KPEZ

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KPEZ
102.3 The Beat.png
City Austin, Texas
Broadcast area Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area
Branding 102.3 The Beat
Slogan Austin's Hits & Hip-Hop
Frequency 102.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date August 13, 1976 (as KMXX)
Format FM/HD1:Rhythmic Top 40
HD2:Dance/EDM (Pride Radio Austin)
ERP 26,000 watts
HAAT 209 meters (686 ft)
Class C2
Facility ID 11935
Callsign meaning K P EZ, which is a reference to EZ 102, an easy listening format on the frequency in the late '70s - early '80s
Former callsigns KMXX (1976-1982)
Owner iHeartMedia, Inc.
(CC Licenses, LLC)
Sister stations KASE, KHFI, KVET-FM, KVET
Webcast FM/HD1: The Beat Listen Live
HD2: Pride Radio Listen Live (HD2)
Website FM/HD1: thebeatatx.com
HD2: PrideRadioAustin.com

KPEZ, (102.3 MHz "102.3 The Beat") is a commercial FM radio station in Austin, Texas. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and airs a rhythmic contemporary radio format. It shares studios with four other iHeart stations in the Penn Field complex in the South Congress district (or "SoCo") of south central Austin, near St. Edward's University. KPEZ has an effective radiated power of 26,000 watts, broadcasting from a transmitter site off Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley, Texas.

"The Beat" has for many years been part of the R&B and hip hop music genres under rhythmic and mainstream urban formats, and is in its fifth incarnation in the Austin radio market. It originated on 104.3 in 1998, first as KQBT, and later KXBT (now KLQB). It later moved to 104.9 before switching formats entirely in 2008 (now KTXX). Clear Channel Communications picked up the branding one year later where it aired on 105.9 KFMK before the format swap with KPEZ in 2010.

History

Early Years

On August 13, 1976, the 102.3 frequency first signed on as KMXX[1] It was owned by Dynamic Communications of Austin and played Regional Mexican music. KMXX was Austin's first full-time Spanish language radio station on the FM dial. The president and general manager was Roberto C. Villanueva, making it a rare FM station in a large market under the control of Hispanic management.

KMXX's Spanish-language format may have been ahead of its time. It was only about a year before the station switched to urban contemporary music. But with less than 1,000 watts in power, KMXX had a hard time competing with other stations in Austin, some of them running 100,000 watts.

Clear Channel Ownership

In 1982, the station was bought by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications, the forerunner to present day owner iHeartMedia.[2] The call sign was changed to KPEZ and the format switched to easy listening music as "EZ 102." During the 1980s, Clear Channel got the power increased to 3,000 watts, but still at a disadvantage in signal strength outside Austin and its adjacent communities.

In the late 1980s, KPEZ switched formats to classic rock, becoming "Z 102." It also got a boost in power to 20,000 watts, giving it coverage in Austin's suburbs, as well as in the city. In the fall of 2004, KPEZ became "Channel 102-3" airing a classic-leaning adult album alternative (AAA) format, dubbed "World Class Rock." Most of its air staff stayed on. On December 16, 2005, the AAA format was dropped, and after stunting with Christmas music, KPEZ flipped to a Christian Contemporary music format as "102.3 The River."[3]

Switch with 105.9

In 2008, Clear Channel had acquired 105.9 KFMK, licensed to Round Rock, Texas, and carrying a rhythmic contemporary format. Two years later, as Clear Channel was going into private ownership, FCC ownership regulations required that the Austin cluster spin off one of its station. There were plans underway to move 105.9 KFMK into the Aloha Trust LLC for a future sale.[4] But on May 21, 2010, Clear Channel announced that it planned to move KFMK's rhythmic format to the 102.3 frequency, taking advantage of its better coverage and a more powerful signal. The switch would take place on May 31, 2010. The Christian Contemporary format, heard on the 102.3 frequency, moved to 105.9 and was purchased by Crista Ministries, which specializes in religious radio stations. 105.9 became Contemporary Christian-formatted "Spirit 105.9" in April 2010.[5] At the same time, KPEZ became Austin's new hip-hop and rhythmic contemporary outlet.

Until 2018, KPEZ's HD2 channel carried continuous rebroadcasts of American Top 40 countdown shows from the era when Casey Kasem was the host. IHeartRadio has since moved this feed to WMMX in Dayton, Ohio. The HD2 subchannel currently carries iHeart's Pride Radio, a mix of dance music and EDM, aimed at Austin's homosexual community.

Personalities

Current:

  • Kramer (Mornings)
  • Val Santos (Middays)
  • Frankie V. (Afternoons)
  • Angela Cortez (Nights)
  • Hali G (Overnights)
  • Mikey V (Weekends)
  • DJ Hella Yella (Weekends/Mixer)

Former:

Station management

  • Program Director - Ryan Kramer
  • Music Director - Ryan Kramer

References

  1. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-200
  2. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1984 page C-244
  3. ^ Radio station shifts from rock to religion
  4. ^ FCC.gov
  5. ^ "Clear Channel/Austin Flips KFMK, KPEZ Frequencies" from All Access (May 21, 2010)

External links

  • 102.3 The Beat Website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for KPEZ
  • Radio-Locator information on KPEZ
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPEZ

Coordinates: 30°13′26″N 97°49′41″W / 30.224°N 97.828°W / 30.224; -97.828

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