KFYO
Broadcast areaLubbock metropolitan area
Frequency790 kHz
BrandingNewsTalk 95.1 & 790, KFYO
Programming
FormatTalk Radio
NetworkABC News Radio
AffiliationsCompass Media Networks
Premiere Networks
Radio America
Westwood One
KAMC 28 Weather Lab
Texas State Network
Ownership
Owner
KFMX-FM, KKAM, KKCL-FM, KQBR, KZII-FM
History
First air date
September 6, 1927; 96 years ago (1927-09-06)
Technical information
Facility ID61151
ClassB
Power5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
Translator(s)(see below)
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitekfyo.com

KFYO (790 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in Lubbock, Texas. It airs a talk radio format and is owned by Townsquare Media. Its studios are on 82nd Street in southwest Lubbock.

By day, KFYO is powered at 5,000 watts. But to protect other stations on 790 AM from interference, at night it reduces power to 1,000 watts. It uses a directional antenna with a three-tower array. The transmitter is off Slide Road at 146th Street in Lubbock.[1] Programming is also heard on 250-watt FM translator K236CP at 95.1 MHz in Lubbock.[2]

Programming

Weekdays begin on KFYO with a 20-minute block of Texas-based news and agricultural reports hosted by Tony St. James from Agriculture Today at 6am. That's followed by Sunrise LBK with Tom Collins and Matt Crow. There is also a Lubbock-based talk show on weekdays in afternoon drive time, hosted by Chad Hasty and shared with other Townsquare talk stations in Texas. The rest of the weekday schedule is nationally syndicated shows: The Michael Berry Show, The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, The Sean Hannity Show, The Mark Levin Show, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal.

Weekends feature specialty shows on money, health, home repair, guns, cars, the law, food and drink. Syndicated weekend programs include The Kim Komando Show, The Weekend with Michael Brown, Gun Talk with Tom Gresham, The Ben Ferguson Show and Sunday Night with Bill Cunningham. Most hours begin with an update from ABC News Radio.

History

Breckenridge and Abilene

The Grace Hotel (now a museum) housed KFYO during its time in Abilene.

T. E. Kirksey, owner of the Kirksey Bros. Battery and Electric Company, established a radio station in Breckenridge. Its first broadcast was on September 6, 1927; 96 years ago (1927-09-06). It operated with only 15 watts on 1420 kilocycles. In early 1928, it was allowed to increase power to 100 watts.[3]

On September 22, 1928, KFYO moved to Abilene.[4] It continued to broadcast on 1420, upgrading to 250 watts by day and 100 watts at night.[3] The station maintained studios in the Grace Hotel.[5] 16-year-old Grant Turner, later an announcer for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, joined the station when it moved to Abilene.[6][7]

At times, KFYO has claimed a longer history, stretching back to an experimental station allegedly started by Kirksey in 1923, in Bentonville, Arkansas. However, no records show a station was licensed to Kirksey there. Bentonville's first radio station was KFVX, run by Ralph H. Porter in 1925 but closed the same year.[8] There was an earlier and unrelated KFYO, which operated at Texarkana, Texas.[9] KFYO Texarkana shut down in February 1927.[10] A new KFYO Breckenridge received a construction permit from the federal govenrment six months later.[11]

Moving to Lubbock

In February 1932, Kirksey was approved to move KFYO to Lubbock on 1310 kHz.[12] It used a site at 2312 5th Street, three blocks east of Texas Tech University.[3] The station began broadcasting from Lubbock on April 23.[13] Two years later, the station moved to new downtown studios and offices located at 914 Avenue J.[3] Also in 1934, KFYO aired the first-ever radio broadcast of a Texas Tech football game. It then began broadcasting games regularly in 1935, holding the rights continuously through the 1993 season.

In 1935, the station began airing the Sunday morning services of the Downtown (Lubbock) Bible Class Sunday morning services. The weekly service aired on KFYO until 1946 and returned to KFYO from KSEL in December 1987. The precursor of the Chuck Wagon Gang—-then known as the Carter Quartet=—made its radio debut that same year over KFYO. They performed weekly and earned the group $15 a week. The group included David Parker Carter 'Dad', son Jim (born Ernest) and daughters Rose and Effie. In 1936, the Carters changed their group name to the Chuck Wagon Gang, moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and joined radio station WBAP.

Plains Radio ownership

Kirksey sold the station he had built to the Plains Radio Broadcasting Company. It was owned by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Amarillo Globe-News newspapers. DeWitt "Judge" Landis became the general manager, and KFYO affiliated with the NBC Red Network. The new owners also rebuilt the transmitter, which was still using the original equipment put into service at Breckenridge ten years prior.[14] The station changed affiliations several more times, to the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) in 1937 and to the NBC Blue Network (later ABC Radio) in 1944. The North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA) required KFYO to move to 1340 kHz. This took effect on March 29, 1941. The year before, KFYO increased its nighttime power to 250 watts, matching its daytime output.[3]

On July 1, 1945, KFYO broadcast live from Lubbock's airfield, when the first commercial airline flight landed in Lubbock. It was a Braniff Airways flight from Dallas, that continued to Albuquerque.[15]

FM station and AM upgrade

KFYO put a sister station on the air on April 18, 1948. KFYO-FM 99.5 was the first FM station on the South Plains.[16] It largely simulcast the AM station. In that era, few people owned FM receivers and management saw little chance to make it profitable. KFYO-FM went dark in 1950 and the license was returned to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Today, 99.5 is the home of co-owned country music station KQBR.

KFYO engaged in a seven-year fight to improve its facilities in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1945, KFYO filed to move to 790 kHz and increase its power to 5,000 watts.[3] The FCC initially denied the bid in favor of a competing application from Lubbock County Broadcasting Company, which owned KBWD in Brownwood. But KFYO appealed and was successful in having the case remanded for new hearings in 1949. Despite a hearing examiner finding in favor of Lubbock County in 1950, the FCC awarded the frequency to KFYO in October 1951.[17] The frequency change took place on January 19, 1953, at which time the station activated its three-tower array near 82nd and Quaker streets.[18] The new facility allowed KFYO to be heard in Amarillo, Abilene, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, Ozona and eastern New Mexico. The 1340 frequency became the home to a new station, KDUB.

On June 1, 1954, KFYO switched affiliations from ABC to CBS Radio. That gave the CBS Network its first outlet in Lubbock and first reliable reception in much of the South Plains.[19]

Lubbock Tornado

KFYO was the only station to broadcast continuously before, during, and after the Lubbock Tornado that struck the downtown area on May 11, 1970. KFYO also provided Lubbock's only link to the outside world during the tornado by broadcasting over phone lines to 1080 KRLD in Dallas. Because KFYO was the assigned civil defense radio station in Lubbock, the station was equipped with two diesel backup generators, which provided power for KFYO's studios and transmitter site at 82nd & Quaker.

Much of the city was damaged and without power for days. Two other Lubbock radio stations lost their towers in the storm.[20] KFYO became a vital link for Lubbock and the region in the hours and days after the tornado, broadcasting multiple 24-hour commercial-free days. It received local, state and national awards for its coverage, including a citation from President Richard Nixon.[21][22]

Changes in ownership

KFYO, Inc., controlled by S. B. Whittenburg, bought the station in 1973. It was sold six years later to the Seaton Publishing Company in a $1.3 million transaction.[23] The new owners substituted the station's beautiful music programs with a country music format.[24]

In 1985, KFYO, Inc. decided to have an FM counterpart again. The company bought the former KRUX at 102.5 MHz. The station became KZII-FM on March 27, 1986. That same year, the stations moved to a new studio and tower site on South Slide Road, housing both offices and a new three-tower array for KFYO. Part of the former KFYO transmitter site at 82nd and Quaker was redeveloped into the Kingsgate North Shopping Center.

In March 1997, KFYO and KZII-FM were sold to GulfStar Communications, which also owned KFMX-FM, KKAM and KRLB-FM 99.5 in Lubbock. The studios returned to 82nd and Quaker, in the Copy Craft building that housed the other GulfStar stations. The KFYO transmitter site remained on South Slide. San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications acquired the GulfStar Lubbock cluster in 2000. In August 2010, KFYO owner Gap Central Broadcasting, which had purchased the Lubbock cluster from Clear Channel in 2007, was folded into Townsquare Media.[25]

Texas Tech Red Raiders

KFYO was the longtime home of Texas Tech Red Raiders football and men's basketball games beginning in the late 1990s. On Christmas Eve 1993, KFYO broadcast a Red Raider football game for the final time as the team's flagship radio partner. That game was a 41-10 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in the 1993 John Hancock Bowl. The games moved to KKAM the following year.

In late February 2003, air personality Jim Stewart left KFYO. Stewart had served as KFYO's Ag Director for over 20 years and for most of the time hosted the weekday 6am and 12pm hours. In the 1990s through 2001, Stewart's daily ag features were syndicated across West Texas via the Loyd Senn-owned Ag Producers Radio Network (APRN). APRN was sold to Clear Channel Communications in 2001 and the Oklahoma City Agri-Hub absorbed operations in late 2001. Stewart's radio career was chronicled by Texas Country Reporter in late 2023.

KFYO changed its network affiliation in 2003. On June 1, KFYO ended a 49-year affiliation with CBS and began an affiliation with ABC News Radio. In addition to hourly newscasts, KFYO carried several ABC features including Paul Harvey news and commentary and Sean Hannity's weekday afternoon talk show. In December 2010, the Lubbock Bible Class aired its final service. The religious program aired on KFYO for a total of 37 years.

In 1970, KFYO donated a 1927 Model T once owned by the station and painted with news headlines of that year to the Texas Tech Museum.[26] In 2015, State Representative John Frullo donated $1,000 for the restoration of the Model T.[27]

In October 2016, KFYO added an FM simulcast on 95.1 MHz. K236CP, an FM translator, is licensed to Lubbock. Branding for the station changed to "News/Talk 95.1 & 790, KFYO".

Air Personalities

In February 2017, Tom Collins and Laura Mac left KFYO, and Dave King and Matt Martin took over hosting KFYO's morning show.[28]

In November 2020, Paul R. Beane was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Beane hosted the commentary "The Way I See It" from 2010-2014.[29]

Following the departure of Robert Pratt on January, 18, 2021, KFYO announced that Chad Hasty would take over the weekday 5pm-7pm timeslot. He is also syndicated across the state via the Texas Townsquare Media Network. Hasty's initial affiliates were: News/Talk 94.7 & 1470 KYYW in Abilene and News/Talk KWFS 96.3 & 1290 in Wichita Falls.[30] Later, in September 2023, Hasty added News/Talk 940 KIXZ in Amarillo as an affiliate.

In May 2022, Robert Snyder left KFYO, after a 21-year career as the News Director and Program Director. In April 2023, Matt Martin left the KFYO Midday Show when his family moved out of state. Michael McDermott took over the weekday 8:30am-11am timeslot, hosting the program "McDermott at Large" which aired until October of 2023. KFYO currently airs The Michael Berry Show from 8:30-11am.

In late May 2023, Dave King announced he was retiring from the KFYO morning show "Sunrise LBK" due to health reasons. King passed away the following month.[31] Following King's passing, Ken Corbin and Matt Crow joined Tom Collins as rotating co-hosts for "Sunrise LBK" with Matt Crow permanently joining Tom Collins on "Sunrise LBK" in late March 2024.

First United Methodist Church of Lubbock, at the end of 2023, ended an over 50-year relationship with KFYO when it ceased airing its Sunday 11am church service. First United Methodist Church had aired a Sunday morning church service on KFYO since 1952.

FM translator

On October 12, 2016, KFYO added an FM simulcast on 95.1 MHz.

Broadcast translator for KFYO
Call sign Frequency City of license FID ERP (W) Class FCC info
K236CP 95.1 FM Lubbock, Texas 147711 250 D LMS


References

  1. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KFYO
  2. ^ Radio-Locator.com/K236CP
  3. ^ a b c d e f FCC History Cards for KFYO
  4. ^ "Station KFYO Gives Initial Air Program". The Abilene Morning Reporter-News. September 23, 1928. p. 10. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  5. ^ "Debut Nears For New City Station KFYO". The Abilene Morning News. September 22, 1928. p. 8. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Late Legends Of Country Radio" (PDF). Radio & Records. October 7, 1994. p. 68. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Hart, Bill (December 19, 1976). "Traveling Airways Nothing New to Grant Turner". The Abilene Reporter-News. p. 4-B. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "26 Smaller Stations Quit". Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Sunday Record. December 13, 1925. p. 11. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Poindexter, Ray H. (1974). Arkansas Airwaves (PDF). p. 124 (138). Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Mack, Robert (February 8, 1927). "Senate to Set Time For Radio Bill Vote". Rutland Daily Herald. Consolidated Press. p. 11. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Mack, Robert (August 13, 1927). "Seven Permits Allowed In Southern Zone". Oakland Tribune. Consolidated Press. p. B5. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  12. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1935 page 58. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  13. ^ "Lubbock Radio Station Plans 22-Hour Start". Pampa Daily News. April 22, 1932. p. 6. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "KFYO To 'Cut Over' To New Transmitter Today; Service To Be Improved". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. January 23, 1937. pp. 1, 11. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Dotray, Matt (June 30, 2020). "75 Years From Lubbock's First Commercial Flight". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved July 1, 2020. Open access icon
  16. ^ "Radio Station KFYO to Start FM Schedule Sunday Morning". Lubbock Evening Journal. April 15, 1948. p. 7. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "KFYO Gets Grant In Long-Fought Case" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 22, 1951. p. 98. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  18. ^ "KFYO Opens New $100,000 Transmission Plant Monday". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. January 18, 1953. p. 1. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Hankins, R.C. (May 30, 1954). "On The Air ... In Radio And Television". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. p. 38. Retrieved April 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  20. ^ "Two Lubbock stations lose towers in tornado" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 18, 1970. p. 35. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "Upcoming at the RTNDA convention" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 27, 1971. p. 39. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Radio Station Gets Praise From Nixon". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. October 27, 1970. p. 2-A.
  23. ^ "Ownership Changes" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 19, 1979. p. 82. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  24. ^ Duncan, Jim (August 17, 1979). "News Notes" (PDF). Radio & Records. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  25. ^ "Townsquare Media completes roll-up of GAP". Radio Business Report. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  26. ^ Burton, Gerry (November 9, 1970). "'Cadillacing' Model T In Museum". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  27. ^ Cantu, Michael (October 13, 2015). "Frullo makes donation to restore 1927 Model-T". Daily Toreador. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  28. ^ "Dave King & Matt Martin Take Over Hosting for KFYO Morning Show". February 9, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  29. ^ "Paul R. Beane Elected into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame". July 1, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  30. ^ "Townsquare Media Announces Statewide Expansion of The Chad Hasty Show". January 18, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  31. ^ "Dave King Passes Away". June 5, 2023. Retrieved October 26, 2023.

33°27′50″N 101°55′30″W / 33.46389°N 101.92500°W / 33.46389; -101.92500