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|Broadcast area||Kansas City metropolitan area|
|Branding||106-5 The Wolf|
|Slogan||Kansas City's Country Station For the Most Music|
|Frequency||106.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||May 8, 1978 (as KFIX)|
HD2: KCSP Sports radio
HD3: Smooth Jazz
|HAAT||299 meters (981 ft)|
|Former callsigns||KFIX (1978-1979)|
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||KCSP, KMBZ, KMBZ-FM, KQRC, KRBZ, KWOD, KZPT|
WDAF-FM (106.5 MHz) is a commercial radio station licensed to Liberty, Missouri, and serving the Kansas City metropolitan area. Owned by Entercom Communications, the station airs a country music radio format, branded as "106.5 The Wolf." Studios and offices are located on Squibb Road in Mission, Kansas.
WDAF-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts, the maximum for non-grandfathered stations. The transmitter is located on Wallace Avenue in east Kansas City, near Interstate 435. WDAF-FM broadcasts in the HD Radio format. One of its subchannels carries co-owned sports radio station 610 KCSP and the other offers Smooth Jazz.
106.5 FM signed on the air on May 8, 1978, as KFIX-FM. It was the FM counterpart to AM 1140 KFIX (now KCXL), and was owned by Investments, Inc. KFIX-FM aired an Adult Top 40 format, with news updates from the NBC Radio Network. Prior to the official sign-on, test transmissions carried the call sign KSAB (standing for "Strauss-Abernathy Broadcasting").
SW Radio Enterprises took over in 1979, flipping the format on November 19th, changing call letters to KSAS, branded as "SAS 106 1/2". KSAS was a progressive rock station, in contrast to the more mainstream album oriented rock (AOR) sound of the top rock station, 102.1 KYYS (now KCKC). Golden East Broadcasting bought the station in March 1982. In March 1983, the station decided to take KYYS head-on, flipping to album rock, and changing the call letters to KKCI. Longtime Kansas City DJ Randy Miller made his first market appearance at KKCI.
Transcolumbia bought the station in 1985. On January 10, 1986, after failing to compete against KYYS, KKCI went off the air. Three weeks later, the station began a soft adult contemporary format, branded as "K-Lite," and changing the call letters to KLYT. K-Lite tried to compete in a crowded AC field. In November 1987, Olympia Broadcasting bought the station.
On July 29, 1988, at 2 p.m., after stunting for three days with a loop of "Kansas City" by The Beatles, KLYT flipped back to AOR, changing call letters to KXXR. Scout Broadcasting, subsidiary of Olympia, owned the station around the time of the flip. The first song under the new rock format was "Roll With It" by Steve Winwood.The format, dubbed "Today's Rock and Roll", was a combination of rock-friendly CHR hits, hard rock and modern rock. However, like the first time with the format, the second time as a rock station could not topple KYYS.
At 4 p.m. on June 15, 1990, after playing "Roll With It," KXXR flipped to a Rhythmic Contemporary format, branded as "X-106." The first song on "X" was "Me So Horny" by 2 Live Crew. Capitol Broadcasting bought the station on March 15, 1991, for $2.6 million. By June 1991, the station moved towards a more mainstream Top 40 direction. The ratings remained low ratings, prompting Capitol to change course.
Country-formatted 107.3 KCFM, owned by Meyer Communications, offered to swap frequencies. On February 16, 1992, at Midnight, after playing "2 Legit 2 Quit" by MC Hammer, the frequency swap between the two stations took place, with KXXR moving to 107.3 FM and KCFM moving to 106.5.
KKCJ and KCIY
After the frequency swap, 106.5 KCFM stunted with all-Garth Brooks music for about nine hours. It then changed its call sign to KKCJ (instituted on March 9) and moniker to "CJ-106". ("CJ" stood for "Country Junction".) Capitol continued to own the station. But the Sconnix Company, which owned country music rival 94.1 KFKF, entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) to run KCFM as well. KKCJ was meant to be a younger-audience complement to KFKF, which targeted a more middle-aged audience. But Kansas City already had three other popular country stations, 94.1 KFKF, AM 610 WDAF and 104.3 KBEQ (which flipped to country from Top 40 in February 1993). KCFM made number four.
On March 10, 1995, at Midnight, after Heritage Media bought KCFM, the station began stunting, this time with all-polka and Hootie & The Blowfish music. During the last 2 hours of the stunting, the station also aired modern rock music. On March 30, at 10 a.m., the station flipped to a smooth jazz format, branded as "106.5 The City." The first song on "The City" was "Smooth Operator" by Sade. On April 21, the station changed call letters to KCIY, to represent the word "City."
Sinclair bought the station in 1997, with Entercom taking over in 2000. KCIY became the top soft music station in the market around this time. However, it came at the expense of co-owned 98.1 KUDL, which aired a mainstream adult contemporary format.
In the summer of 2003, Entercom announced it would start a sports talk format on 610 AM. For decades, WDAF-AM aired a personality country music format, one of the last significant country stations on the AM band. Entercom entered into a lengthy decision process over which of its FM stations on which to put the AM's country format. At one point, it looked like 96.5 KRBZ would be sacrificed for it. But after KRBZ's listeners learned of the plan, they protested, leading to an executive order issued by Entercom corporate management to save KRBZ's alternative rock format.
Entercom then announced that 106.5 KCIY would end its smooth jazz sound and flip to country. At Noon on August 10, 2003, after a 6-hour farewell show (and playing "Neither One of Us" by Gladys Knight & the Pips), WDAF-AM began simulcasting on both 610 AM and 106.5 FM, for a one-month period until the sports talk format on 610 AM finally debuted on September 10.
The WDAF call letters were officially moved over on August 22. (There had been a previous WDAF-FM in Kansas City from 1961 to 1974, at 102.1 MHz, now KCKC.) On January 10, 2007, WDAF-FM rebranded as "106.5 the Wolf." WDAF-FM continues in Kansas City's three-way country radio station battle, along with KFKF 94.1 and KBEQ-FM 104.3, both owned by Steel City Media.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1979 page C-129
- "Sale of KLTY-FM to bring changes", The Kansas City Star, July 26, 1988.
- Barry Garron, "FM station tries for new beat", The Kansas City Star, July 29, 1988.
- "Kansas stations could move to KC", The Kansas City Star, June 16, 1990.
- "Radio station is sold for $2.6 million", The Kansas City Star, March 27, 1991.
- "KXXR and KFKF to be country cousins", The Kansas City Star, February 6, 1992.
- "KXXR will move down, not off, the dial", The Kansas City Star, February 8, 1992.
- Barry Garron, "KFKF radio coup won't serve public", The Kansas City Star, February 15, 1992.
- Brian McTavish, "KKCJ-FM sale cuts into country", The Kansas City Star, February 25, 1995.
- Brian McTavish, "Station's new sounds tune up to mainstream jazz", The Kansas City Star, March 31, 1995.
- "Radio station to drop 'smooth jazz' format", The Kansas City Star, July 19, 2003.
- "106.5 The City" Becomes "Country 106.5 WDAF"
- WDAF-FM Becomes "The Wolf"
- Official Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WDAF
- Radio-Locator information on WDAF
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WDAF
- "Missouri Goes in for Wireless" by A. B. Macdonald, The Country Gentleman, May 27, 1922, pages 12, 16.</ref>