KTNO
KTNO RadioLuz620 logo.png
Broadcast areaDallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
Frequency620 kHz
Branding620 AM Radio Luz
Programming
Language(s)Spanish
FormatSpanish Christian
Ownership
Owner
KLTY, KSKY, KWRD-FM, K273BJ
History
First air date
July 15, 1939 (in Wichita Falls; moved to Plano in 1994)
Former call signs
KWFT (1939-1995)
KAAM (1995-1998)
KMKI (1998-2015)
KEXB (2015-2019)
Call sign meaning
LaTiNO
(Warehoused from 1440 AM)
Technical information
Facility ID49320
ClassB
Power5,000 watts (Daytime)
4,500 watts (Nighttime)
Links
WebcastListen live
Websiteluzdallas.com

KTNO (620 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Plano, Texas, and serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The station airs a Spanish Christian radio format known as "Radio Luz" and is owned by the Salem Media Group.[1] Studios and offices are on North Belt Line Road in Irving.[2] The transmitter is located on County Road 409 in McKinney.[3]

History

KWFT in Wichita Falls (1939-1994)

The station originally had its start in Wichita Falls, Texas, as KWFT. It signed on in 1939 on 620 kilocycles and broadcast in Wichita Falls until 1994. KWFT was the first radio station to continuously operate in the city and was a regional channel that could be heard across a large geographical area of Texas and Oklahoma during the daytime. The station was a CBS Network affiliate.

On December 19, 1947, the Federal Communications Commission approved the sale of KWFT from Mr. and Mrs. Joe P. Carrigan, Laura Lou Carrigan and Mrs. Elizabeth Carrigan Simpson to Edward H. Rowley, H.J. Griffith and Kenyon Brown, operating as KWFT, Incorporated.[4]

In 1953, KWFT joined other radio stations in the United States by plunging into the new medium of television. KWFT-TV signed on the air on March 1 and was the first television station in the Wichita Falls. Just as its AM counterpart was a CBS radio affiliate, KWFT-TV was an affiliate of the CBS television network. KWFT sold the TV station in 1956 at which time it became KSYD-TV and later KAUZ-TV in 1963, continuing as the CBS affiliate for the Wichita Falls-Lawton market.

KWFT Radio focused on local and national news, weather, farm reports and middle of the road music. However, as FM radio became more popular for music listening in the 1980s, it cut into KWFT's audience and advertising dollars, leading to the sale of the station in the mid-1990s to a new owner who had other plans for the station. KWFT signed off at 11:59 p.m. on December 24, 1994.

KAAM and KMKI in Dallas

About two years later, the 620 frequency formerly licensed to Wichita Falls returned to the airwaves licensed to Plano, a suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The new call sign was KAAM. It was owned by Collin County Radio L.C. and it aired an adult standards format.[5]

KAAM was sold to The Walt Disney Company for $12 million and switched to the Radio Disney children's radio format on August 1, 1998.[6] KAAM was renamed KMKI (from Disney Character MicKey Mouse). Until Radio Disney's move from Dallas to Burbank, California, KMKI was the network's flagship station.

In May 2014, Mediabase moved KMKI, along with other Radio Disney stations, to the Top 40/CHR panel, even though Radio Disney was considered a children's station.[7]

Final Radio Disney logo for KMKI.
Final Radio Disney logo for KMKI.

On August 13, 2014, Disney put KMKI and 22 other Radio Disney stations up for sale, in order to focus on digital distribution of the Radio Disney network. KMKI's affiliation was scheduled to be discontinued on or after September 26, 2014.[8][9][10] But the Disney Corp. decided to keep the programming on KMKI until it found a buyer.

KMKI has a license to broadcast a digital signal using iBiquity's "HD Radio" but suspended transmission in the months before the sale announcement. Because the license to broadcast digital "HD Radio" is perpetual, the station could resume digital broadcasts at any time.

Sale to Salem

620AM KEXB logo used from 2015 until 2019.
620AM KEXB logo used from 2015 until 2019.

On June 5, 2015, the Salem Media Group announced it would acquire KMKI for $3 million.[11] The station was sold to Salem on September 15, 2015.[12] As a result, the station discontinued its Radio Disney programming and went dark. 620 AM returned to the air on September 18, 2015, simulcasting the Christian radio programming of sister station KWRD-FM. On September 25, 2015, KMKI began simulcasting co-owned KVCE, broadcasting a business and financial news/talk format.[13] On October 1, 2015, KMKI changed its call letters to KEXB (standing for “Experts in Business), and took over the business news/talk format from KVCE.[14] Radio Disney programming for the region later moved to KLUV's HD3 digital subchannel after the network's seven-month absence from the DFW radio market.

KEXB carried syndicated radio shows such as Bloomberg Radio and Ray Lucia.[15] It also aired brokered programming from financial planners who paid for time on the station and advertised their services. SRN News began most hours.

Flip to Spanish Christian

In 2019, Salem announced it would sell co-owned KTNO to Catholic broadcaster Immaculate Heart Media, Inc.[16] On October 21, 2019, Salem discontinued its Financial News/Talk format on AM 620 and moved its Spanish Christian format known as "Radio Luz" from KTNO to KEXB.[17][18] In addition, KEXB's call sign was switched to KTNO, while the KEXB call letters were warehoused on the former KTNO.

Signal

Unlike most of the area's AM stations, which transmit their signals from Cedar Hill, KTNO transmits its signal along County Road 409 in McKinney. Therefore, KTNO's AM signal is much stronger in much of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as well as the cities of Wichita Falls, and Greenville, to as far north as Ada, Oklahoma, but is considerably weaker south of the Metroplex.

References

  1. ^ RadioInsight.com "Radio Luz Moves in Dallas" Oct. 21, 2019
  2. ^ 620amKEXB.com/contact-us
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/KTNO
  4. ^ "KWFT Wichita Falls Sale Gets Approval of FCC" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 22, 1947. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  5. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1997 page B-448
  6. ^ Sayewitz, Ronni (August 9, 1998). "Radio Disney eyes doubling its stations by '99". Dallas Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  7. ^ Mediabase Announces Panel Changes (Published April 22, 2014, Retrieved August 8, 2014)
  8. ^ Lafayette, Jon (August 13, 2014). "Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital". Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Venta, Lance (August 13, 2014). "Radio Disney To Sell All But One Station". Radio Insight. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "Radio Disney to Sell the Majority of Its Stations". Billboard. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  11. ^ Salem Acquires Disney Stations in Boston and Dallas - Radio Insight
  12. ^ "Oregon FM License Sold, Puerto Rico AM Donated".
  13. ^ Biz-talk KVCE/1160 AM moving to 620 AM - DFW.com
  14. ^ "Call Sign History".
  15. ^ "KEXB Program Guide". 620amKEXB.com. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  16. ^ [1] - Radio Insight (published August 16, 2019, retrieved October 21, 2019)
  17. ^ Radio Luz Moves in Dallas - Radio Insight (published October 21, 2019)
  18. ^ 620AM KEXB - Experts in Business official website (accessed October 21, 2019)


Coordinates: 33°14′34″N 96°32′29″W / 33.24278°N 96.54139°W / 33.24278; -96.54139