101.9 FM, Lincoln (Omaha)
First Air Date: June 22, 1958
Operating Power: 320 watts
Original Call Letters: KFMQ
Format: Middle of the Road & Classical
Issued To: Herbert Burton
Through the Years
June 22, 1958- KFMQ 95.3 FM signs on with 320 watts at 125 feet. Owner & Founder: Herbert Burton. Studio and transmitter located at 10th & O Streets in Lincoln, NE. Format: Middle of the Road and Classical.
Increase power to 1,000 watts at 125 feet.
February, 1966- Station is sold to KFMQ, Inc (Steve Agnew) for $80,000. Agnew is the General Manager. Format: Middle of the Road daytime, Progressive Rock nighttime.
September 21, 1968- Noting that the night format brings in more revenue than daytime, the format is switched full time to Progressive Rock. Rebranded as “Q102”.
Frequency switch from 95.3 to 101.9 FM, 100,000 watts at 150 feet.
Antenna height increased to 180 feet.
KFMQ is sold to Telegraph-Herald Inc. (Robert Woodard, Dubuque, IA) Lincoln for $1.89 million plus $200,000 non compete. Telegraph-Herald already owns KLMS 1480 AM.
Studios moved to 1540 South 70th Street in Lincoln.
Upgrade to 1132 feet at a new tower site near Eagle, NE, 15 miles east of Lincoln and about 40 miles southwest of downtown Omaha. Station becomes Omaha’s second rimshot signal just weeks after KOMJ 103.7 FM, Atlantic, IA upgrades.
June, 1988- KFMQ is sold to Midwest Communications of Nebraska (Dewey E. Wright) for $2.8 million. The sale includes co-owned KLMS 1480 AM.
Call letters adjust to KFMQ-FM when co-owned KLMS 1480 AM changes calls to KFMQ AM. (The 1480 AM station will be sold off in 1993 for $200,000.)
October 3, 1992- Format flips to Country as “Omaha’s Young Country” and “The Hit Kicker.”
October 30, 1992- Call letters changed to KYNN to capitalize on recent Omaha country music station that used those calls as “Country Kin.” Omaha studio is built at 143rd and Y Streets in Millard. Station success struggles as its the third country format in Omaha behind KXKT and WOW FM. Sales efforts are focused to the south of Omaha to include most of southeast Nebraska.
February, 1995- Station is sold to Mitchell Broadcasting for $1.7 million. Studios remain in Millard for a short time. Subsequently, the studios are moved to 10th & Farnam in Omaha, joining co-owned KQKQ and KKAR.
April, 1995- After a format search is conducted by Mitchell, it is determined that there is a hole in the Omaha market for Alternative music. Station discards country (being the third country station in the market) for Alternative Rock as “The Edge,” “Omaha’s Modern Rock Station.”
The Edge moniker is licensed from Jacobs Media, a programming research and consultancy firm which is retained as the music consultant for the station. A huge “reveal” party is held at an Art Gallery at the time of the format switch.
Translator K299AK 107.7 is added and placed on the WOWT Channel 6 tower at 35th & Farnam in Omaha, primarily done to fill in the signal in eastern/downtown Omaha, which is hampered by the terrain from the transmitter site to portions of the Omaha market.
Mitchell Broadcasting wins a five-year rights deal to air Husker Football broadcasts on KKAR and KDGE. The FM signal is believed to be a factor in winning the rights from KFAB.
KDGE debuts its first “Edgefest” at Arksarben Horse Park, featuring several modern rock/alternative bands. The event draws over 16,000 people and is a huge success. This is followed by another Edgefest, held the next year at Westfair in Council Bluffs.
A lightning strike takes out the main transmitter in Eagle, resulting in $100,000 in repairs and operating with an inferior signal from the main tower site, which lasts for six weeks. The signal greatly impaired in covering the Omaha metro, which resulted in a drastic reduction in ratings in the subsequent ratings book. That event, along with some attrition of alternative music artists, resulted in the station having to consider another format.
April 13, 1988- As a result of the hampered signal from Eagle tower and format difficulties, the station flips the format to Classic Rock.
April 24, 1988- Call letters are changed to KZFX, “The Foxx.”
April, 2000-Waitt Media signs a Local Marketing Agreement with Mitchell and takes over Operations of Mitchell Broadcasting’s 16 stations, including KZFX.
Waitt Media completes the purchase of the Mitchell stations in Omaha, Fremont, Kearney, North Platte and Hastings for $36.6 million.
February, 2002-KZFX flips format to Adult Contemporary, Lite Rock 101.9. Call letters change to KLTQ. Transmitter is moved to the KGBI tower, 21 miles closer to Omaha, putting the Lincoln station closer to Omaha than to Lincoln. The new transmitter location is located on Buffalo Road and County Road 68 in Springfield, NE. This puts a much better signal into the Omaha metro. This move required KAYL 101.7 FM Storm Lake, Iowa to downgrade from 100,000 watts to 50,000 watts, which was easily accomplished as that station is co-owned by Waitt Media.
The translator on 107.7 FM is no longer needed. It is then sold to Baer Communications to relay the signal of KBLR, Blair, NE.
Waitt Media merges with the New Radio Group (Cedar Rapids, IA) forming NRG Media. Eventually, Waitt leaves the radio industry and no longer is part of NRG.
December, 2007- Format flip to a combination of Classic Rock and Hot Adult Contemporary.
Call letters change to KOOO, “The Big O”.
KGBI moves its transmitter site to the TV antenna farm on North 72nd Street in Omaha, leaving 101.9 FM alone on the tower in Springfield.
Community of license is changed from Lincoln to La Vista, a suburb on the south edge of Omaha.
KOOO’s music is adjusted to 80’s-based Classic Rock and the station rebrands as “The Keg.”