|Broadcast area||Greater Austin|
|Slogan||Playing Your All Time Country Favorites|
|Frequency||98.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||103.1 K276EL (Austin, relays HD2)|
|First air date||October 25, 1990|
HD2: Spanish Contemporary "Tu 103.1"
|HAAT||397 meters (1,302 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||K VETerans (AM station's owners were WWII vets)|
|Former callsigns||KHFI-FM (1956-1990)|
|Former frequencies||98.3 MHz (1956-1990)|
(Capstar TX LLC)
|Sister stations||KASE, KHFI, KPEZ, KVET|
|Webcast||FM/HD1: KVET-FM Listen Live|
HD2: Tu 103.1 Listen Live
KVET-FM (98.1 MHz, "98.1 K-VET") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Austin, Texas. It is owned by iHeartMedia and airs a country music radio format. KVET-FM shares studios and offices with other iHeart sister stations in the Penn Field complex in the South Congress district (or "SoCo") in south central Austin within walking distance of St. Edward's University. The transmitter is off Buckman Mountain Road in Austin, amid the towers of other local FM and TV stations.
KVET AM 1300
With the end of World War II, a group of Texas veterans pooled their resources to start a radio station in Austin. They chose a call sign that includes the word "Vet." KVET AM 1300 signed on the air on October 1, 1946. The owners included future Texas Governor John Connally and future Congressman Jake Pickle. KVET, Austin's third radio station, was a network affiliate of the Mutual Broadcasting System, carrying its schedule of dramas, comedies, news, talk, cooking shows, soap operas and big band broadcasts during the "Golden Age of Radio." Connally initially served as KVET's president and general manager. Later as governor, he was seriously wounded in November 1963 during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as they rode together in an open limousine in Dallas.
Unusual for its day, KVET also included programming for Austin's minority communities. Spanish language news and music was heard on "Noche De Fiesta." Music and news for African American listeners was heard on "The Elmer Akins Gospel Train." In the 1950s, even more diversity was added to the lineup when Lavada Durst introduced Austin to R&B and "Jive Talk" on KVET's nighttime "Dr. Hepcat Show." Noche de Fiesta and Dr. Hepcat were phased out in the 1960s, but the Gospel Train was on the air on KVET for many years after.
KVET switched formats to country music on April 14, 1969, and the "Country Giant" was born. Popular DJs Arleigh Duff, Penny Reeves, Jerry Gee and Sammy Allred took KVET to the top of the local ratings during the 1970s. In the 80s, KVET aired country music, news and sports, including Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys football.
KVET's AM/FM Simulcast
In September 1990, the owners of KVET and its FM sister station, 100.7 KASE-FM, reached an agreement with the owners of 98.1 KHFI to lease KHFI's signal for rebroadcasting KVET on FM. This was one of the earliest local marketing agreements (LMAs), set up to work around ownership caps. At the time, no one could own more than one AM and one FM in the same radio market. For several years, KVET listeners could hear it on either AM 1300 or FM 98.1. Over time, most KVET fans were tuning in the 100,000 watt stereo FM signal.
In 1994, the AM station switched to all talk, and later all sports in 1998, leaving the FM signal carrying the country format on its own. With KVET's new FM signal came the creation of the Sammy Allred and Bob Cole Morning Call-In Show. The show was a consistent ratings winner until Allred was fired in October 2007 for using profanity on the air.
98.1 Before KVET-FM
Austin's 98.1 frequency first belonged to KHFI-FM, which signed on in 1958, originally at 98.3 MHz. It was Austin's first FM station. At first, KHFI-FM was only powered at 700 watts and was owned by James E. Moore, Jr. The station's format was classical music. Because FM was considered a broadcast band with higher fidelity, the station's call sign stood for Hi FI.
In 1964, KHFI got an AM counterpart, 970 kHz (now KIXL in Del Valle, Texas). The two stations were owned by the Southwest Republic Corporation, with John R. Kingsbery serving as president. In 1965, Kingsbery put Austin's second TV station on the air, KHFI-TV Channel 42 (now KXAN-TV Channel 36). In 1979, KHFI-AM-FM-TV were acquired by LIN Broadcasting.
Under Lin, KHFI-FM began its long tenure as a Top 40 station, though it would later shift towards Album Oriented Rock for a brief time. Shortly after the format flip, some of the people who had worked on the classical station got together and founded non-commercial KMFA-FM 89.5 which remains Austin's classical music station to this day.
In the spring of 1990, Top 40 KHFI moved from the weak Class A 98.3 MHz facility to 98.1 MHz, as a class C1 FM station with a 100,000 watt signal. But it only broadcast on 98.1 a few months before KVET took over the frequency and KHFI switched to 96.7.
Change in Ownership
In 1998, KVET (AM), KVET-FM and KASE-FM were acquired by Capstar. In 2000, Capstar also picked up 105.9 KFMK-FM.
In May 2007, morning show host Sammy Allred was suspended after calling presidential candidate Barack Obama a "clean darky," in response to Sen. Joseph Biden's comments about Obama. He was fired on October 30, 2007, for apparently swearing on-air, calling a listener an "a-hole."
Allred's firing came just three days after afternoon host Janice Williams was terminated for budgetary reasons.
KVET-HD2 and K276EL Translator
Initially, the 103.1 K276EL translator station broadcast the "Air 1" Contemporary Christian music network from Educational Media Foundation. When Clear Channel acquired the translator, Air 1 was dropped in favor of a simulcast of co-owned sports station KVET AM 1300. The simulcast lasted until May 8, 2012, at 3 p.m., when a rhythmic adult contemporary format was launched as "Jammin' 103.1."
On March 7, 2013, at 3 p.m., after playing "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order, KVET-HD2 and K276EL flipped to "iHeart Austin", which was intended as a temporary "pop-up format" dedicated to the South By Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Festivals. The translator station aired coverage of the festival and featured music by artists playing there. The playlist consisted of a diverse mix of newer and past favorites of alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock and new wave, as well as some hip-hop and EDM tracks. It was originally intended to run through the end of the festival on March 17, with the "Jammin'" format returning to the frequency, but Clear Channel management decided to continue the format after the end of South By Southwest.
After the festival, the subchannel began airing Premium Choice's "Alt Project" feed (except during subsequent festivals, when local programming returned). On May 23, 2017, at 10 a.m., after playing "Fell on Black Days" by Soundgarden, KVET-HD2/K276EL switched to a Spanish CHR format, branded as "Tu 103.1." The first song on "Tu" was "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
- Bama, Rob & Heather
- Bama Brown
- Rob Mason
- Heather White
- The group also used to produce a music intensive afternoon show on XM11 Nashville!
- Angie Ward
- Bob Pickett
- Big Frank
- Scott Fisher, Weather
- Image Voice: John Willyard
'"Awards'" KVET-FM has been nominated for the CMA Large Market Station of the Year in 2011 and previous years.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1947 page 186
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1957 page 246
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1965 page B-146
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1980 page C-217
- Williams, Jackson (March 3, 2007). "Racism On The Radio Toward Barack Obama". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "KVET's Allred Appears Fired This Time". AllAccess.com. October 31, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Austin Gets Jammin'
- "Live from Austin, it's SXSW Radio". Inside Radio. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- iHeart Austin Launches
- Venta, Lance (March 3, 2007). "Clear Channel Launches SXSW Micro Format In Austin". RadioInsight. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "103.1 iHeartAustin Pop-Up Outlet Becomes Permanent". Radio Online. March 29, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- iHeartMedia Launches Tu 103.1 Austin Radioinsight - May 23, 2017
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KVET
- Radio-Locator information on KVET
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KVET
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K276EL
- Radio-Locator information on K276EL