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KXSN Sunny 981 logo.jpg
City San Diego, California
Broadcast area San Diego, California
Branding Sunny 98.1
Slogan Better Music for a Better Workday
Frequency 98.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date February 4, 1960 (as KJLM)
Format Adult Contemporary
HD2: Smooth Jazz "Smooth Jazz KIFM"
Language(s) English
Audience share 5.2 (Holiday 2016, Nielsen Audio[1])
ERP 26,500 watts
HAAT 209 meters
Class B
Facility ID 34589
Callsign meaning K X SunNy
Former callsigns KJLM (1960-1967)
KDIG (1967-1978)
KIFM (1978-2016)
Owner Entercom
(Entercom San Diego License, LLC)
Sister stations KSON, KBZT
Webcast Listen Live
Listen Live (HD2)
Website sunny981sd.com
Smooth Jazz KIFM (HD2)

KXSN is a commercial adult contemporary music radio station located in San Diego, California, broadcasting on 98.1 FM and is branded as Sunny 98.1. Owned by Entercom, the station's studios are located in San Diego's Mission Valley neighborhood, and the transmitter is located in La Jolla.


98.1 FM has been airing variations of the adult contemporary format since it signed on in 1960, first as KJLM, then KDIG and KIFM. In the mid-1980s, after airing a successful smooth jazz evening program called "Lights Out San Diego," KIFM went with smooth jazz around the clock as "Smooth Jazz 98.1". During smooth jazz's popularity, KIFM was one of the top rated stations in San Diego and was the 2005 winner of the Marconi Award. As the smooth jazz format began to age, KIFM shifted to smooth adult contemporary (airing mostly pop artists with R&B roots, such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna and Anita Baker, with only an occasional Smooth Jazz instrumental) in the Summer of 2011. KIFM began calling itself "98.1 Smooth FM". By the fall of that year, the station shifted to Rhythmic Adult Contemporary, by playing recent and older R&B and classic soul tracks. The original smooth jazz format moved to KIFM's HD2 subchannel.

On August 19, 2013, at 10 AM, 98.1 flipped to soft AC as "Easy 98.1".[1] The rebranding came after trailing San Diego's longtime AC leader, KYXY, in the Arbitron ratings reports. The final song on "Smooth" was "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis, while the first song on "Easy" was "Easy" by The Commodores. Since the flip, the station's ratings have improved dramatically, reaching #1 in several Arbitron ratings periods. At the same time, KYXY, like many stations that were originally Soft AC, has moved to a more Hot AC sound to attract younger listeners.

On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced that it was purchasing Lincoln Financial Group's entire 15-station lineup (including KIFM) in a $106.5 million deal, and would operate the outlets under a LMA deal until the sale is approved by the FCC.[2] The merger was approved by the FCC on July 14, 2015, and the sale was consummated on July 17.

On April 21, 2016, at 5 p.m., after playing "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot, KIFM rebranded as "Sunny 98.1," and relaunched its adult contemporary format, this time moving in a more contemporary direction. The first song on "Sunny" was "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & the Waves. Prior to the change, the station had led the San Diego market with a 6.2 share in the March 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings, making for a rare situation where a radio station at the top of the market ratings changed formats (though it was speculated the station made the change due to low advertising revenues with the previous format).[3] On April 28, 2016, KIFM changed call letters to KXSN to match the "Sunny" moniker (concurrently, the KIFM call letters were moved to sister KCTC in Sacramento).




  1. ^ KIFM San Diego Goes Easy from Radioinsight - August 19, 2013
  2. ^ "Entercom Acquires Lincoln Financial Media" from Radioinsight - December 8, 2014
  3. ^ Sun Sets For San Diego's Easy 98.1 from Radioinsight - April 21, 2016

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Coordinates: 32°50′17″N 117°15′00″W / 32.838°N 117.250°W / 32.838; -117.250