|Broadcast area||Phoenix metropolitan area|
|Owner||Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. |
(Phoenix FCC License Sub, LLC)
|KDKB, KDUS, KSLX-FM, KAZG|
First air date
|June 1, 1960|
Call sign meaning
|Cupid (used during its early years)|
|HAAT||494 meters (1,621 ft)|
KUPD (97.9 MHz, "98 KUPD") is a commercial active rock FM radio station. Licensed to Tempe, Arizona, the station serves the Phoenix metropolitan area. The station is owned by Hubbard Radio, a division of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota. Its studios are located on North 52nd Street west of Papago Park and its transmitter is in South Mountain Park.
KUPD has been nominated as the "Major Market Radio Station of the Year" for a RadioContraband Rock Radio Award in 2011 and 2012. KUPD was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.
On July 1, 1960, KUPD first signed on the air as the FM sister station to 1060 KUPD (now KDUS). KUPD-FM simulcast its AM station's MOR popular music format. In the 1970s, the station moved to a Top 40 format, and later easy listening and Adult Contemporary, before becoming a rock station in March 1979. During this time, KUPD-FM's original license was not renewed as the result of a 1988 comparative renewal hearing for KUKQ and KUPD-FM, in which the stations lost their original licenses for lying to the Federal Communications Commission about an alleged secret owner. An additional owner was ruled unfit to hold a license due to a 1982 criminal conviction in Arizona. The stations were instead awarded to former owner Jack Grimm, his wife Jackie, and Ruth Clifford, doing business as Tempe Radio, Inc. In 1992, after years of appeals, Grimm and Clifford took over KUKQ and KUPD-FM on new licenses, retaining the call letters, facilities and formats of the stations by buying them from Tri-State Broadcasting. After a year, Grimm and Clifford sold the duo to Robert Fish.
In the 1990s, KUPD became co-owned with its former competitors, KDKB and KSLX-FM, after being purchased by Sandusky Radio, which also owned stations in Seattle, Washington. In 2013, Sandusky sold its stations in Phoenix and Seattle to Hubbard Broadcasting.
Along with sponsoring the majority of hard rock concerts in the Phoenix-metro area, the station also holds its own annual concert events such as "UFest", "The End of Summer Scorcher", "The Big Red Night of the Dead" and more. The station has invited notable hard rock acts to play the show each year. In recent years it has been headlined by acts such as Alice In Chains in 2008, Sevendust in 2009, Three Days Grace in 2010 and Papa Roach in 2011.
KUPD once transmitted an HD Radio signal, but due to technical issues, has since returned to analog-only broadcasting. The second channel carried sister station KDUS NBC Sports Radio 1060, which now airs on KSLX-FM's HD2 subchannel.