KFBX 970KFBX logo.png
Frequency970 kHz
BrandingNewsRadio 970 KFBX
AffiliationsABC News Radio
Premiere Networks
Talk Radio Network
Cumulus Media Networks
First air date
September 18, 1972 (1972-09-18)
Former call signs
KIAK (1972–2004)
Call sign meaning
A common abbreviation for Fairbanks
Technical information
Facility ID12518
Power10,000 watts
WebcastListen Live

KFBX (970 AM) is a commercial radio station programming talk in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. It airs hourly news updates through ABC News Radio. It is owned and operated by iHeartMedia, Inc.

KFBX airs national radio programs from Premiere Radio Networks, Talk Radio Network, and Cumulus Media Networks.


On July 24, 1970, Big Country Radio, Inc., owner of KYAK in Anchorage, applied for a construction permit to build a new radio station on 970 kHz in Fairbanks, which was approved on January 13, 1971.[1] The station began broadcasting as KIAK on September 18, 1972, airing a country music format.[2]

Big Country Radio sold its three Alaska radio properties—KIAK, KYAK and Anchorage FM outlet KGOT—to Prime Time of Alaska, a company owned by interests from Washington state, in 1978 for more than $3 million.[3] Prime Time owned a country music station in Everett, Washington, KWYZ.[4]

1983 was an eventful year for KIAK. Prime Time sold the station to Bingham Broadcasting, controlled by a minority owner of a Seattle station, for $4.5 million.[5] The sale included KIAK's FM construction permit, KQRZ (102.5 FM), which launched that July and originally played a Top 40 format.[6] At the end of that month, a 28-year-old man threatened to blow up the station if he did not get air time; he was startled to find that the station was actually an automated operation and ultimately surrendered.[7] In fact, KIAK had been automated since 1975, using a syndicated format from Drake-Chenault; the automation equipment was dubbed by the station as the "Big Country Machine".[8]

Bingham sold all four of his stations—AM-FM pairs in Anchorage and Fairbanks—to Olympia Broadcasting for about $12 million at the very end of 1985.[9] In January 1990, the contemporary country format of KIAK moved to the former KQRZ, which became KIAK-FM; KIAK began to focus more on a classic country format and added several new talk programs.[10] Olympia would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 1990,[11] setting off a lengthy process that included three different abortive sale attempts of the company's four Alaska properties. A deal with Harbor Broadcasting was doomed by a license challenge by the NAACP; while a settlement was reached, the FCC conditioned the sale on the license renewals, and Olympia was anxious to sell the stations to satisfy its creditors.[12] The next sale attempt, to Alpha & Beta Broadcasting, was canceled by the company's receiver in early 1992 due to a conflict between creditor Barclays and lender Greyhound Financial; the latter felt that the stations had sold for too little money.[13] In January 1993, the receiver proposed to sell the stations to Community Pacific Broadcasting for $1.2 million,[14] but this was superseded by a $1.45 million offer from Craig McCaw's COMCO Broadcasting.[15] By this time, KIAK had largely become a sports talk outlet.[16]

Comco sold its entire station portfolio, including KIAK-AM-FM and KAKQ-FM in Fairbanks, to Capstar Broadcasting Partners, a forerunner to present owner iHeartMedia, in 1997.[17] The call letters were changed from KIAK to KFBX in October 2004.[18]


  1. ^ FCC History Cards for KFBX
  2. ^ "Country radio KIAK signs on Monday morning". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. September 16, 1972. p. A-1. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 27, 1978. p. 43. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  4. ^ "KIAK-AM to be sold to Washington firm". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Associated Press. February 8, 1978. p. A-3. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 24, 1983. p. 75. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  6. ^ "KQRZ newest radio station on FM". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. July 23, 1983. p. A-6. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  7. ^ "This Job Can Be Dynamite" (PDF). Billboard. August 6, 1983. p. 15. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Smooth-talking disc jockey is a big machine". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. April 21, 1979. pp. B-12/B-13. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  9. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 30, 1985. p. 95. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  10. ^ Martin, Ingrid (August 19, 1990). "Radio Wars". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. pp. B-1, B-6. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  11. ^ "Seattle-based Olympia Broadcasting said it would file for Chapter 11..." (PDF). Broadcasting. June 18, 1990. p. 97. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Clawson, Pat (March 29, 1991). "FCC Red Tape Snarls Olympia Sales" (PDF). Radio & Records. p. 4. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  13. ^ Clawson, Pat (January 31, 1992). "Olympia Sale Plans Snagged" (PDF). Radio & Records. p. 4. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  14. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. January 15, 1993. p. 6. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  15. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. April 2, 1993. p. 6. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  16. ^ Kelly, Kristan (December 28, 1993). "Radio format still up in air". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. B-1. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  17. ^ Cole, Dermot (February 5, 1997). "Festival seeks help". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. B1. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  18. ^ "Call Sign History". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved May 10, 2021.

Coordinates: 64°52′48″N 147°40′29″W / 64.88000°N 147.67472°W / 64.88000; -147.67472