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KHFI-FM (96.7 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Georgetown, Texas, and serving the Greater Austin radio market. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., it airs a Top 40 (CHR) radio format, branded as "KISS-FM." It shares studios and offices with other iHeart stations in the Penn Field complex in the South Congress district (or "SoCo") of south central Austin within walking distance of St. Edward's University. It had previously been located in a downtown Austin office building off Barton Springs Road.
|Broadcast area||Greater Austin|
|Frequency||96.7 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||FM/HD1: 96-7 KISS-FM|
HD2: Today's Mix
|Slogan||FM/HD1: "Austin's #1 Hit Music Station"|
FM/HD2: "Todays Best Mix"
|Format||FM/HD1: Top 40 (CHR)|
FM/HD2: Hot AC
(iHM Licenses, LLC)
|KASE-FM, KPEZ, KVET, KVET-FM|
First air date
|March 1, 1972 (as KGTN-FM)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|K Hi-Fi (High Fidelity)|
|HAAT||290 meters (951 ft)|
Public license information
KHFI-FM broadcasts with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100,000 watts, from a transmitter located off Waymaker Way in Austin, amid numerous towers for other FM and TV stations. KHFI-FM broadcasts in the HD Radio format, with its HD2 subchannel carrying the iHeartRadio "Today's Mix" Hot AC format.
The 96.7 frequencyEdit
The 96.7 frequency in Austin signed on as KGTN-FM on March 1, 1972. KGTN-FM originally simulcast KGTN in Creedmoor). Because KGTN was a daytimer, KGTN-FM continued the AM station's country music programming after sunset, when KGTN had to sign off the air nightly. KGTN-FM was only powered at 3,000 watts and could only be heard in and around Georgetown.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a power upgrade for the station, to 28,500 watts, enough to cover Austin and its close-in suburbs. A new transmitter site was constructed near Sandy Creek at Lake Travis and the frequency was changed to 96.5. The station became "96.5 The Fox," KQFX. Later, the station changed to an oldies format, and moved its frequency back to 96.7 MHz. It again increased its power, this time to 100,000 watts, and moved to its current tower location in Austin off Waymaker Way.
KVET-FM and Oldies 96.7Edit
In 1990, the owners of two successful Austin radio stations, KVET and KASE-FM, had a plan; they wanted KVET's successful personality country music format to have an FM outlet, but because KVET already owned one Austin FM station in KASE, it couldn't buy a second FM station in those days. Because of this, KVET entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) to simulcast KVET on 98.1 and pay a fee for the rights. That meant the Top 40 format on 98.1 had to find another frequency, or go off the air.
In September 1990, the struggling "Oldies 96.7" signed off to make room for KHFI and its Top 40 format, which was moved over from 98.1 FM. The new station became "The All New K96.7." All through September, KHFI's format was simulcast on both 96.7 and 98.1, encouraging listeners to switch to the new frequency. In October, the owners of KVET and KASE took over the 98.1 frequency, which began simulcasting KVET. The FM station was renamed KVET-FM.
The KHFI callsignEdit
Austin's 98.1 frequency first belonged to KHFI-FM, which signed on in 1958, originally at 98.3 MHz. It was Austin's first FM station. At first, KHFI-FM was only powered at 700 watts and was owned by James E. Moore, Jr. The station's format was classical music. Because FM was considered a broadcast band with high fidelity sound, the station's call sign stood for Hi FI.
In 1964, KHFI got an AM counterpart, 970 kHz (now KIXL in Del Valle, Texas). The two stations were owned by the Southwest Republic Corporation, with John R. Kingsbery serving as president. In 1965, Kingsbery put Austin's second TV station on the air, KHFI-TV Channel 42 (now KXAN-TV Channel 36). In 1979, KHFI-AM-FM-TV were acquired by LIN Broadcasting.
Under Lin, KHFI-FM began its long tenure as a Top 40 station, though it would later shift towards Album Oriented Rock for a brief time. Shortly after the format flip, some of the people who had worked on the classical station got together and founded non-commercial KMFA-FM 89.5, which remains Austin's classical music station to this day.
In 1978, KHFI changed format to "The New Disco 98 FM," capitalizing on the success of Saturday Night Fever. Disco music improved KHFI's ratings over the album rock format that it replaced. After the disco craze ran its course, Dick Oppenheimer purchased KHFI from LIN Broadcasting in 1980, and the station returned to its Top 40 roots, this time as "The All New K98 FM." K98 achieved high ratings, often as the #1 in Austin. Radio legend Chuck Dunaway served as Program Director and afternoon drive time host. The K98 morning show with Dave Jarrott, Darlene Lewis and Keith Jacobs was frequently Austin's top wake up show. The ratings domination continued for most of the 1980s. In September 1990, KHFI relocated to 96.7 FM, with the station subsequently renamed as "The All New K96.7."
Clear Channel and iHeartMedia ownershipEdit
In 1992, KHFI dropped the "K96.7" moniker and began calling itself "The New 96.7 KHFI." In 1993, KHFI-FM was bought by Clear Channel Communications for $3.5 million. Clear Channel, the forerunner to current owner iHeartMedia, was a small San Antonio-based company at the time when KHFI was purchased.
In August 2001, KHFI re-launched as "96.7 KISS-FM." Clear Channel owns the rights to the KISS-FM brand, which it used for Top 40 stations in Los Angeles, Boston and other cities. Today, iHeart has the 18-34 demographic for contemporary music in Austin covered, with KHFI playing mainstream Top 40, while sister station "102.3 The Beat" KPEZ airs rhythmic contemporary music.
The Bobby Bones ShowEdit
In 2002, KHFI became the flagship station for The Bobby Bones Show, syndicated by Premiere Networks, an iHeart subsidiary. Bones, based at KHFI's studios, was named "Austin Radio Personality Of The Year" for 4 years running. The award is given yearly at the Austin Music Awards. In 2008, the Bobby Bones Show received its first award for "Austin Radio Program of the Year." Also that year, KHFI was named "Austin Radio Station of the Year."
In February 2013, The Bobby Bones Show was relaunched as a country music show. In addition, Bones moved to Nashville, making iHeart-owned WSIX-FM his new flagship station. As a result, Bones' Austin affiliate became co-owned KASE-FM.
Bones was replaced on KHFI with "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show," which is syndicated by Premiere Networks from WHTZ in New York City. In February 2016, the morning show was changed to "The Billy The Kidd Morning Show," featuring local DJs Billy the Kidd and Anne Hudson as hosts.
- Callsign history for KHFI-FM Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1973 page B-195
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1957 page 246
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1965 page B-146
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1980 page C-217
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 page B-361
- "2004-05 Austin Music Awards". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- "2005-06 Austin Music Awards". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- "2006-07 Austin Music Awards". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- "2007-08 Austin Music Awards". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- KHFI in the FCC's FM station database
- KHFI on Radio-Locator
- KHFI in Nielsen Audio's FM station database
- Bobby Bones