by Alex Cosper
see also American Radio History
STATION HISTORY: KABC KBBQ KBIG KBLA KDAY KEZY KFAC KFOX KFWB KGBS KGFJ KGIL KHJ KIEV KIIS KIQQ KKBT KKDJ KLAC KLOS KLSX KMET KMPC KNAC KNX KOST KPOL KPPC KPWR KQLZ KRLA KROQ KRTH KSRF KTNQ KTWV KUTE KWST KZLA XPRS
Long before KPWR launched on January 11, 1986 as "Power 106," it went through a variety of identity changes. The 105.9 FM position first aired an easy listening format as KFI-FM, starting July 15, 1946. It became KBMS in 1958 playing beautiful music/instrumentals then continued the format with KWST as "K-West" in 1969.
On January 1, 1975 KWST started playing rock music, competing with KMET and KLOS. KWST flipped to top 40 in 1981. The following summer the call letters changed to KMGG as the slogan became "LA's Magic 106 FM" and the format shifted to adult contemporary.
Emmis Communications acquired KMGG from Century Broadcasting in 1984. A few years later Emmis flipped the format to top 40 to compete with KIIS while cornering the market for urban dance music. Following a short run of Tommy Jaxson and Deborah Rath hosting the Morning Zoo, comedian Jay Thomas joined them as host of the show. The Baka Boyz succeeded the Zoo in 1992 until it was replaced by "Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" in the fall of 1997. It later became a nationally syndicated show starting in 2007 for ABC Radio Networks, then Citadel and Westwood One.
In its early years KPWR billed itself as "Power 106, The Fresh New Music Mix." In 1987 the slogan changed to "Pure Energy ... Dance Now!!!" In 1991 it was "LA's Hottest Music" then in 1997 it shifted to "LA's Party Station." By 2005 it had become "Where Hip-Hop Lives" and then in 2017 "LA's #1 for Hip Hop!"
KPWR ownership changed hands in 2017 to Meruelo Group for $82.75 million, as Emmis agreed to divest the station to help its credit rating. Meruelo, which also owns KDAY and KDEY-FM, took control of the station on July 6, 2017.
1986-1986 Rick Lewis
1986-1990 Mucho Morales
1986-1996 Joe "The Boomer" Servantez
1986-1992 Jay Thomas
1987-1988 Joe Nasty
1989-1997 Marko Radlovic
1990-2004 Humpty (Richard Vission)
1992-1993 Frank Murphy
1993-1998 Josepha Salinas
1993-1999 Kim Tavares
1995-1995 Chris Rivas
1995-2000 Snoop Dogg
1997-1998 Ice T
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