|Broadcast area||Quad Cities|
|Branding||ESPN Quad Cities|
|KBEA-FM, KIIK-FM, KJOC, WXLP|
First air date
|July 7, 1946 (as KSTT)|
Former call signs
(4 towers daytime)
(6 towers nighttime)
|Translator(s)||104.1 K281DB (Davenport)|
KBOB is a radio station licensed to Davenport, Iowa, and airs a sports format. The station's frequency is 1170 kHz, and broadcasts at a power of 1 kW. Its transmitter is in Knoxville Road just outside of Milan, Illinois.
KBOB is owned by Townsquare Media, with studios located at 1229 Brady Street in Davenport, Iowa (along with the co-located KJOC, WXLP, KBEA-FM and KIIK-FM).
The station signed on July 7, 1946 as KSTT, broadcasting from the Hotel Davenport in downtown Davenport. Format was typical of the era, with big band and vocal pop, along with news, sports and farm markets.
It wasn't until the mid-1950s—when it began playing the then-new Top 40/Contemporary Hit Radio genre—that the station really took off in popularity. Disc jockeys made liberal use of listener requests and call-in contests. If there was a live broadcast or news happening in the Quad Cities, listeners were sure to spot the "Big Red" mobile news cruiser. KSTT also polled listeners on their favorite current songs, which disc jockeys then presented in a weekly countdown program. Quad Cities area servicemen in Vietnam had tapes of KSTT programming sent to them.
The station, which moved in 1963 to 1111 East River Drive in downtown Davenport, had a large window in its studio, where motorists could see their favorite on-air disc jockeys broadcasting. Listeners today remember such radio personalities as Jay Gregory, Mike Kenneally, Michelle Coleman, Tom Clay, Bill Young, Greg Garron, Bryan Bradford, Dave Shropshire, Lou Gutenberger, Bobby Rich, Bob Bateman, Ruth & Fred, "Spike @ the Mic" O'Dell & Jim O'Hara, each of them presenting the current Top 40 hits in an entertaining way. Members of the station's award-winning news department included News Director Jerry Reid and reporters Dave Douglas (Tom Hosmanek), Gary Hummel, Paulee Lipsman, John Cloghssey, Dan Kennedy, Dan Potter, Jack Gabor, David McAlary & Fred Manfra.
KSTT listeners became participants as well as listeners, phoning in news tips, requesting songs. They attended KSTT-sponsored "hootenannys", sock-hops, "Smallstars" basketball games, picnics, concerts & "Good Guy-A-Go-Go" dances & contests. Dick Orkin's infamous "Chicken Man" a radio series & "The Tooth Fairy" another radio series episodes were heard daily.
For many years, KSTT remained the top-rated station in the Quad Cities market. But by the late 1970s early 1980s, KSTT's audience started to shrink. In August 1984, KSTT changed callsigns to KKZX, known to listeners as "11-KZX", and took one last-ditch effort at Top 40 music and had mild success. In early 1986, KKZX flipped to easy listening until 1987. After Guy Gannett Broadcasting sold the station as well as its sister station 97X to Goodrich Broadcasting, the station returned to its legendary KSTT call letters, but began programming "Golden Oldies" music from the 1950s through early 1970s. It worked for a while, but the resurgence was temporary.
Beginning in January 1989, KSTT was doing some simulcasting with sister FM station WXLP. By February 1992, 1170 AM's format was largely sports talk. In March 1993, the station's call letters were switched to KJOC.
During its 10-year run as a sports station, KJOC received most of its programming from ESPN Radio, and was the Quad Cities outlet for Chicago-area professional sports, including the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. For most of the 1990s, KJOC also provided coverage of local sports.
In April 2003, KJOC adopted a talk radio format. Branding itself as "Super Talk 1170," KJOC's flagship program was "The O'Reilly Factor" hosted by Bill O'Reilly. Chicago-area sports remained a fixture on the station.
On August 20, 2008, KJOC switched to an oldies format, getting most of its programming from ABC Radio Networks' "True Oldies Channel." The sports lineup continued to feature Chicago-area and Iowa State University sports.
On February 20, 2012, KUUL dropped their longtime oldies format and switched to a Top 40, which temporarily left KJOC as the lone oldies station in the Quad Cities; shortly after KUUL's switch, WYEC ("Rewind 93.9") began emphasizing its oldies format, which it had adopted some time earlier. KJOC's "True Oldies Channel" service focused on 1960s and 1970s music, while WYEC largely played music from the 1970s and 1980s plus some from the 1960s.
On August 30, 2013, a deal was announced in which Townsquare Media would acquire 53 Cumulus Media stations, including KJOC, for $238 million. The deal is part of Cumulus' acquisition of Dial Global; Townsquare and Dial Global are both controlled by Oaktree Capital Management. The transaction was consummated effective November 14, 2013.
The format switched back to sports – a format last at 1170 AM 11 years earlier – on May 1, 2014, once again getting network programming from ESPN Radio.
On June 16, 2014, sister station KQCS (93.5 FM) began simulcasting KJOC's AM signal, as part of a planned format change – from hot adult contemporary to sports – at that frequency. The call letters were switched to KBOB (the letters formerly held by the station's sister frequency at 104.9 FM) on July 1, but initially continued to simulcast the sports talk format.
On September 8, 2014, a new classic country music format debuted at 1170 AM, with programming from Westwood One. The station was slated to begin carrying reports from the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network by mid-September. Initial plans were to continue carrying Iowa State University sports events and local high school sports, as the station has done in the past; Chicago Cubs games were to remain at 1170 AM until the 2015 season, at which time they were to begin being carried on 93.5 FM. It was the first time 1170 AM carried a country music format full time, and marked the first-time local agriculture reports were available on a Quad Cities radio station since 2004.
In January 2015, it was announced that KBOB would become the radio broadcaster for the Quad Cities River Bandits; a Class-A Minor League Baseball team which is the Midwest League affiliate of the Houston Astros. 1AM 1170 had been the play-by-play broadcaster for the 2Quad Cities River Bandits from 1988 to 1996 before losing the broadcast rights to cross-market competitor WKBF in 1997. 2015 marks the first time AM 1170 would be the play-by-play broadcaster for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 19 years.
On August 30, 2019, KBOB returned to sports talk, branded as "ESPN 1170 AM", which moved from sister KJOC. Concurrently, that station flipped to active rock.