KVDT
Broadcast areaDallas–Fort Worth metroplex/
Ardmore/Durant/Sherman/
Gainesville
Frequency103.3 MHz
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatConservative Christian
NetworkVCY America
Ownership
OwnerVCY America, Inc.
History
First air date
December 1, 1981 (as KEMM at 92.1)
Former call signs
KEMM (1981-2001)
KESN (2001-2022)
Former frequencies
92.1 MHz (1981-2000)
Call sign meaning
VCY Dallas, Texas
Technical information
Facility ID58265
ClassC
ERP98,000 watts
HAAT606 meters (1,988 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
33°32′08″N 96°49′54″W / 33.53556°N 96.83167°W / 33.53556; -96.83167Coordinates: 33°32′08″N 96°49′54″W / 33.53556°N 96.83167°W / 33.53556; -96.83167
Links
WebcastListen Live
Websitevcyamerica.org

KVDT (103.3 MHz) is a radio station licensed to the community of Allen, Texas, United States, and serving the greater Dallas-Fort Worth radio market. From October 8, 2013, to October 7, 2020, Cumulus Media operated the station via a local marketing agreement (LMA), although Disney retained ownership. After Disney and Cumulus ended the LMA, Disney would retain the station and run the national feed of ESPN Radio full-time before, being one of Disney's last radio stations at a time when the company was looking to sell their investments in the business. They ultimately sold the station to Conservative Christian radio group VCY America in December 2021.

Studios are located at VCY America's headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the transmitter site for KVDT is located southeast of Collinsville, Texas, in Grayson County.

History

Early beginnings

The station first signed on the air on December 1, 1981, as KEMM.[1] From 1981-2000, KEMM was licensed to Commerce, Texas, broadcasting at 92.1 MHz with a country music format.

Relaunch as ESPN Radio 103.3

KEMM went silent on September 28, 2000. The city of license and tower were moved to Allen, Texas, in 2001. The station was re-launched on April 27, 2001, as 103.3 KESN with a new all sports format. Fourteen outlying stations were rearranged and relocated to make way for KESN to move into DFW, all at ABC/Disney's expense. Among KESN's most notable local programs was Galloway and Company, hosted by Randy Galloway until his retirement in October 2013.[2]

Previously, despite different owners and a merger of ABC Radio Networks to Citadel Broadcasting; KESN, WBAP (AM), and WFAA-TV maintained a strong partnership (as WFAA is the local ABC television affiliate). In early 2006, 103.3 ESPN welcomed WFAA-TV personality Dale Hansen, a former Dallas Cowboys radio analyst and host on rival station KTCK, to the station. KTCK had become the Cowboys' flagship station, and many speculated that Hansen leaving KTCK for KESN was due to his criticism of the team. The official explanation, however, was that Hansen's ratings did not justify his salary request.

Beginning in the 2011 Major League Baseball season, KESN and KZMP acquired the rights to broadcast all Texas Rangers baseball games for the next four years. English-language broadcasts aired on KESN while the Spanish-language broadcasts were heard on KZMP.[3] These broadcasts were in addition to the Dallas Mavericks broadcasts that were already heard on KESN. Rangers games remained on KESN until the 2015 season, when they returned to KRLD-FM.

Until mid-2011, KESN broadcast in HD Radio, with its HD2 signal simulcasting KZMP (ESPN Deportes Radio) and its HD3 substation broadcasting an audio simulcast of ESPNews. For reasons unknown, the HD broadcasts were discontinued. Because the license to broadcast digital HD Radio is perpetual, the station could resume digital broadcasts at any time.

LMA with Cumulus

On August 7, 2013, it was announced that Cumulus Media, owner of KESN's rival KTCK, would take over operations of ESPN 103.3 through a long-term local marketing agreement (LMA) with Disney, beginning on October 8. Programming on both stations would remain the same. The change took effect once Cumulus closed on the sale of FM station KTDK 104.1 of Sanger to Whitley Media.[4][5][6] However, on September 20, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected the sale citing that the license transfer was not a true sale in that all economic risk would remain with Cumulus as Whitley would get the same brokerage fee regardless of the price the station would have sold for. Cumulus would remain the de facto owner of the station.[7] Eventually, the license of KTDK 104.1 was cancelled, and its call sign was deleted by the FCC on October 18, 2013, at the request of Cumulus.[8]

Since 2015, as result of the sale of WRDZ-FM (today WZRL) to iHeartMedia,[9][10] KESN became the only Disney/ABC-owned station on FM.[11]

Its former sister station KZMP (1540 AM) aired Spanish language sports programming until September 2016, when it was flipped to a Regional Mexican format. The change left the DFW market without an ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate until its re-affiliation in July 2018. ESPN Deportes Radio discontinued its radio broadcasts in September 2019.

End of Cumulus LMA

All local programming on KESN, with the exception of the Dallas Mavericks games, ended on October 7, 2020, following the expiration of the LMA with Cumulus.[12] The station then began broadcasting an all-national format except for Dallas Mavericks games. Prior to the end of local programming on KESN, share ratings for KESN's primary shows lagged behind that of KTCK, Sportsradio 1310 "The Ticket", KESN's chief sports talk radio rival in the Dallas/Fort Worth market.[citation needed] In ratings books, KESN had higher cume than KTCK, meaning that while more total people may have listened to KESN at various points throughout the day, roughly twice as many people were listening to KTCK at any given time.[citation needed]

On August 23, 2021, it was announced that the Dallas Mavericks game broadcasts would move to iHeartMedia-owned Mainstream Rock station KEGL (97.1 The Eagle) after 20 years on KESN. While the Mavericks previous contract with ESPN 103.3 ran through 2023, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban exercised an out clause in the contract triggered by the end of the LMA of KESN by Cumulus Media a year prior.[13]

Sale to VCY America

On December 21, 2021, Disney announced they would sell KESN to Christian radio group VCY America for $9.25 million. The network has already filed to convert KESN to non-commercial operation upon the sale's closure, and it is expected the station will convert to carrying the VCY America network upon the deal's closure. VCY America owns KVCE in Lubbock, which would make KESN its second Texas station and continuing VCY's nationwide expansion.[14]

The sale was consummated on March 9, 2022, at which point the station joined the VCY America network at 10:30 p.m. This changeover left the Dallas-Fort Worth area without an ESPN Radio affiliate.[15][16] The station changed its call sign to KVDT on March 22, 2022.

Signal

Unlike most of the area's FM stations, which transmit their signals from Cedar Hill, KVDT transmits its signal from an area east of Collinsville. Therefore, KVDT's signal is much stronger in the northern parts of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, including Dallas, Decatur, Denton, and McKinney. The signal is also strong in cities further north and outside of the Metroplex such as Gainesville, Sherman, and Bonham, to as far north as Ardmore and Durant in Oklahoma. In Fort Worth and areas south of Dallas, the station's signal is considerably weaker, which has caused problems for some of its listeners in these areas, especially during the sports radio era where listeners were following live sporting events.

Notable on-air staff

Former

References

  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1984 page 246
  2. ^ http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/article3836072.html[bare URL]
  3. ^ Rangers join ESPN 103.3 FM, 1540 AM - ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth (released December 8, 2010)
  4. ^ Cumulus to LMA ESPN 103.3 Dallas - Radio Insight (released August 7, 2013)
  5. ^ Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket to operate ESPN Radio in Dallas - The Dallas Morning News (released August 7, 2013)
  6. ^ FCC letter of correspondence - February 24, 2014
  7. ^ 104.1 KTDK To Be Restored? - Radio Insight
  8. ^ Surrender of Licenses - Federal Communications Commission
  9. ^ "Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  10. ^ Venta, Lance (July 17, 2015). "Big 98.3 Indianapolis Debuts". Radio Insight. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  11. ^ Other Authorizations of Disney (KWDZ and WRDZ-FM included) - Federal Communications Commission
  12. ^ "KESN Local Hosts To Exit Wednesday Ahead Of Return To ESPN Control". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  13. ^ Reports: Dallas Mavericks To Move To KEGL - RadioInsight (published August 23, 2021)
  14. ^ VCY America Acquires ESPN 103.3 Dallas
  15. ^ "VCY America Launches On 103.3 Dallas". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  16. ^ vcyamerica (2022-03-10). "VCY now in Dallas on 103.3 FM!". VCY America. Retrieved 2022-03-19.