|City of license||Florissant, Missouri|
|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Branding||FM News Talk 97.1|
|Slogan||In Touch and Up to Date|
|First air date||1977|
|Callsign meaning||K FM TalK|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2010)|
KFTK is a commercial radio station located in Florissant, Missouri, United States, broadcasting to the Greater St. Louis area on 97.1 FM. KFTK airs news/talk local and syndicated programming leaning to the conservative side of talk and opinion.
It is affiliated with Fox News Radio and features many Fox News personalities, such as Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. Other syndicated shows that appear are Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Dave Ramsey, and Bill Cunningham.
Local talent includes former KMOV reporter Jamie Allman (mornings), Dana Loesch, and Dave Glover, who is consistently the top-rated afternoon drive show in the St. Louis market. Other local weekend talent include Dr. Randy Tobler, Dave Finkelstein (auto talk), Bob Stockdale (money talk), Max Foisey (movie show), and Rodney Boyd.
In the fall of 2000, Emmis Communications added to its St. Louis radio portfolio by purchasing properties from Sinclair Broadcasting, who wanted to focus on its television properties. 97.1 FM ran a classic rock format known as "97FM The Rock!" which had pulled listeners away from Emmis' rock station KSHE. Upon purchasing 97.1, Emmis changed formats to an FM talk station. Initially the station focused on a female audience, which included such syndicated personalities as Bob and Sheri, Clark Howard, and Dr. Laura, using the name "97.1 FM Talk." Failing to reach much of an audience, the station shifted towards more political talk in 2002, adding such talkers as Don Imus, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. The station briefly changed its name to "97-1 the Link...Real Life Radio" but soon returned to the "FM Talk" moniker.
KFTK is the only talk station in St. Louis that carries more than one nationally syndicated radio show. The two main talk stations in St. Louis, KTRS and KMOX carry mostly local shows. KTRS carries Coast to Coast AM, while KMOX airs Rush Limbaugh.
Previous to the station's Classic Rock station, the frequency was home to a variety of call letters and formats throughout the 80s and 90s. The station originally signed on the air in the Mid 1970s, as KSCF - standing for St. Charles & Florissant, with a "Middle of the Road" Easy Listening format. One of the original owners was Harlan "Grant" Horton, a longtime St. Louis broadcaster at KSD, WRTH, KMOX, KXOK AM 630 and WEW. The sign on of 97.1 caused KADI-FM to move from their original frequency of 96.5 to 96.3 to accommodate the new radio station.
In 1980, after the KCFM call letters were dropped by 93.7, they were picked up by 97.1, and the station had an Adult Contemporary format until 1985, when the calls would change once again to KLTH "K-Lite 97" with a Soft Adult Contemporary format. KLTH graduallly segued into a format called "Breeze 97," which was "New Adult Contemporary," an early predecessor to the Smooth Jazz format. In 1989, the station was sold once again, and the new owners flipped the station to Top 40 "Hot 97" with the call letters KHTK. The Top 40 format died when former Top 40 station WKBQ was briefly under lease by the station's owner Saul Frischling of Pittsburgh, and both top 40 stations were merged at 106.5, taking personalities from both stations.
Around 1992, the call letters of 97.1 were switched to KXOK-FM known as "Mix 97-1" with an Urban Adult Contemporary format with Urban Oldies from the former KXOK 630AM was moved to FM. Mix 97.1 would try to comptete with the Urban AC leader in Saint Louis, KMJM ("Magic 108"). The two stations simulcasted briefly before the AM was taken off the air completely, pending a sale to a religious broadcaster.
In 1999, Frischling sold Mix 97.1 to Sinclair Broadcasting, who owned ABC Affiliate KDNL TV-30. At that time, the Urban format was dropped, and the station switched formats to Classic Rock as "The Rock" while retaining the KXOK-FM call letters. The station enjoyed the most success seen on the frequency to that date as a competitor to Emmis Broadcasting's KSHE 95.
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