This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "KEGL" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
KEGL
KEGL 97.1 The Freak logo.png
Broadcast areaDallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
Frequency97.1 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding97.1 The Freak
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatHot Talk/Sports
SubchannelsHD2: Mainstream Rock "97.1 HD2 The Eagle"
AffiliationsDallas Mavericks
Ownership
Owner
KDGE, KDMX, KFXR, KHKS, KHVN, KKGM, KZPS
History
First air date
June 7, 1959;
63 years ago
 (1959-06-07) (as KFJZ)
Former call signs
  • KFJZ-FM (1959–1969)
  • KWXI (1969–1976)
  • KFJZ (1976–1981)
Call sign meaning
"Eagle" (former branding)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID18114
ClassC
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT1,667 feet (508 m)
Links
Public license information
Webcast
Website971thefreak.iheart.com

KEGL (97.1 FM) is a radio station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, United States. The station broadcasts to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. KEGL is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. 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

Rock/Top 40 era

Formerly KFJZ-FM and KWXI ("Quicksie," using the longtime moniker of WQXI in Atlanta) and again as KFJZ-FM (as Z97, and later Z97 The Texas' Music Star, and Texas' FM97), KEGL was one of three rock and roll stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex throughout most of the 1980s. Robert Jones, known on air as "Christopher Haze", became the program director of the station in August 1980, and changed the call letters and imaging of the station as Eagle 97 on January 20, 1981. Within a short period of time, the station aired a hybrid rock/top 40 format known as "Rock 40." The original morning show was "The Rude Awakening Morning Show", consisting of Billy Hayes, Rose Wright and "The Rude Moose" (a character voiced by billy).[1] Future KLOL Houston morning jocks Stevens and Pruett were the next morning show hosts from February 1982 to March 28, 1986. Stevens and Pruett were replaced with Paul Robbins, Paul Kinney, and Phil Cowan. James Paul "Moby" Carney was added to the lineup as the afternoon drive jock on September 1, 1986. Jocks from the earlier era of KEGL included Drew Pierce, Charlie "Doc" Morgan, Danny Owen, Jonathan Doll, Dave Cooley, Jimmy Steal, Anthony "Tony Paraquat" Johnson, Jimmy White (1980–84; hosted an afternoon talk show on the station called "Relationships", during 1981–82), Sharon Golihar-Wilson (who hosted the evening show "House Party"), Lisa Traxler (who went on to work at Boston's WBCN), Russ Martin (who hosted a late Sunday night talk program), and Martha Martinez reported news during Stevens and Pruett's program.

David "Kidd Kraddick" Cradick (who would go on to greater success at now-sister station KHKS) started his career as KEGL's night DJ in 1984, then moved to afternoon drive on October 20, 1986, when "Moby in the Morning" replaced RKC, who left to do mornings in Sacramento. (Cradick used his real first name, Dave, for a time between 1989 and 1991. He was also known for a regular segment, "Burn Your Buns," where a fake threatening telephone call was placed to a specific unsuspecting person, by a listener's request.) Moby left KEGL on April 8, 1988, because of Federal Communications Commission's alleged violations of content. Cradick was then moved to mornings with "The Kidd Kraddick and Company Morning Show"; the show debuted on April 11, 1988. Rusty Humphries was briefly a personality for KEGL in the 1990s, known for his attempt to "smuggle" toy weapons into the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as an on-air stunt.[2]: 30-A 

Through most of the 1980s, the station was owned by Sandusky, a newspaper company. The studios were located in the Xerox Tower at 222 West Las Colinas Blvd. in Las Colinas, a commercial district in the Dallas suburb of Irving. (The station had been located at 4801 West Freeway in Fort Worth under the original KFJZ-FM and KWXI tenures, then at 5915 West Pioneer Parkway in Arlington during the second incarnation of KFJZ.)

CHR/Rock era

Responding to KTKS-FM's format change from oldies to Top 40/CHR, KEGL changed to a rock-leaning Top 40/CHR format on September 12, 1984, and altered its moniker Eagle 97 KEGL to All Hit 97.1 KEGL, The Eagle. KEGL's Program Director at the time was Joel Folger. By late 1987, KEGL began adding mainstream pop and upbeat rhythmic titles in addition to the rock material the station was known for. KEGL would shift back to a rock-lean in 1989, but would shift back to a mainstream Top 40/CHR; during this time, KEGL competed with KHYI ("Y95").

In June 1992, KEGL's first female Program Director Donna Fadal decided to make changes to the station. After being jockless for most of the summer (and stunting with weeks of Eagles songs), KEGL changed to active rock, while retaining the "Eagle" branding. KEGL also hired former Z Rock jock Madd Maxx Hammer for afternoons.[3]: 35-A [4]

The first active rock era

KEGL was a Howard Stern affiliate from September 8, 1992, to July 26, 1997. This ended when he criticized the new ownership, Nationwide, an insurance company, on the air. In August 1997, Russ Martin took over the morning show. Within six months, "The Russ Martin Show" had returned the morning program to its #1 ranking in the Adults 25–54 and Men 25–54 demographics. In late 1999, Jacor, who had bought the Nationwide Communications chain of stations in mid-1997, was bought by iHeartMedia (then known as Clear Channel Communications). Martin quit KEGL on March 15, 2000, after co-host Rich Berra had been hired and Martin did not like him; in addition, Martin had been offered to host mornings on Infinity Broadcasting's KLLI. Another controversial show that aired on KEGL was Kramer and Twitch (hosted by Keith Kramer and Tony "Twitch" Longo) in evenings, who had started on KEGL's sister station KDMX, but were moved to the rock formatted KEGL because they were more suited for that genre. In 2001, a prank was aired on the show stating that Britney Spears was dead in an accident, to the horror of her fans. The phony report, which made it around the world in less than 24 hours (being reported on Australian news reports), also falsely stated that her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, was critically injured in the wreck. Trouble followed, including hundreds of calls to local law enforcement agencies,[5] and Kramer and Twitch were fired from KEGL. Both would go their separate ways as they ventured into other markets.

97.1 The Eagle logo used from 2000 to 2004
97.1 The Eagle logo used from 2000 to 2004

One week later, motorists in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex were outraged over a billboard promoting the station that was entitled "Highway to Hell", a reference to the AC/DC song of the same name. The billboard, which was erected on a major Dallas thoroughfare, featured Satan giving a lethal injection to Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh, who was executed just days before the billboard went up.[6]

At one point during this time period, a DJ allegedly fed a rabbit to a snake on the air.[7]: 4 

As Sunny and La Preciosa (2004–2007)

Sunny 97.1 logo used from 2004 to 2005.
Sunny 97.1 logo used from 2004 to 2005.

A decision was made to eliminate the rock format on KEGL as Clear Channel also owned similarly formatted KDGE. At 5 p.m. on May 18, 2004, the first "Eagle" era came to an end after 23 years, and flipped to a gold-based adult contemporary format, branded as "Sunny 97.1".[8] This move was possibly done in response to similarly formatted KMEO (now KTCK-FM) flipping to Modern/Texas Country music at the time. The final song on "The Eagle" was "Eagles Fly" by Sammy Hagar, while the first song on "Sunny" was "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles.[9] Competing head-on with longtime adult contemporary radio station KVIL-FM and sharing an audience with KLUV-FM, "Sunny" had poor ratings during its tenure. (Previously, from 1992 to 1996, the "Sunny" branding was once used on KSNN-FM (now KWRD-FM) as a Classic Country station.) Mornings were hosted by former rock-formatted jock "Fast" Eddie Coyle; he was later teamed with Anna Deharo. Other jocks included Stacey James, Jeff Thomas, Dave Mason, and Steve Knoll.

On August 25, 2005, KEGL became "La Preciosa", a Spanish language oldies format (not to be confused with KDFT, who uses the branding La Poderosa).[10] "Sunny" morning show co-host Anna Deharo was held over for the new format. With several other Spanish stations in the market, "La Preciosa" did not live up to expectations.

The Eagle returns

La Preciosa 97.1 logo used from 2005 to 2007.
La Preciosa 97.1 logo used from 2005 to 2007.
logo under second iteration as The Eagle, 2007-2022
logo under second iteration as The Eagle, 2007-2022

"La Preciosa" dropped its Spanish format and began stunting with a commercial-free Christmas music format at midnight on December 1, 2007.[11] Clear Channel announced that KEGL would return to an English format after the holiday season, but kept the new format secret to keep listeners guessing. At 10 a.m. on December 18, 2007, "The Eagle" was relaunched, with the first song on the revived format being "Flying High Again" by Ozzy Osbourne.[12][13] On January 7 and 8, 2008, KEGL simulcasted The Lex and Terry Show from KDGE. On January 9, The Lex and Terry Show moved its flagship station from "The Edge" to KEGL. Former mid-day host Chris Ryan was brought on as afternoon drive host and program director. Former KEGL jock Cindy Scull was rehired in 2008 to host a live weekend shift.

KEGL lost a competitor when Cumulus Media's KDBN (now KLIF-FM) flipped to adult album alternative on April 27, 2009. In response to the flip of KDBN, KEGL adjusted its format to mainstream rock, with a heavy emphasis on rock music from its 1980s heyday.

On January 8, 2010, KEGL briefly changed its name to "97.1 The Bird", replacing the Eagle name as a stunt. The change was made just before the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card playoffs, and the station did not want to be associated with the Eagles in any way. The station reverted to "97.1 The Eagle" the next day.

On January 20, 2010, station management announced that morning show hosts Lex & Terry would be replaced beginning January 21. Cindy Scull, who had held the evening shift on the station, was moved to mornings "on an interim basis" while the morning show underwent retooling that would "involve playing more music".[14] The station also added Saturday morning programming with John Clay Wolfe at this time.

On July 1, 2010, KEGL announced the return of The Russ Martin Show. The show began airing on July 12, 2010 in the 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. time slot.[15] On September 26, 2011, KEGL rearranged the lineup to move The Russ Martin Show to the afternoon shift, while mid-day host Cindy Scull moved to mornings. Chris Ryan, the previous afternoon shift host, moved to mid-days.[16]

On May 7, 2012, KEGL moved Sixx Sense from evenings to mornings, while the previous morning show hosted by Cindy Scull moved to evenings. The rest of the KEGL lineup remained unchanged.[17] On May 6, 2013, the station's lineup reverted to its previous lineup from mornings to evenings, with Cindy Scull returning to mornings, Russ Martin on afternoon drive time, and Sixx Sense back to evenings.

On November 17, 2016, after sister station KDGE dropped its alternative format in favor of mainstream AC, KEGL began incorporating more alternative artists into its playlist normally not played on active rock stations such as Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots.[18] As a result, this left KEGL as the lone mainstream rock station in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market, until the alternative format returned to the market a year later when KVIL flipped to an alternative format.[19]

On August 23, 2021, multiple reports indicate that KEGL would become the new flagship station of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team's game broadcasts starting with the 2021-22 season. Previously, the Mavericks games were broadcasting on Disney-owned KESN for 20 years.[20]

Flip to hot talk/sports as The Freak

On September 25, 2022, it was reported that KEGL would soon again drop the "Eagle" branding and rock format and relaunch as a hybrid sports/hot talk station as "97.1 The Freak". The hot talk format was also previously used as a secondary format in its primary rock format before the switch. The Dallas Mavericks play-by-play and afternoon hosts Ben and Skin will remain with the station; the remainder of the new format's lineup will feature hosts formerly employed by the market's existing sports stations, including Mike Rhyner (he would come out of retirement to join the station after abruptly retiring from KTCK, having been one of the founding hosts of their format, in January 2020; the branding of the format is based on his longtime on-air nickname), as well as fellow former KTCK hosts Julie Dobbs and Mike Sirous as well as Jeff Cavanaugh, formerly of KRLD-FM.[21] Ahead of the move, "Eagle" late afternoon hosts Dan O’Malley and Alfie Coy (and, by extension, their show "The Treehouse"), as well as Dallas Region President Kelly Kibler, were let go, and KEGL/KZPS Program Director Don Davis had resigned earlier in the month. The change also comes due to the station's poor rating performance, with KEGL being ranked twenty-eighth in the Dallas-Fort Worth market with a 1.3 share in the August 2022 PPM rating report.[22]

On September 30, at 2 p.m., afternoon host Alan Ayo signed off the music portion of the "Eagle" format, with the final songs played being "Hurt" by Johnny Cash, "Everlong" by Foo Fighters, and "Fade to Black" by Metallica. At 5 p.m., following that day's broadcast of "The Ben and Skin Show", the station began stunting with a loop of songs with the word "Freak" in their name (specifically Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On", Rick James' "Super Freak", "Freaks Come Out at Night" by Whodini, and Chic's "Le Freak", in that order) with liners stating "What the freak is going on? Tune in Monday at 3 [p.m.] to find out", as well as redirecting former "Eagle" listeners to the station's HD2 subchannel, where the format would move, as well as KZPS.[21]

The shift to "The Freak" took place on October 3 at 3 p.m., with Mike Rhyner and Mike Sirois in the 3-7 p.m. afternoon slot on a show called The Downbeat, following a 7-11 am show called The Speakeasy with Jeff Cavanaugh, and an 11 am-3 pm slot for The Ben & Skin Show with Ben Rogers, Jeff “Skin” Wade, Krystina “K-Ray” Ray and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.[21][23]

Play-by-play

HD Radio

KEGL-HD2

The station's HD2 subchannel (HD Radio needed) previously aired a commercial-free version of "The Eagle". As of 2011, it is simulcasting from iHeartRadio's "Slippery When Wet", a station airing classic metal music.[24][25] As of Summer 2019, the "Slippery When Wet" simulcast has been discontinued and replaced by "The Breeze", formerly on KEGL's HD3 spot. As of May 2022, KEGL-HD2's signal was discontinued with no programming replacement.

On September 30, 2022, KEGL’s HD2 was reactivated to carry a continuation of the station’s former active rock format as "97.1 HD2 the Eagle".

KEGL-HD3

Sometime in late 2018, KEGL launched an HD3 sub-channel, simulcasting iHeartRadio's "Breeze" format of soft adult contemporary music. Because the station has improperly adjusted digital equipment, the range of its digital signal is not as great as its analog signal. Because of this, "The Breeze" has moved to KEGL's HD2 sub-channel, leaving KEGL-HD3 with no programming replacement.

References

  1. ^ Kenny, Steve (September 1981). "Broadcast Battleground". D Magazine. Dallas, TX. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. ^ St. Pierre, Nancy (16 January 1991). "D/FW accuses 1 in hoax; KEGL worker named in toy-gun smuggling". Metropolitan. The Dallas Morning News. p. 30-A. ISSN 1553-846X. Ralph E. Humphries, who identified himself to airport security as a radio personiliaty for KEGL-FM (97.1) was taken into custody about 9 a.m. He was carrying a leather breifcase with a toy gun, knife and hand grenades inside, said airport spokesman Joe Dealey Jr.
  3. ^ Perkins, Ken Parish (12 June 1992). "The Eagle will fly with a new crew; 'Hotel California' gimmick follows wholesale DJ firings". Overnight. The Dallas Morning News. p. 35-A. ISSN 1553-846X. By noon, most of the on-air staff, including the popular "Fast Eddie" Coyle and longtime morning man Dave "Kidd" Kraddick had been fired. Then, KEGL shifted to automatic pilot, repeating the Eagles' Hotel California throughout as an attention grabber.
  4. ^ "Eagle tells DJs to fly the coop; KEGL also replaces general manager and program director". Dallas Morning News. June 21, 1992.
  5. ^ "Britney death hoax fools fans". BBC News. June 14, 2001. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  6. ^ "McVeigh-Satan billboard upsets Dallas drivers". Amarillo Globe-News. Associated Press. 17 June 2001. LCCN sn85042551. OCLC 1117842729. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  7. ^ Herrington, Jed (30 September 2004). "Clear Channel's secret alliance". Opinion. BG News. Vol. 99, no. 30. Bowling Green State University. p. 4. JSTOR community.30726351. OCLC 855784829.
  8. ^ Kertes, Julie (21 May 2004). "'Eagle' Flies No More As KEGL/Dallas Goes AC" (PDF). R&R. No. 1556. pp. 1, 12. ISSN 0277-4860. LCCN 85642968. OCLC 815648421. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022 – via World Radio History.
  9. ^ 97.1 The Eagle KEGL Becomes Sunny 97.1 (Audio). 18 May 2004. Archived from the original on 7 November 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022 – via Format Change Archive.
  10. ^ "Radio station still spins golden oldies, in Spanish". Dallas Morning News. August 27, 2005.
  11. ^ KEGL 97.1 FM Flipping away from La Preciosa (Audio) (in Mexican Spanish and American English). 1 December 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2022 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "People & celebrities". Dallas Morning News. December 19, 2007.
  13. ^ 97.1 The Eagle Returns (Audio). 18 December 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022 – via Format Change Archive.
  14. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (January 20, 2010). "Lex & Terry Out At KEGL As Clear Channel Retools the Morning Show's Format". Media. Dallas Observer. ISSN 0732-0299. OCLC 7095491. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Russ Martin Show". KEGL-FM. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  16. ^ "KEGL Morning Man Russ Martin Moving To Afternoons, Lineup Schuffled". All Access Music Group. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  17. ^ "KEGL Moves Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx To Mornings". All Access Music Group. 2 May 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  18. ^ Venta, Lance (17 November 2016). "KDGE Dallas Drops Alternative After 27 Years; Flips To AC Star 102.1". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  19. ^ Venta, Lance (17 November 2017). "And Now Entercom Launches Alt 103.7 Dallas". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  20. ^ Venta, Lance (24 September 2021). "Dallas Mavericks Make Move To KEGL Official". RadioInsight. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  21. ^ a b c "iHeartMedia Dallas Launches 97.1 The Freak". RadioInsight. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  22. ^ KEGL/KZPS PD Don Davis Resigns & Treehouse Comes Undone
  23. ^ "One of Dallas' last rock stations KEGL The Eagle flips to sports talk radio". CultureMap Dallas. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  24. ^ Listen live (via TuneIn)
  25. ^ http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=10 Archived November 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine HD Radio Guide for Dallas-Ft. Worth

Coordinates: 32°35′20″N 96°58′05″W / 32.589°N 96.968°W / 32.589; -96.968