KMJ-FM - History


In the late 1970s, 105.9 was an album rocker known as "106 KKDJ", the KKDJ callsign having been previously used in Los Angeles. KKDJ was the premiere rock station in Fresno throughout the 1980s, largely due to the popularity of its morning show, the Dean and Don Breakfast Club. Dean was also known as Bobby Volare and Don as "Donnie Rotten." Bobby and his pompadour did great imitations of Elvis Presley and recorded great ballads such as Fresno Side of the Street and Girl from Woodward Park. The Breakfast Club had a cult-like following in Fresno during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It also brought great 1980s concert acts such as The Knack, Huey Lewis and the News, the Motels, the Baby's and many others to the Star Palace and Warner's Theatre.

In 1980, Dean and Don recruited the KKDJ Cheerleaders. They were composed of eight girls and one man. The applicants had to submit a written essay of why they wanted to become a KKDJ Cheerleader. The hip and sexy 1980s cheer team was recruited to promote concerts and other events hosted by the popular Breakfast Club. Some of the team members included: Susan Johnson aka Sexy Susan, Becky Perryman aka Becky Baby, Mayer Daher aka Mary Maybe, Julie Contreras aka Jules, Susan Riley aka Sassy Sue, Cecelia aka Lusty Lolita, Jim Micheals and others. Other DJs at the station during this time included Jeffrey "D" Reidel and Mike Wild (the Wild Kingdom). Dean's show was called Dean Opperman's Off-Ramp to Nowhere

KKDJ's dominance as a rocker was compromised when KMGX changed format from top-40 to rock in 1989. In 1991, KKDJ changed format from album rock to alternative under the nickname "105.9 The Edge". This format lasted until January 1994, and KKDJ once again made a go at competing with KRZR, but that was also short lived. Note: not to be confused with another radio station KBFP-FM, formerly KKDJ, based in Delano in Kern County, California.

When Henry Broadcasting acquired KKDJ, it was relocated from its studios on Shaw Avenue to a small trailer in the KSKS/KMJ parking lot. (That trailer was previously used by sister station KDON-FM for live remotes) Henry Broadcasting also changed the format of KKDJ to Classic Rock to compete with KJFX. In 1996, KKDJ's format changed to Spanish as KRNC, "Romance 106". That evolved into the Spanish format "Viva 106", which was replaced in 2005 by a talk format known as "The Edge", with the callsign KKDG. The talk format barely made a dent in the ratings, and "Viva 106" (With Howard Stern in the morning) was temporarily revived.

In September 2005, the format was changed again to a Jack FM affiliate, rebranding itself as "105.9 Jack FM," and changing its callsign to KFJK. The radio station was among the highest-rated stations in the central valley for several years, due to its much larger playlist—consisting of songs from the 1960s to the present and rarely ever featuring a contemporary rap or hip-hop song—as well as its own unique system of playing these songs at random, hence the slogan, "Playing what we want." In addition, Jack had no DJs, which was heavily promoted; one such bumper stated, "You don't hear someone talk in between songs on a CD, so why would you hear someone talk in between songs on the radio?" In response to the success of KFJK, KWYE (which had recently been acquired by Peak Broadcasting, KFJK's current owners) changed its format—which had previously been Top 40-oriented—to one similar to that of Jack's in December 2006.

It was during this time that its broadcasting locations changed. Previously (as heard in a 2007 Jack FM bumper), it had been broadcasting from "the basement of the old Security Bank Building" in downtown Fresno, but in 2008, it moved to its current residence, "the old IBM Building" in central Fresno, the location of the other Fresno radio stations owned by Peak Broadcasting (formerly CBS Radio.)

Jack FM's popularity declined by 2009, however, eventually ranking 15th (out of 38) and on March 26, 2009, KFJK changed its format to news/talk, branded as "KMJ Now", in tandem with KMJ 580 AM. On March 27, 2009 KFJK changed its call letters to KMJ-FM. The station's switch to Conservative talk created the region's fifth such format, receiving a ranking of 20th by November 19, 2009.

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