WFUN-FM
CitySt. Louis, Missouri
Broadcast areaGreater St. Louis
Frequency96.3 MHz (HD Radio)
Branding96.3 The Lou
SloganR&B For The Lou
Programming
Language(s)English
FormatUrban adult contemporary
SubchannelsHD2: Classical music
HD3: Classic rock
Ownership
OwnerAudacy, Inc.
(Audacy License, LLC)
History
First air date
December 11, 1959 (1959-12-11)
Former call signs
KADI (1959–75)
KADI-FM (1975–78)
KADI (1978–79)
KADI-FM (1979-87)
KRJY (1987–94)
KIHT (1994–2015)
KNOU (2015–20)
Former frequencies
96.5 MHz (1959–72)
Call sign meaning
We're the FUNtastic FM! former call sign of KXBS, which formerly aired a children's radio format as "Fun Radio"
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID27022
ClassC1
ERP92,000 watts
HAAT309 meters (1,014 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
38°34′28″N 90°19′32″W / 38.5744°N 90.3255°W / 38.5744; -90.3255
Translator(s)HD2: 107.3 K297BI (St. Louis)
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
WebcastListen live (via Audacy)
Listen live (HD2)
Websitewww.audacy.com/963thelou

WFUN-FM (96.3 FM) is an FM radio station in St. Louis, Missouri. The station airs an Adult R&B radio format branded as "96.3 The Lou". Owned by Audacy, Inc., the station's studios are located on Olive Street in St. Louis, while its transmitter is located off Watson Road in Shrewsbury.

WFUN-FM has two HD Radio channels:

History

The 96.5 frequency originally signed on the air on December 22, 1959[1] as KADI, the sister station to AM 1460 KADY in St. Charles. The stations were owned by William R. Cady (hence the KADI call letters); KADI-FM, the first new commercial FM in St. Louis since 1955, mostly simulcasted the AM station's programming. In 1965, as KADY failed due to financial difficulties, KADI was sold to Vanguard Broadcasting and returned to the air in 1966. In 1969, Richard J. Miller, owner of AM station KXLW in Clayton (now KSIV), acquired KADI and relaunched it with a progressive rock format. In 1972, KADI-FM was moved down one notch on the FM dial to 96.3 MHz to allow new station KSCF (now KFTK-FM) in Florissant to go on the air at 97.1 MHz.

In May 1987, the station's call letters were changed to KRJY, and the station switched to a soft adult contemporary format as "K-Joy 96" (later "J96").[2] In late 1991, the station switched to 1950s/1960s oldies as "Jukebox 96."

In 1993, the station was sold by R.J. Miller to Heritage Media, who also owned WIL-FM and WRTH. On March 24, 1994, at noon, the station adopted the KIHT call letters and "K-HITS 96" identity, flipping to a "Greatest Hits of the '70s" format, which would evolve into classic hits over the next few years.[3] Heritage's St. Louis properties were sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in the mid-1990s, and Sinclair sold the station to Emmis Communications in 2000. In October of that year, KIHT became the flagship for the #1 rated "Steve & DC" morning program. The fans of the much-talked about duo immediately followed them down the dial from WKKX (106.5 FM) to 96.3, and lifted KIHT from tenth place to first in persons 25 to 54 in only one ratings period upon the release of the Arbitron Fall 2000 book—a feat that continues to go unmatched in St. Louis radio history.

In 2014, while keeping a Classic Hits direction, KIHT added more music from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, to compete against adult hits-formatted WARH.

Logo as 96.3 Now, 2015-2020
Logo as 96.3 Now, 2015-2020

On January 30, 2015, at 5 a.m., after playing "Rock'n Me" by The Steve Miller Band, "Get The Party Started" by P!nk, and "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J, KIHT flipped to an adult-leaning Top 40/CHR as "Now 96-3". The first song on "Now" was "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift.[4][5] On February 5, 2015, KIHT changed call letters to KNOU to match the "Now" branding. In January 2018, KNOU and KFTK-FM were sold by Emmis to Entercom. In March 2018, after Entercom began managing the station under a local marketing agreement, KNOU shifted to a more mainstream CHR as its positioning was redundant to new sister station KYKY.[6][7]

On November 5, 2020, Urban One agreed to a station swap with Entercom in which they would swap ownership of four stations, including the intellectual property of WFUN-FM (95.5), to Entercom in exchange for WBT/WBT-FM, WFNZ and WLNK in Charlotte, North Carolina. As part of the terms of the deal, Entercom would take over operations via a local marketing agreement on November 23; however, as the station itself will remain with Urban One, it was announced that the Adult R&B format and WFUN-FM's intellectual property would move to KNOU on that date. The change took place at midnight on November 23; subsequently, Gateway Creative Broadcasting announced it would purchase WFUN-FM's former frequency and flip it to Christian Rhythmic CHR under the "Boost Radio" branding in January 2021.[8][9] On November 24, 2020, the WFUN-FM call sign moved to 96.3;[10] 95.5 then became KXBS. (The KNOU call letters were later adopted by Los Angeles sister station KAMP.)

References

  1. ^ "Radio Station KADY..." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 18, 1959. p. 8F. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1980s/1987/RR-1987-05-08.pdf
  3. ^ "Heritage Switches KRJY/St. Louis From '50s-'60s 'Jukebox' To '70s Gold Mine" (PDF). Radio & Records. pp. 10, 23. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "KIHT St. Louis Flips To CHR Now". RadioInsight. 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  5. ^ KIHT (K-Hits) St. Louis Format Change to "Now"
  6. ^ "Now 96.3 St. Louis Moves Back To CHR As Entercom Takes Over". RadioInsight. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  7. ^ "Sale Prices For Emmis St. Louis Sales To Entercom & Hubbard - RadioInsight". RadioInsight. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  8. ^ Entercom To Swap Charlotte Stations To Radio One For WPHI, WTEM and St. Louis Duo
  9. ^ The Ending of NOW 96.3, the Beginning of 96.3 the LOU- YouTube
  10. ^ "Call Sign History (WFUN-FM)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved November 26, 2020.