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Broadcast areaMinneapolis-St. Paul
Frequency1500 kHz
BrandingSKOR North
AffiliationsESPN Radio
First air date
February 22, 1925; 98 years ago (February 22, 1925) (current license dates from March 29, 1928)
Former call signs
WAMD and KFOY (separately)
Call sign meaning
St. Paul
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID35641
ClassA (clear-channel)
Power50,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates
45°1′32″N 93°2′38″W / 45.02556°N 93.04389°W / 45.02556; -93.04389 (day)
45°1′32″N 93°3′6″W / 45.02556°N 93.05167°W / 45.02556; -93.05167 (night)
Translator(s)94.9 K235BP (Bemidji)
Repeater(s)94.5 KSTP-FM-HD2
Public license information
WebcastListen Live
Entrance to the KSTP studios on University Avenue in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The sidewalk leading to the building lies precisely on the city line, as does the central leg of the tower.

KSTP (1500 AM; SKOR North) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is the flagship AM radio station of Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns dozens of television and radio stations in nine states. KSTP has a sports radio format and is the ESPN Radio Network affiliate for Minneapolis-St. Paul. Studios are on University Avenue in Minneapolis, shared with sister stations KSTP-FM, KSTP-TV, KTMY, and KSTC-TV.

The KSTP three-tower transmitter site is on U.S. Route 61 at Beam Avenue in Maplewood.[1] KSTP runs the maximum power allowed for AM stations in the United States, 50,000 watts. By day it uses a single omnidirectional antenna. Because KSTP shares clear-channel, Class A status on 1500 AM with sister station WFED in Washington, D.C., at night these two stations operate with directional antennas in order to mutually protect each other from interference. During this time KSTP uses all three towers, resulting in a reduced signal to eastern parts of the market.

Programming is also heard on 250 watt FM translator K235BP at 94.9 MHz in Bemidji.[2]


On weekdays, KSTP airs local sports show Mackey and Judd, which is simulcast on other sports radio stations in the region. The rest of the time, it carries ESPN programming.

KSTP had been the Minnesota Twins baseball team flagship radio station from 2007 to 2012. WCCO 830 AM is the current flagship. KSTP had also aired Minnesota Vikings football games from 1970 to 1975. KFAN-FM 100.3 is the current flagship.



KSTP's start in 1928 was the product of a merger between two pioneering Twin Cities stations: WAMD ("Where All Minneapolis Dances") in Minneapolis, first licensed on February 16, 1925 to Stanley E. Hubbard,[3] and KFOY, first licensed on March 12, 1924, to the Beacon Radio Service in St. Paul.[4]

Following a few test transmissions, WAMD made its formal debut broadcast on February 22, 1925. (In later interviews Stanley Hubbard traced WAMD's start to April 1924.)[5] It was located at the Marigold Dance Garden, and featured nightly "Midnight Frolics" broadcasts by the ballroom's orchestra.[6] It is claimed that WAMD was the first radio station to be completely supported by running paid advertisements.[7] Effective June 15, 1927, WAMD was assigned to 1330 kHz.[8]

On November 11, 1927, WAMD's transmitter site at Oxboro Heath on Lyndale Avenue South burned down, two weeks after the station had been sold to the National Battery Company. An initial arrangement was made to carry WAMD's programs over WRHM (now WWTC), transmitting on WAMD's 1330 kHz frequency.[9] Beginning on November 24, 1927, the WAMD broadcasts, still on 1330 kHz, were shifted to KFOY's facility in St. Paul.[10] (At this time KFOY was assigned to 1050 kHz).[8] The next day it was announced that National Battery had purchased KFOY,[11] and as of December 1, 1927 both KFOY and WAMD were reassigned to 1350 kHz.[12][13] WAMD continued making regular broadcasts until the end of March 1928, while KFOY, although it continued to be licensed for a few more months on a time-sharing basis with WAMD, ceased operations at this point.

National Battery Company

In mid-December 1927, the National Battery Company announced it had received permission from the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) to build a new station, with the call letters KSTP, operating from a transmitter site to be constructed three miles south of Wescott.[14] The next month it was reported that the new station, still under construction, had been assigned to 1360 kHz.[15] KSTP made its debut broadcast on March 29, 1928.[16][17] Although technically it was a separate station from WAMD and KFOY, both of which were formally deleted on April 30, 1928,[18] overall KSTP was treated as the direct successor to a consolidated WAMD and KFOY.[19]

Hubbard became the merged station's general manager, acquiring controlling interest in 1941. A month after the merger, KSTP became an affiliate for the NBC Red Network. It remained with NBC for 46 years. On November 11, 1928, under the provisions of the FRC's General Order 40, KSTP was assigned to a "high-powered regional" frequency of 1460 kHz. The only other station assigned to this frequency was WTFF in Mount Vernon Hills, Virginia (later WJSV, now WFED, Washington, D.C.).[20] On February 7, 1933, the FRC authorized KSTP to increase its daytime power to 25,000 watts.[21] In 1938 and 1939 KSTP also operated a high-fidelity AM "experimental audio broadcasting station" Apex station, W9XUP, originally on 25,950 kHz and later on 26,150 kHz.[22] In 1941, as part of the implementation of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA), KSTP was assigned to its current "clear channel" frequency of 1500 kHz, with the provision that it and WJSV, as "Class I-B" stations, had to maintain directional antennas at night in order to mutually protect each other from interference.[23]

Hubbard reportedly acquired an RCA TV camera in 1939, and started experimenting with television broadcasts. But World War II put a hold on the development of television. In 1948, with the war over, KSTP-TV became the first television station in Minnesota. With KSTP 1500 already associated with NBC Radio, KSTP-TV became an NBC Television Network affiliate. From 1946 to 1952, KSTP also had an FM counterpart. KSTP-FM 102.1 was only on the air four years. There were few radios equipped to receive FM signals in that era, and management decided to discontinue FM broadcasts.

MOR and Top 40

1956 station advertisement.[24]

As network programming moved from radio to television, KSTP programmed a full service Middle of the Road (MOR) radio format, in the shadow of its chief competitor, CBS Radio affiliate 830 WCCO. In 1965, a new FM station, reviving the KSTP-FM call sign, was put on the air, largely simulcasting the AM station. But by the late 1960s, KSTP-FM began a separate format of beautiful music.

KSTP 1500 served as the radio flagship for the Minnesota Vikings football team from 1970 to 1975. In 1973, KSTP broke away from its longtime adult MOR sound and became one of four area stations at the time to program a Top 40 format. "15 KSTP, The Music Station" competed with Top 40 AM rivals WDGY 1130, KDWB 630 and later, WYOO 980. The competition would eventually shake itself out, with outrageous rocker WYOO leaving the format after being sold in 1976, and then the staid WDGY switching to country music the following year. As for uptempo hits station 15 KSTP, it went from a tight Top 40 format to leaning Adult Top 40 in 1978, to leaning Adult Contemporary in 1979, to evolving into a mix of adult contemporary and talk by 1980. In 1982, it officially shifted to all-talk. Most listening to Top 40 music, by this time, had moved to the FM band.

On August 1, 2006, the station announced that it would be the new flagship station for the Minnesota Twins baseball team, effective with the start of the 2007 season. The Twins had been on rival WCCO 830 since arriving in Minnesota in 1961. KSTP served as the flagship for the Twins until the end of the 2012 season, when games moved to 96.3 KTWN-FM (now KMWA).

Sports Radio

KSTP switched to Sports Radio on February 15, 2010. As the station had to wait for ESPN's contract with rival KFAN and its sister station KTLK-FM to expire, KSTP did not become an ESPN Radio affiliate until April 12, the same day that the Minnesota Twins were scheduled to play the first game in their new ball park, Target Field, against the Boston Red Sox. As a result, Coast to Coast AM and Sunday Night with Bill Cunningham were retained during this period. One ESPN Radio network program, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, was picked up by KSTP immediately following the format change, since it wasn't being carried in the Twin Cities at the time.[25]

On March 9, 2011, KSTP announced it would be the new flagship for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey, ending a 68-year run on WCCO.[26] The rights have since moved to KFXN-FM, which already aired Gopher football.

On March 2, 2017, KSTP announced it would be the first radio broadcaster for pro-soccer team Minnesota United FC.[27] The move brought live soccer action to 1500 AM.

In 2018, the station was approved a Construction Permit for an FM translator on 94.1 FM, broadcasting from a transmitter atop the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. The two-watt signal would throw most of its power to the west, preventing interference to low powered FM stations on the same channel including WFNU-LP in St. Paul.[28] With only two watts of power, however, the signal would be limited to the immediate downtown area surrounding the IDS Center. The project was supposed to move a 250 watt translator, K235BP at 94.9 MHz they already owned in Bemidji, Minnesota to accomplish this, however it was determined to not be a feasible project and their CP was allowed to lapse.

On January 15, 2019, KSTP rebranded as "SKOR North" (a reference to the Minnesota Vikings team song/chant, "Skol, Vikings"). KSTP would air local programming between 12 noon and 7 pm.[29][30] About a year later, in May 2020, KSTP suspended most of its local programming and laid off nearly all of its local staff. Station management cited the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic for the changes. Sports programming continues, primarily composed of ESPN radio network broadcasts.[31]

Past Personalities

Notable hosts who have been on KSTP include John Hines, Jesse Ventura, Larry Carolla, Tom Barnard, Big Al Davis, Don Vogel, John MacDougall, Griff, Mike Edwards, Geoff Charles, Joe Soucheray, James Lileks, Leigh Kamman, Barbara Carlson, Peter Thiele, Tom Mischke, Jason Lewis, Chuck Knapp, Machine Gun Kelly, Charle Bush, Mark O'Connell and Paul Brand. These broadcasters were supported by producers such as Bruce Huff, Rob Pendleton, Alison Brown, Jean Bjorgen, David Elvin (who Vogel dubbed the "Steven Spielberg of Talk Radio"), Mitch Berg and others.

While it usually carried local hosts, in 1988 KSTP became one of Rush Limbaugh's first affiliates when his conservative talk show was rolled out for national syndication. (Clear Channel-owned KTLK-FM took over rights to Limbaugh's show in January 2006). Other syndicated hosts previously heard on KSTP include Sean Hannity, Bruce Williams, Larry King, and Owen Spann.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, March 2, 1925, page 3.
  4. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, April 1, 1924, page 4.
  5. ^ "Stanley Hubbard: One of the last of the originals", Broadcasting, November 23, 1981, pages 39-46.
  6. ^ "Station WAMD Opens With Midnight Frolic", Minneapolis Daily Star, February 23, 1925, page 5.
  7. ^ "Chronology of Milestones: Commercial Aspects", The First Quarter Century of American Broadcasting by E. P. Shurick (1946), page 178.
  8. ^ a b "Broadcasting Stations" (effective June 15, 1927), Radio Service Bulletin, May 31, 1927, page 7.
  9. ^ "Fire Destroys Radio Station", Minneapolis Morning Tribune, November 12, 1927, page 1.
  10. ^ "WAMD Will Broadcast Today From St. Paul", Minneapolis Morning Tribune, November 24, 1927, page 8.
  11. ^ "National Battery Co. Buys Station for WAMD", Minneapolis Morning Tribune, November 26, 1927, page 14.
  12. ^ "Schedules of Six Stations Changed", Minneapolis Daily Star, November 30, 1927, page 6.
  13. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, November 30, 1927, pages 7-8.
  14. ^ "St. Paul to Get Powerful New Radio Station", Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, December 11, 1927, page 1.
  15. ^ "Radio Enlargement", Minneapolis Daily Star, January 4, 1928, page 1.
  16. ^ "Radio Station KSTP Opened by President", Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 30, 1928, page 6.
  17. ^ "President Opens Switch", Washington (D.C.) Evening Star, March 30, 1928, page 56.
  18. ^ "List of broadcasting stations surrendering licenses during the period between March 15, 1927, and June 30, 1928", Second Annual Report of the Federal Radio Commission (year ending June 30, 1928), page 83.
  19. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, February 29, 1928, page 5.
  20. ^ "Broadcasting Stations, by Wave Lengths, Effective November 11, 1928, Commercial and Government Radio Stations of the United States (edition June 30, 1928), page 176.
  21. ^ "KSTP Wins Boost". Broadcasting. February 15, 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Shunt-Excited Antenna Used by U-h-f Station" by Donald M. Miller, KSTP, Electronics, May 1939, pages 44-46.
  23. ^ "Assignments of United States Standard Broadcast Stations Listed by Frequency", page 1442.
  24. ^ KSTP (advertisement), Broadcasting, July 23, 1956, page 139.
  25. ^ "KSTP-AM 1500 going all-sports talk, joining ESPN" by Amy Carlson Gustafson, Pioneer Press, February 10, 2010 (Updated November 12, 2015)
  26. ^ Miller, Phil (March 10, 2011). "WCCO says goodbye to Gophers sports". Star Tribune.
  27. ^ "MNUFC Matches Broadcast on FOX 9/My29 and 1500 ESPN". March 2, 2017.
  28. ^ "K235BP-FM Radio Station Coverage Map". February 7, 2018.
  29. ^ KSTP Relaunching as SKOR North Radioinsight - January 14, 2019
  30. ^ Upper Midwest Broadcasting - January 15, 2019
  31. ^ Nelson, Joe. "Significant layoffs at Twin Cities radio stations SKOR North, MyTalk, KS95". Bring Me The News. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
Preceded by
830 WCCO
Radio Home of the
Minnesota Twins
Succeeded by
96.3 KTWN-FM