KDMX
1029 Now DFW.png
Broadcast areaDallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
Frequency102.9 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding102.9 NOW
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatHot AC
Ownership
Owner
KDGE, KEGL, KFXR, KHKS, KHVN, KKGM, KZPS
History
First air date
1960;
62 years ago
 (1960) (as KQRO)
Former call signs
  • KQRO (1960 (1960)—1965 (1965))
  • KEIR (1965 (1965)—1971 (1971))
  • KDTX (1971 (1971)—1977 (1977))
  • KMGC (1977 (1977)—1991 (1991))
Call sign meaning
"Dallas' Mix" (former branding)
Technical information
Facility ID47739
ClassC
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT1,788 feet (545 m)
Transmitter coordinates
32°34′54″N 96°58′32″W / 32.58167°N 96.97556°W / 32.58167; -96.97556
Links
WebcastListen live (via iHeartRadio)
Website1029now.iheart.com

KDMX (102.9 MHz FM) is a radio station serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas. It is currently owned and operated by iHeartMedia, and airs a hot adult contemporary format. The station's studios are located along Dallas Parkway in Farmers Branch (although it has a Dallas address), and the transmitter site is in Cedar Hill.

History

This station first began its broadcasting activities as KQRO on October 15, 1960 (although license was granted on July 2, 1959). It went dark a year later then returned to the airwaves in 1962. For that time, KQRO's format consisted mostly of classical and orchestral music. In 1965, the callsign was changed to KEIR after being purchased by trade school Elkins Institute of Radio and Electronics. The station was used for training by Elkins with a two-room studio and transmitter located in the Life Building on Jackson Street in downtown Dallas, although the school was located near Love Field on Inwood Road. The station's Effective Radiated Power (ERP) was 9,700 watts and was difficult to be received outside Loop 635 around Dallas. The station's format was "Middle of the Road" featuring easy listening vocal and instrumental album tracks from 11 a.m. to 11 pm. daily. The station was sold by Elkins when the school obtained a license for a non-commercial FM station in 1971.

In 1971, the call letters were changed once again to KDTX, this time with a religious format. Six years later, the callsign was changed to KMGC (the KDTX call letters were later used on a local TV station in 1987, ironically with Christian programming) and the Christian contemporary format continued up until September 1977. It was then changed to an adult contemporary format as Mellow 102.9 and a month later to Magic 102.9. Prior to that, a mass distribution of door-hanger flyers announced the station is coming. The station enjoyed a loyal following until May 9, 1991, when, after Nationwide Communications bought the station, KMGC began stunting with a series of formats ranging from rock oldies (as "Cool 102.9" on May 9) to country (as "Kickin' Country" on May 10) to an all-Beatles format (also on May 10), and then party cocktail noise on May 11 and May 12, before changing to its current callsign and settling on its long-running Hot adult contemporary format as "Mix 102.9" on May 13 at 5:30 a.m.[1][2] Program Director Pat McMahon, Assistant Program Director Steve Knoll and Production Director Dave Kay planned the stunting. In October 1997, Nationwide sold the station and sister KEGL to Jacor.[3] In 1999, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications.

KDMX's logo under previous "Mix 102.9" branding
KDMX's logo under previous "Mix 102.9" branding

In 2009, Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) laid off over 2,000 employees to lower costs and forced its "Mix" branded stations to voice track most of their airtime, leaving very few live personalities across the nation.[4] Among laying off in Dallas, the voices of midday personality Lisa Thomas was replaced with fellow Clear Channel station KUSS's midday personality, Cindy Spicer. Late night personality Joe Kelley was replaced with voicetracking. Morning co-host Tony Zazza was replaced with weeknight personality Jen Austin and Program Director Rick. Zazza then became the morning host at former competing station CBS Radio-owned 103.7 KVIL, which flipped full-time to Hot AC/Adult Top 40 in early 2014. Later that year, Jen Austin was laid off as well. With afternoons, shortly hosted by PD Rick, but was later replaced by the satellite-fed On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

In 2011, in response to changing listener habits, KDMX began adding more hip-hop and EDM titles to its playlist, and was briefly marketed as "The New Sound of Mix 102.9".[5]

On May 18, 2012, KDMX rebranded as 102.9 Now,[6] dropping most modern AC artists, and shifted to an adult top 40 format heavy on currents and recurrents. However, as of October 2012, KDMX returned to Hot AC. Some of the Modern AC artists have returned to the station's playlist, and dropped some hip hop tracks, though the station still has a current-heavy focus with less dependence on gold tracks. The switch back to Hot AC was likely due to low ratings, as well as to avoid playlist overlap with sister Top 40 KHKS.

It is noted that both KDMX and Tacoma/Olympia, Washington-based sister station KYNW (which flipped to Adult Top 40 themselves in June 2013) shared the same branding and logo until January 2016.

KDMX-HD2

KDMX originally launched a secondary HD Radio (HD2) subchannel known as "The Music Summit", broadcasting an AAA format. It has since then moved to KZPS 92.5-HD2 to make way for Pride Radio (previously on KHKS-HD2) with a format intended for the LGBT community. On March 28, 2011, 102.9-HD2 flipped to a Soft Oldies/AC Gold format as "Sunny 102.9-HD2", shifting "Pride Radio" back to 106.1-HD2. Beginning January 8, 2014, KDMX-HD2's format has been changed to a syndicated Delilah nighttime love songs program that was previously dropped by KVIL.[7][8]

In September 2018, "Delilah" was replaced with KDMX's former "Mix" branding, following a similar move at sister KDGE, which relaunched their former alternative format under the long-time "Edge" branding.

As of February 2021, KDMX-HD2 ceased operations, leaving no programming replacement.

References

  1. ^ "Magic 102.9 fires several staffers to change format". Dallas Morning News. April 15, 1991.
  2. ^ "New radio station joins adult contemporary fray". Dallas Morning News. May 13, 1991.
  3. ^ "Jacor deal includes KEGL-FM; Nationwide also selling KDMX to broadcaster". Dallas Morning News. October 28, 1997.
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "102.9 NOW Music (playlist)". 102.9 NOW. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  6. ^ Venta, Lance (May 18, 2012). "KDMX Dallas Revamps NOW". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on November 26, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  7. ^ KVIL adds Blake Powers as evening DJ - DFW.com (released January 21, 2014)
  8. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=10 Archived 2015-11-23 at the Wayback Machine HD Radio Guide for Dallas-Ft. Worth