KUBE (93.3 MHz, "KUBE 93.3") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Seattle, Washington. The station airs a rhythmic contemporary radio format and is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. The studios and offices are on Elliott Avenue West in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood northwest of downtown. The transmitter is located on Cougar Mountain.
|Broadcast area||Seattle/Tacoma/Puget Sound|
|Frequency||93.3 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Slogan||Seattle's #1 for Hip Hop|
HD2: The Pulse of LGBTQ America
|Format||FM/HD1: Rhythmic contemporary|
HD2: Pride Radio
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
|KBKS-FM, KFNQ, KHHO, KJAQ, KJR, KJR-FM, KZOK-FM|
First air date
|May 6, 1964 (as KBLE-FM)|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|Cube, a geometric shape|
|HAAT||387 meters (1,270 ft)|
HD2: Listen Live
The station signed on the air on May 6, 1964, as KBLE-FM. It was owned by Eastside Broadcasting, as the sister station to KNBX-AM 1050. While KNBX aired country music, KBLE-FM aired a Christian radio format. It was powered at 6,600 watts, a fraction of its current output.
Within a few years, the formats were flipped. KBLE-FM began playing country music while the AM station changed its call letters to KBLE and served as a Christian radio station. KBLE-FM's power was increased to 20,000 watts and its transmitter was moved to Cougar Mountain in Issaquah.
In the 1970s, the stations were acquired by Ostrander-Wilson, which returned the religious format to KBLE-FM. It also increased its power to 100,000 watts, making it audible from Olympia to Mount Vernon and around Puget Sound.
The Northwest's New 93 FM/Musicradio KUBE 93 FMEdit
On March 17, 1981, after First Media bought the station, KBLE-FM flipped to an automated Top 40/CHR format as "The Northwest's New 93 FM." The station's first song was "Use ta Be My Girl" by The O'Jays, followed by "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones.
On July 8, 1981, at 5:04 p.m., the station officially launched with a live and local airstaff. On April 2, 1982, the call letters were changed to KUBE and the station became known as "KUBE 93 FM". Shortly after the switch to Top 40/CHR, the station shot up to the top 5 in the Seattle market ratings (occasionally reaching #1 in some books and target demographics). In 1989, Cook Inlet Broadcasters acquired the station.
KUBE competed against Top 40 powerhouse KPLZ (owned by Golden West Broadcasting), creating an intense rivalry between the two stations through the rest of the 1980s. DJ's during this period include Bobby Case, Tom Hutyler, Barry Beck, Michele Grosenick, Glenn Beck, and Wendy Christopher. From July 1981 to September 1995, mornings were hosted by Charlie Brown (formerly of KJR), Ty Flint (formerly of KVI), and Mary White.
In March 1994, Cook Inlet sold KUBE to a partnership between New Century Management and the Ackerley Group called New Century Media. (KJR and soft adult contemporary station KLTX joined the group in July.) Also that month, likely due to the public outcry of a "gangland-style" drive by shooting of a Ballard High School student (which some blamed hip hop music and a growing gangster culture in Seattle as a motivator behind it), as well as their audience's changing music tastes, KUBE shifted to a hybrid Rhythmic/Modern Rock format as simply "KUBE 93." The station began using the slogans "Seattle's New Music Revolution" and "Channel X," a popular way to identify modern rock stations at the time. However, the station's ratings were not impressive with the format, and by November of that year, the station flipped back to a full-blown Rhythmic format. The station quickly regained its top 10 status, usually peaking at #1 in several books for the next several years.
In February 1998, the Ackerley Group bought the station outright from New Century.
For many years, KUBE marketed itself as "Seattle's #1 Hit Music Station, KUBE 93." iHeartMedia (then known as Clear Channel Communications) purchased KUBE, along with sister stations KJR, KJR-FM, KFNK and outdoor advertiser AK Media, from Ackerley Communications in 2001. On April 1, 2009, Clear Channel acquired Top 40 rival KBKS from CBS Radio. At the time, KUBE was competing against Rhythmic AC station KQMV (Movin' 92.5), owned by Sandusky. KUBE changed its slogan to "More Non-Stop Music," and then to "Hits & Hip-Hop".
KUBE was the home of The T-Man Show morning show, which aired from September 1995 to September 2009, when "The T-Man" retired to become a professional poker player. The show featured Robert "The T-Man" Tepper, who was known for never showing his face to audiences, as well as co-hosts Pasty Dave (who was the show's producer), Hot Shot Scott, Dump Truck Guy, Ham Sandwich Man, Stephen Kilbreath, Vinnie The Pooh and Tari Free. The show was also briefly syndicated through Premiere Radio Networks, and was heard on KKRZ in Portland, KYLD in San Francisco and several other cities.
Shellie Hart, longtime midday DJ and music director for the station, was let go in November 2011 due to budget cuts issued by Clear Channel. Hart had been with the station since 1991, except for a brief 3-year period between 1996 and 1999, when Hart programmed modern rock station KEDJ Phoenix. Hart is currently at KRWM.
Despite many years of high ratings, around 2011, however, KUBE's ratings began declining, largely due to poor programming and marketing decisions. KUBE was also no exception to company-wide budget cuts at Clear Channel, with several long-time personalities replaced with voicetracked talent from outside of the market. New competition from KQMV and KHTP took away some of KUBE's listeners.
KUBE also rotated through a few morning shows after The T-Man Show ended, such as Eddie Francis & Karen Wild, The JV Show (syndicated from sister KYLD), The Breakfast Club, and DJ SupaSam. None of these programming changes resulted in any ratings improvement for the station. In the December 2015 Nielsen ratings period for the Seattle market, KUBE was ranked #13 with a 2.3 share.
As part of a major format shuffle involving four of iHeart's Seattle radio stations, on January 19, 2016, at Noon, after playing "Whatever You Like" by T.I., KUBE's long-time Rhythmic CHR format and branding moved to lower-power sister station KKBW (104.9 FM), displacing that station's Active Rock format. At the same time, 93.3 adopted KBKS's Mainstream CHR format, added in some newer rhythmic titles to the playlist, and rebranded as "Power 93.3."  The first song on "Power" was "Sorry" by Justin Bieber. This returned the 93.3 frequency in Seattle to a Top 40/Mainstream format for the first time in nearly 24 years. The station also brought in a new live and local air staff which included Carla Marie & Anthony for mornings, Kat Fisher for middays, Kwame Dankwa on afternoon drive and Brady for evenings.
The station took on the KPWK call letters on January 26, 2016; the KUBE call letters moved to KKBW the same day. Ratings did not improve much, with the station usually ranked in the mid-2 to mid-3 share of the market. Meanwhile, KQMV saw a big ratings boost at the time, sometimes finishing in first place. In the April 2018 ratings, KPWK was ranked #18 with a 2.8 share, well behind KQMV, which had a 6.8 share.
Return of KUBEEdit
On May 3, 2018, at 3 p.m., after playing "Wait" by Maroon 5, KPWK flipped back to Rhythmic CHR, returning to the "KUBE" branding, as "KUBE 93.3." The first song on the revived KUBE was "Nice for What" by Drake. Concurrently with the move, KBKS also returned to its previous Mainstream Top 40 format, effectively reversing the ill-fated 2016 format changes. The KUBE call letters returned on May 11, 2018. Positioned as "Seattle's #1 for Hip Hop," the playlist is focused on current hip hop hits as well as some gold/re-current hip hop titles from the 1990s and 2000s.
KUBE broadcasts in the HD Radio format.
When KUBE signed on HD operations in 2006, KUBE's HD2 sub-channel carried a hip hop format branded as "KUBE 2." In 2009, it was replaced with a broad-based Rhythmic format known as "WiLD". The "WiLD" format was patterned after most Clear Channel owned Rhythmic Top 40 stations by playing Mainstream Rhythmic Pop/Dance tracks and very few Hip Hop/R&B tracks. This would later be replaced with a children's radio format branded as "Kids Club Radio." From December 11, 2017 through May 3, 2018, KPWK-HD2 carried the rhythmic CHR format as "KUBE 93 HD2," after the 104.9 frequency was divested. After KUBE was revived on the analog/HD1, KUBE-HD2 flipped to a classic hip hop format. On June 26, 2019, KUBE-HD2 changed to iHeart's "Pride Radio" network, which airs Top 40/Dance music targeting the LGBTQ community. This marks the second such format in Seattle, the other being Entercom's "Channel Q" format airing on KNDD-HD2/K277AE.
- "KUBE-FM 93.3 MHz - Seattle, WA". radio-locator.com.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1964 page B-172
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1970 page B-218
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1982 page B-256
- "Radio & Records, April 3, 1981" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "KUBE 93 FM is born, July 8, 1981, first minutes in format". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "History of KUBE 93 FM". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
- "Radio & Records, September 22, 1995" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- indychauffuer (23 March 2016). "KUBE Seattle" – via YouTube.
- "Radio & Records, March 4, 1994" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "Radio & Records, May 20, 1994" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "Radio & Records, November 11, 1994" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "Radio & Records, February 27, 1998" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "Entertainment & the Arts - T-Man Predicts He'll Be No. 1 In The Morning - Seattle Times Newspaper". community.seattletimes.nwsource.com.
- "Radio & Records, March 1, 1996" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com.
- "Login to All Access - Breaking Radio News and Free New Music - AllAccess.com".
- Causes and Effects of iHeart's Seattle Shuffle
- "iHeart Shuffles Four Seattle/Tacoma Stations - RadioInsight". 19 January 2016.
- "iHeart Rearranges Seattle FM Dial". insideradio.com. 2016-01-19. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "Power 93.3 Seattle Debuts | Format Change Archive". Formatchange.com. 2016-02-12. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "KUBE 93.3 Returns In Seattle - RadioInsight". 3 May 2018.
- "KUBE 93.3, Seattle's longtime hip-hop station, is back". Seattle Times. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "Call Sign History".
- Audio of KUBE Relaunch - Lucas Nugent
- "HD Radio station guide for San Francisco, California". hdradio.com.
- iHeartMedia Expands Pride Radio to 12 Additional Markets
- KUBE 93.3 official website
- KUBE in the FCC's FM station database
- KUBE on Radio-Locator
- KUBE in Nielsen Audio's FM station database