|City||Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|Broadcast area||Santa Fe, Albuquerque and surrounding areas|
|First air date||1985 (as KIVA)|
|Former callsigns||KIVA (1985-1987)|
|Owner||American General Media |
(AGM Nevada, LLC)
|Sister stations||KABG, KIOT, KJFA, KJFA-FM, KKSS, KLVO|
KKRG-FM (105.1 FM) is a radio station licensed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, covering the Albuquerque area and northern New Mexico. It is currently owned by American General Media. Its studios are located in Northeast Albuquerque (a mile north of Central Avenue and the transmitter tower is located west of Los Alamos, New Mexico.
105.1 signed on in Fall 1985 as KIVA. The station had a Top 40 format that was first called "Kiva", but later rebranded as "Power 105" in 1987. By the end of 1989, the station would replace the local programming with a satellite delivered format called "The Heat" from Satellite Music Networks in Dallas, TX. After two years, the Top 40 format would be replaced by SMN's Z-Rock network, which played Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music.
Z-Rock had aired locally on then sister-station 1310 AM since September 8, 1988. Although a "narrow casting" effort the station intended to capitalized on the local popularity of rock and metal. In 1992, the call-letters of both stations were switched with 105.1 becoming KZRQ and the KIVA callsign moving to 1310 which had launched an Adult Standards format that April. It was around this time that Z-Rock would also begin to pick up more FM affiliates around the country under programming director Lee Abrams. While the format was national, there would be some local features on the station, as well as some local bands. Throughout 1995, KZRQ featured a local "night shift" program from 6 PM until Midnight. By the end of 1995, KZRQ was sold to Simmons Media Group.
Many changes (1996-2006)
In January 1996, Simmons discontinued the Z-Rock affiliation, and flipped KZRQ to a Hot Adult Contemporary format branded as "Star 105", attempting to challenge the more established KKOB-FM. Later, the format would briefly shift to Rhythmic AC; however, the format wouldn't last long due to low ratings.
In May 1997, 105.1 would pick up the Smooth Jazz format moved over from 101.3 as well as the KRZN callsign. The station was branded as "The Horizon". The new signal made the format available to Santa Fe and other surrounding communities. However, after two years and being unable to turn a profit, "The Horizon" ended in April 1999.
105.1 then switched to a mainstream top 40/CHR format, branded as "Channel 105one", becoming the first mainstream CHR station in the market in six years with the format enjoying a resurgence nationally at that time. The callsign then changed to KCHQ. KKOB-FM would also pick up a top 40 format soon after and the two stations would be in a head-to-head battle in the ratings. On November 7, 2000, the same day as the United States Presidential Election, KCHQ would change to an all-80's hits format while keeping the "Channel" brand. KKOB-FM would also change to the 80's format in early 2001, putting the two stations in direct competition once again with sister-station KKSS picking up the top 40/CHR format in March 2001. The format was dropped on 105.1 in November 2001.
Simmons, meanwhile, had revived the "Horizon" smooth jazz format on 101.3 in December 2000. It would once again be moved back to 105.1 in November 2001, along with the call letters KRQS. In 2002, Simmons would sell its FM radio stations to Hispanic Broadcasting Company for $22.5 million. HBC would keep the smooth jazz format on 105.1, but would change the call letters to KAJZ. By April 2004, the "Horizon" format would move over to the weaker 101.7 signal. HBC became Univision Radio in 2003.
After KAJZ moved to 101.7, 105.1 would revive a classic country format that had previously aired on 101.3 from late 2001 until November 2002, when HBC acquired the FM station cluster. The KKRG call letters would be picked up and the station would be branded as "The Range". While "The Range" had good ratings, Univision had dropped the format in March 2006 in favor of its "Recuerdo" Mexican oldies format. By the end of that year, Univision would switch formats, moving Regional Mexican KJFA from 101.3 to 105.1, while "Recuerdo" and the KKRG call letters moved to 101.3.
La Jefa (2006-2015)
105.1 enjoyed a long period of stability following the switch to KJFA which ran for over 8 years. KJFA started in November 2002 on the 101.3 frequency, but moved to 105.1 in late December 2006 by switching with KKRG, which, at the time, had a Mexican Oldies format branded as "Recuerdo", over to 101.3 which only covers the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The Piolin morning program had also been added at the beginning of 2007 as part of the effort to make the station more competitive with KLVO. These changes had helped make KJFA the new top Arbitron rated Spanish-language radio station in Albuquerque and creating a more competitive battle with the long running "Lobo" until that station had dropped the format in January 2011. The format and brand was revived in November 2012.
On July 22, 2013, Univision had cancelled the Piolin program. KJFA had seen a drop in ratings since then and has been in a low rated battle with KLVO with then adult hits formatted KRZY-FM "Jose 105.9" often leading among Spanish-language radio stations in the market. Piolin was picked up by rival KLVO in January 2015, resulting in a surge in ratings for that station. Piolin has since moved to middays on Entravision-owned KRZY-FM "La Suavecita".
On September 28, 2015, Univision moved KJFA back to 101.3 while moving the classic hip-hop format of KKRG to 105.1. With the frequency swap, KJFA changed its call sign to KKRG-FM. The station would be branded as "Yo! 105.1".
On June 14, 2017, American General Media announced that it would acquire KKRG-FM (along with sister stations KKSS and KIOT), making them part of a cluster with KABG, KLVO and KARS/K275AO. The sale price for the Univision cluster was $5 million, about $17 million less than it paid in 2002. The sale was approved on August 23, 2017, and consummated on September 1, 2017.
- Piolin Returns to Terrestrial Radio
- Univision Swaps Two Albuquerque Formats
- AGM Acquires Univision Albuquerque; Spins Four
- Yo! Santa Arrives in Albuquerque
- Mix 105.1 Debuts in Albuquerque Radioinsight - December 26, 2017
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KKRG
- Radio-Locator information on KKRG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KKRG