|Broadcast area||Golden, Colorado |
|Branding||96.9 The Cloud|
|Format||Adult Contemporary/adult album alternative|
|Owner||Mainstreet Media of Colorado, LLC|
First air date
|2011 (as KGCQ)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Power||990 watts day|
350 watts night
99 watts (translator)
|Translator(s)||96.9 K245AD (Arvada)|
96.9 K245CM (Golden)
KKCL is a commercial radio station licensed to Golden, Colorado, and serving the Denver/Boulder media market. The station airs a modern AC/adult album alternative format branded as The Cloud. The station had previously spent time as a sports radio station and a cannabis culture-themed classic rock station known as Smokin' 94.1.
On April 30, 2015 KKCL was granted a Federal Communications Commission construction permit to increase day power to 5,000 watts. Because 1550 kHz is a clear channel frequency reserved for Canada and Mexico, KKCL's night power is limited.
To improve its coverage, programming also airs on FM translators K245AD and K245CM, both at 96.9 MHz.
The station first signed on in 2011 as KGCQ, restoring to use the 1550 frequency vacated in 2003 when KADZ left the air. Until June 1, 2015, the station was the home for Mile High Sports, a multimedia sports-marketing and publishing company based in Denver via a partnership with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. Mile High Sports was the radio flagship for the Denver Nuggets basketball team, Colorado Avalanche hockey team, Colorado Mammoth, and Colorado Rapids. The station also broadcast the Falcons' football and basketball from the Air Force Academy and syndicated National Football League games through the Sports USA Radio Network.
The station was also partnered with KCKK, which was the flagship of Mile High Sports until it flipped to Adult Hits in March 2014. Later it partnered with Lincoln Financial Media outlet KKFN for sharing Nuggets and Avalanche games, while leasing out KQKS' HD2 sub-channel to cover the Denver-Boulder area that its FM translator can not reach.
On November 4, 2014, Advance Modulation sold then-KDCO/K231BQ to 4K's LLLP for $550,000, pending FCC approval. The sale closed on February 5, 2015. On May 22, 2015, KDCO/K231BQ temporarily went off the air after it was sold to Marco Broadcasting, owned by Marc Paskin, who acquired the station in March 2015 from 4K. The purchase by Marco Broadcasting closed on May 20, 2015 at a price of $875,000.
On June 1, 2015, the station flipped to a marijuana-themed classic rock format, branded as Smokin 94.1 (referring to its FM translator), and changed its call letters to KBUD. The format was aimed at the region's cannabis culture; Paskin himself served as the drive-time host under the alias "Gary Ganja" (and performed a news update at 4:20 p.m as "O.G. Kush"), and call-in segments involved cannabis-oriented topics. The station picked up syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge as its morning show (owing to its namesake's support of marijuana legalization), and played clips from stoner films as well as comedy sketches recorded by Paskin. Paskin explained that the format was meant to be a throwback to the "old days of radio", stating that "radio has become boring, it's corporate-controlled, every station sounds alike. If you tell a weird joke, they'll fire you." The station did not carry advertising, primarily due to potential legal issues involving the advertising of cannabis and related products, as cannabis is illegal under federal law.
On October 23, 2015, the K231BQ translator was sold to iHeartMedia, who converted it to an FM simulcast of KOA on November 1, 2015. KBUD itself would go silent on the same day. A KBUD personality explained that the sale was related to health problems being faced by Paskin.
In November 2015, KBUD was sold to Marconi Wireless of Colorado, with the new owners intending to launch a new station known as "The Cloud".
The station changed its call sign to KKCL on January 13, 2016. The sale to Marconi Wireless was consummated on February 17, 2016 at a price of $125,000. On February 29, 2016, KKCL returned to the air, coupled with an FM translator station on 96.9, carrying a Modern AC/AAA format, branded as "The Cloud". One May 23, 2016, Marconi Wireless owner Chuck Lontine transferred the license for KKCL to Mainstreet Media of Colorado, LLC, also wholly owned by Lontine. On November 11, 2016 Main Street added a second FM translator license in Golden, Colorado. According to FCC filings, Main Street moved this new translator from Gunnison, Colorado under the AM Revitalization Act. The purchase price was $30,000.00. The additional translator added substantial coverage into the western suburbs of the Denver/Boulder radio market.