner of Broadway and 2nd West in Salt Lake City, previously located east of Trolley Square at 5th South and 7th East in Salt Lake City in a block known as Trolley Corners. Prior to this it was located across the street from the Salt Palace in a little building known as Arrow Press Square, adjacent to the now demolished club DV8. X96 was the first station in Utah to broadcast with a digital connection to its tower, which is located on Farnsworth Peak.
In its 2006 summer double issue, Rolling Stone named KXRK one of five "awesome rock outlets" that were thriving in their markets despite a recent contraction in rock radio stations across the United States.
Since fall 1995, X96 has hosted an annual all-day music festival called the Big Ass Show (BASh) featuring nationally-touring alternative and punk bands, as well as providing a stage for local bands. The most recent Big Ass Show, which was held on May 8, 2015, featured artists including 311, Rise Against, Panic! At The Disco, The Airborne Toxic Event, and others.
Current on-air staff
Former on-air staff
Chet Tapp: (1992 - 2002) Cuzzin Brad: Mister West: Weekends(1992 - 1997) Jimmy Chunga: Morning Show producer. (1993 - 1997) Andrea: (1992 - 1997) Andy Pants: Doug Wylde: Sean Boy Walton: Afternoons Dom Casual: Mornings "Project X with Dom and Bill" (1992 - 1994) Sean Demery Mike Lindsay Portia Early Artie Fufkin (1994 - 2009) Rhett Thomas (1996-2002 & 2007-2009) Mark Christiansen Afternoons 1992 - 1996
- Ross, Sean (1992-05-09). "Docket '92: Everything Else Is Just A Light? More Fights From Philly, Salt Lake City". Billboard. p. 85.
- Gilreath, Scott (1992-02-14). "Airwaves". Salt Lake Tribune. p. D7.; ex-KJQ DJs included Bill Allred (mornings), Dom Casual (mornings), Andrea Gappmayer (mid-day), Mike Summers (afternoon), Todd Nuke'em (evening) and Chet Tapp (overnight).
- Arave, Lynn (1996-09-20). "Change is the Name of the Game on Radio". Deseret News.
- Serpick, Evan (2006). "Rock Radio's Last Stand". Rolling Stone. 1 (1004 and 1005). p. 20.
- KXRK official website
- X96 The Documentary
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KXRK
- Radio-Locator information on KXRK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KXRK