Broadcast areaAlbuquerque/Santa Fe
Frequency99.5 MHz
BrandingMagic 99.5
FormatAdult contemporary
AffiliationsWestwood One
First air date
November 11, 1963 (1963-11-11) (as KARA-FM)
Former call signs
  • KARA-FM (1963–1965)
  • KBNM-FM (1965–1974)
  • KMYR (1974–1977)
  • KZZX (1977–1985)
Call sign meaning
"Magic Albuquerque"
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID11231
ERP22,500 watts
HAAT1,259 meters (4,131 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
35°12′44″N 106°26′58″W / 35.21222°N 106.44944°W / 35.21222; -106.44944
Public license information
WebcastListen live

KMGA (99.5 FM) is a commercial radio station licensed to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and broadcasts an adult contemporary radio format.[2] For much of November and December it switches to Christmas music. The radio studios and offices are in Downtown Albuquerque.

KMGA has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 22,500 watts. The transmitter tower is atop Sandia Crest east of the city.[3]



Notable personalities on the station include nationally syndicated hosts Bob & Sheri (mornings) and John Tesh "Intelligence for Your Life" (evenings) along with local hosts Steph Duran (middays) and Doug Duroucher (afternoons). On January 1, 2018, KMGA changed slogans to "Today's Best Mix", with no changes in staff or format.

Past morning shows include Meredith Dunkel and Chris Fox of "The Meredith and Fox Show" which began in June 2015.[4] Another change in mornings happened in November 2016 when Meredith was joined by a new co-host, Doug Durocher from San Bernardino, California. In January 2017 Bryan Simmons joined KMGA as program director from Los Angeles. In June 2017 a new host Steph Duran from sister station KRST joined the morning show replacing Meredith Dunkel who left for a new job in Tucson, Arizona. The show was then billed as "The Magic Morning Show with Doug & Duran".

Scott Simon and Rachel Michaels had hosted "Magic in the morning with Simon and Rachel" beginning in late May 2014. Simon and Rachel had moved over from country sister station KRST, which at that time had picked up the Nash FM brand as well as its national morning show.[5] However Simon and Rachel were out after 11 months.[6] Phil Moore had previously hosted mornings for seventeen years before retiring. By May 2012, KMGA became the market's only AC station.

Christmas music

For many years, KMGA plays Christmas music during part of November and most of December. Like most AC radio stations around the country, KMGA changes its format each year to playing all Christmas music beginning sometime in November until December 26. The slogan used during this period is "Albuquerque's Home for the Holidays".

In November 2017, Christmas music began the second week of November starting earlier than in the past. In another unusual move, Christmas music was also featured throughout Labor Day weekend in 2020 branded as "Quarantine Christmas" to "lift the spirits" of listeners in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]


On November 11, 1963, the station first signed on as KARA-FM, the original call sign. KARA-FM would be a sister station to now defunct KARA 1310 AM and aired a beautiful music format that would simulcast from 4am to 6pm.[8] Star Broadcasting purchased the station in 1965 and changed to KBNM. The station operated at 3.7kW at 150 feet.[9] In March 1971 KBNM expanded to a 24-hour broadcast with contemporary rock by day and middle-of-the-road music at night.[10] In May 1974 Star Broadcasting sold KBNM to Fontana Media Corporation for $150,000.[11] The station then changed to KMYR later that year with a "progressive" Album Oriented Rock format upgraded to 20kW.[12] In September 1977 Fontana sold KMYR to Sunbelt Communications for $415,000.[13] The station then changed to KZZX. In July 1978 Sunbelt would also purchase KQEO AM 920 from Swanson Broadcasting for $900,000[14] In June 1985 Sunbelt would sell KZZX and KQEO along with KSPZ and KVOR in Colorado Springs to Penn Communications for $5.4 million.[15] In September it would become KMGA with the "Magic 99" branding and Soft Adult Contemporary format. In 1990 KMGA and KQEO were sold to Spacecom for $1.5 million.[16] By 1993 some new programming strategies helped KMGA to become more competitive in the market.[17] In November 1993 Spacecom sold KMGA and KQEO to Citadel Communications for $1.4 million.[18] Citadel would also purchase its main competitor 93.3 KKOB-FM and 770 KKOB in January 1994.[19]

Jingles and imaging

Currently, KMGA uses the "Pure AC Bright" jingle package. KMGA commissioned the Brighter version, and WWLI in Providence, Rhode Island, also owned by Cumulus, commissioned the Lighter version.

In the past KMGA used various packages from Reelworld until 2014.

KMGA uses the Benztown AC library for imaging, along with other AC stations owned by Cumulus.


  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KMGA". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  3. ^ "KMGA-FM 99.5 MHz - Albuquerque, NM".
  4. ^ "Radio Ink Magazine". Archived from the original on 2015-07-05. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  5. ^ "Cumulus Plays Albuquerque Morning Shuffle". RadioInsight. 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
  6. ^ "Scott Simon, Rachel Michaels". 29 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Magic 99.5 - Magic 99.5 updated their cover photo".
  8. ^ "KARA-FM debuts, November 11, 1963". Albuquerque Journal. 11 November 1963. p. 11.
  9. ^ World Radio History [dead link]
  10. ^ page 66
  11. ^ World Radio History [dead link]
  12. ^ page 80
  13. ^ page 51
  14. ^ World Radio History [dead link]
  15. ^ World Radio History [dead link]
  16. ^ page 37
  17. ^ Energized KMGA Gains Ground In Albuquerque World Radio History p. 32
  18. ^ World Radio History p. 41
  19. ^ World Radio History [dead link]