|Broadcast area||San Diego-Tijuana, Pasadena, California|
|First air date||May 13, 1991 (concession)|
|Callsign meaning||SURF (from "The Surf" name 2002-05)|
|Former callsigns||XETIN-AM, XEBACH-AM, XEJAZZ-AM|
|Owner||Radio Rys, S.A. de C.V.|
XESURF-AM is a Mexican-licensed radio station. The transmitter site is located near Tijuana, Baja California. The AM station is operated by Zion Multimedia Inc. located in Downey, California, United States. XESURF's signal is heard throughout much of Southern California, including the San Diego and Los Angeles metropolitan area.
In the 1940s, 540 kHz was home to KFMB. When KFMB moved up the dial to 760 kHz, the government broadcast authorities in the U.S. and Mexico reserved 540 kHz for a Mexico-based radio station. However, for a few years in the 1980s, there was a U.S.-licensed radio station at this frequency, KSHO in Hesperia, California. That station played Broadway show tunes.
It was not until May 13, 1991 that the concession was awarded for XETIN-AM, which was originally licensed as a 5 kW daytimer and owned by Víctor Manuel Moreno Torres. Ultimately, a Mexican concessionaire took over operation of XETIN for Los Angeles radio station owner Saul Levine. The station broadcast in Spanish until 1995, when XETIN became an all-news station branded as "K-News", simulcasting with KNNS (1260 AM) in Beverly Hills and KNNZ (540 AM) in Costa Mesa.
The station became XEBACH-AM in 1997, broadcasting classical music. The format flip was partly motivated by San Diego's original classical station, KFSD, moving to from 94.1 FM to 92.1 FM in Escondido at a far lower power. In June 2000, XEBACH became XEJAZZ-AM with a jazz format relayed from KJAZ (1260 AM) in Los Angeles. The format did not last long, and XEJAZZ promptly became XEBACH again in May 2001. In March 2002, motivated by low ratings and the move of the San Diego Opera to KPBS-FM, Saul Levine opted to flip formats, and the station was relaunched with an adult standards format known as The Surf, which aired on newly rechristened XESURF-AM and on KSUR (1260 AM) in Los Angeles. The station spent much of the mid-2000s simulcasting that station (subsequently renamed KKGO), with adult standards until February 2004, oldies until February 2005, and then adult standards again until October 2006.
In October 2006, the station ended its simulcast with KKGO and flipped to a country music format. Although San Diego had country music on KSON-FM (97.3) and KUSS (95.7 FM), Saul Levine sought to fill the void created when KZLA-FM in Los Angeles dropped the country music format; the XESURF signal reaches Orange County, which Levine called "the center of country music listening." The country format was simulcast with KKGO starting on December 1, 2006; when KKGO and the country music format moved to 105.1 FM in February 2007, the format was still simulcast on XESURF. In May 2007, the station split to air classic country music as "540 The Zoo".
On November 27, 2007, XESURF changed formats yet again, to a news/talk format simulcast from KGIL (1260 AM). After KGIL dropped the talk format on August 27, 2009, XESURF temporarily carried an oldies format until changing to Spanish-language programming that September.
In March 2010, the concession was transferred to a Mexican company named Radio Rys, S.A. de C.V. It is owned by members of the Alonso Coratella family, which also holds the Mexican concessions for Entravision Communications's three Mexican stations, including XHAS-TDT and XHDTV-TDT in the Tijuana area.
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- RPC: Cesión de Derechos - XESURF-AM