|City of license||Seattle, Washington|
|Broadcast area||Seattle metropolitan area|
|Branding||96.5 Jack FM|
|Slogan||Playing What We Want|
|Frequency||96.5 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 96.5-2 FM-"Boom" (50's and 60's oldies)
96.5-3 FM-KFNQ simulcast
|First air date||1959 (as KLSN)|
|Callsign meaning||Play-on letters for Jack|
|Former callsigns||KLSN (1959-1970s)
(CBS Radio Stations Inc.)
|Sister stations||KMPS-FM, KFNQ, KZOK-FM|
KJAQ (96.5 FM) is a commercial radio station located in Seattle, Washington. KJAQ airs an adult hits music format branded as "Jack FM". KJAQ broadcasts on a frequency of 96.5 mHz with an ERP of 52,000 watts through a transmitter near Issaquah, Washington on Tiger Mountain, and operates from studios in Seattle near Lake Union.
What is now KJAQ signed on the air in 1959 as KLSN, an instrumental music station broadcasting from the University Village shopping center. From the early 1970s (employing the quadraphonic sound for a short time) until 1977, the station's format was R&B as KYAC with the tagline "The Soul of the Sound." In 1977, the call letters switched to KYYX and ran as a Top-40 station until late 1982, when the station shifted to new wave and adding an emphasis on newer music. The station was called "96.5 The Wave" and featured radio personalities Mike "Beaver" Bell, Damien, Stephen Rabow, John Langan, and Van Johnson. The station's moniker was "The Rock of The 80s". On March 26, 1984, the call letters and format changed yet again, this time to enter the popular, yet crowded, soft AC (Adult Contemporary) format as KKMI. The station shifted to "Quality Hits" as KQKT in 1985. Early in 1987, 96.5 flipped to KXRX, a personality-driven album rock station featuring Robin & Maynard in morning drive, Larry Snyder mid-days, Crow & West in afternoon drive, Beau Roberts in evenings, and Scott Vanderpool in overnights.
Alliance Broadcasting bought the station from Shamrock Broadcasting in May of 1994. On June 25, KXRX began stunting with comedy routines; on June 29 at 5:30 PM, the station began a robotic countdown that started at 40,000 and ended at 1; however, instead of ending the countdown at 1, it counted up to 40,000, then back to 1. On July 1, at 3 PM, Alliance flipped the station to the popular (at the time) Country format as "Young Country 96.5" with the call letters KYCW-FM and competed against KMPS and KCIN. Alliance would merge with Infinity Broadcasting; shortly afterwards, Infinity sold KYCW to EZ Communications in 1996, with KYCW joining KCIN under common ownership, which prompted EZ to flip KCIN to Rhythmic AC. The station would simulcast on KYCW-AM 1090 for a brief period after this. EZ Communications would be bought out by American Radio Systems in the same year. In 1997, American Radio Systems would be bought out by Infinity, which effectively returned the station under Infinity ownership.
On December 22, 1999, Infinity flipped KYCW-FM to all-80's hits known as "96.5 The Point". The call letters became KYPT as well. It gained huge popularity in the market, but slowly slipped in the ratings because the format, which was simply a fad, was starting to fade. In 2001, much of the on-air staff was fired, leading to rumors of a format change to adult contemporary. However, the station continued with its all-80's format and brought in a new air staff. Despite this, ratings continued to slip.
On December 19, 2003, at 5:00 PM, after playing "Burning Down the House" by The Talking Heads, KYPT flipped to Classic Alternative Rock as "96-5 K-Rock". The station changed call letters to KRQI on New Year's Day, 2004. The station played songs from classic alternative artists such as Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jerry Cantrell, as well as capitalizing on Seattle grunge acts such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, and even playing The Black Eyed Peas. It competed with KNDD, which changed 29 hours earlier to a gold-based Alternative format. It also competed with, to a lesser extent, KFNK (now KKBW). The station brought in former KNDD personalities Andy Savage and Bill Reid for morning and afternoon drive. Despite the hype that it would defeat The End, K-Rock consistently ranked low in the Seattle Arbitron ratings.
On April 22, 2005, at 10:00 AM, after playing "Black" by Pearl Jam, KRQI flipped to its current Adult Hits format as "96-5 Jack FM". The call letters were changed to KJAQ on May 7, 2005. Since its debut, the station has never featured any on-air personalities.
96.5-HD1 carries the analog format ("96-5 Jack FM") from the standard 96.5 FM frequency. 96.5-HD2 carries an oldies format known as "Boom!", while 96.5-HD3 carries a simulcast of sports-formatted KFNQ 1090 AM.