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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CityKDLD: Santa Monica
KDLE: Newport Beach
Broadcast areaKDLD: Greater Los Angeles
KDLE: Orange County
BrandingSuper Estrella Retro
Frequency103.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air dateKDLD: 1960 (as KSRF)
KDLE: 1962 (as KOCM)
FormatFM/HD1: Rock en español
HD2: Spanish
ERPKDLD: 3,700 watts
KDLE: 300 watts
HAATKDLD: 82 meters (269 ft)
KDLE: 294 meters (965 ft)
ClassKDLD: A
Facility IDKDLD: 33902
KDLE: 33904
Callsign meaningBased on then-sister station KKDL's on-air branding of the same format
Former callsignsKDLD:
KSRF (1960-1992)
KAJZ (1992-1994)
KACD (1994-2000)
KACD-FM (2000-2001)
KSSC (2001-2003)
KOCM (1962-1992)
KBJZ (1992-1994)
KBCD (1994-2001)
KSSD (2001-2003)
OwnerEntravision Communications
(Entravision Holdings, LLC)
WebcastListen Live
WebsiteSuper Estrella Online

KDLD is a commercial FM radio station in Santa Monica, California, broadcasting to the Greater Los Angeles area on 103.1 MHz. KDLE is a commercial FM radio station in Newport Beach, California, broadcasting to Orange County area on 103.1 MHz.

KDLD and KDLE simulcast a Rock en español music format branded as "Super Estrella Retro" on its analog and main HD Radio signal.[1] The two stations' studios are located in Los Angeles on the Miracle Mile. The KDLD transmitter is located in Baldwin Hills, while KDLE's transmitter is based in Irvine.


The 103.1 frequencies in Los Angeles and Orange County operated as two separate stations prior to the 1990s, KSRF in Santa Monica and KOCM in Newport Beach. Both signals carried beautiful music/easy listening formats in the 1960s/1970s and soft adult contemporary music in the 1980s, but targeted for each specific beach community. The Santa Monica station was known as "K-Surf" (which is again in use on 1260 AM as KSUR, an oldies-formatted station), while the 103.1 frequency in Newport Beach was known as "K-Ocean". The carriers of the two transmitters were synchronized to try to create a continuous coverage area between the two locations.[citation needed]

Dance formats

The first format on the synchronized signal was rave-inspired "Mars-FM", using the call letters KSRF/KOCM, from late 1991 through late 1992. Club D.J. Swedish Egil accepted an opportunity to develop his music director skills and visionary style when he left KROQ-FM (106.7 FM) in 1991 to join L.A.'s new Mars-FM, along with fellow KROQ-FM alum Freddy Snakeskin who became Mars-FM's program director. The station became known for its role in introducing the techno musical style while Egil was responsible for "picking the hits" and breaking new artists. Egil and his leased-time format was eventually discontinued by owner Ken Roberts, who wanted a more mainstream station. The 103.1 simulcast became a jazz station as "Jazz FM 103.1" using the call letters KAJZ/KBJZ, followed by another format change to "CD 103.1", an adult contemporary format using the call letters KACD/KBCD.[citation needed]

On June 21, 1996 at 6 p.m., Swedish Egil returned and launched "Groove Radio 103.1 FM" with Robert Miles' "Children," fulfilling his dream of expanding his syndicated weekly three-hour Groove Radio program, previously heard in Los Angeles as part of the nighttime Renegade Radio show on KWIZ (96.7 FM), into the first full-time 24/7 dance music format in the United States.[2] Groove Radio 103.1 was noted for its innovative programming and groundbreaking music format that helped expose new dance music. Groove Radio had a morning drive time show hosted by Jim "The Poorman" Trenton, an L.A. radio veteran and one of the two original co-hosts of the radio show "Loveline" from KROQ-FM.

In October 1998, Egil was forced out of the station after the owners once again decided that they wanted the station to go in a mainstream direction. The owners switched it to a Rhythmic Contemporary format as Groove 103.1 (since Egil owned rights to the "Groove Radio" name), but after the flooding of negative feedback crashed their voicemail system, they brought the Dance format back a week later, continuing with an electronica-intensive Dance Hits format for a year. The station signed off on October 12, 1998 with the song "Children" by Robert Miles, the same song used to launch the dance format.[3]

Channel 103.1

In late 1998, Jacor Communications (later Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia) purchased the station. After Groove Radio signed off, it went into a stunt format for the rest of the day, playing a loop of the Spice Girls song "Wannabe". Following the stunt, the station began simulcasting KIIS-FM (102.7). Two weeks later, the simulcast ended and the new format began as "Channel 103.1" programmed by Nicole Sandler. It broadcast an adult album alternative (AAA) format, playing selections from such artists as Dave Matthews, Tracy Chapman, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Tom Petty, Keb Mo, Led Zeppelin (with a standing rule that "Stairway to Heaven" would get absolutely no airtime), Pink Floyd, Dramarama, Beck, Vertical Horizon, and others of similar caliber, spanning from the late 1960s to 2001. The format was referred to as "World Class Rock". The station had a small staff who ran six-hour shifts (a change from the otherwise normal four-hour shifts), with program director Nicole Sandler working afternoons and Andy Chanley, previously with KLYY (Y107), handling the morning shift.

In late 2000, after Clear Channel merged with AMFM, it was determined that 103.1 FM had insufficient coverage for the Los Angeles basin. Sandler realized that her station would be one of the casualties of the merger, because the company would now own too many stations, according to Federal Communications Commission rules.[citation needed] It was decided that Channel 103.1 would be the first radio station to go off the air and transition directly to the Internet on a full-time web stream at and The broadcast station was sold to Entravision Communications, a company known for its Spanish language outlets. Entravision flipped it to Spanish hits as "Super Estrella" (Super Star) under the call letters KSSC/KSSD.[citation needed]

In 2003, Entravision moved the "Super Estrella" format to the newly acquired 107.1 signals from Big City Radio, which today use the call letters KSSE/KSSC/KSSD. The 103.1 FM simulcast was flipped to dance hits as KDL 103.1 using the call letters KDLD and KDLE. The format was modeled after KKDL in Dallas. Groove Radio had been out of the market for several years, and appetites had changed, and message boards accused the programmers of being too mainstream, but the ratings for adults 18-34 were solid given the limitations of the signal. It certainly caused enough competition to KIIS to gain Clear Channel's attention. Clear Channel stepped in again and paid Entravision to change the format to a more rock-leaning format, eliminating the competition with Clear Channel's KIIS and directing it toward CBS Radio's KROQ-FM.

Indie 103.1

On December 25, 2003, at 11 PM, KDL suddenly rang out with the words "James Brown is dead!" and "Indie 103.1" was launched, with The Ramones' "We Want The Airwaves" and The Clash's "This Is Radio Clash" being the first two songs played, which were followed by a series of new songs that had never seen commercial airplay before, setting the tone for what would become a musically adventurous and rebellious radio station. The first employees were program director Michael Steele, music director Mark Sovel and TK.

For a month, the station ran with no commercials or disc jockeys and featured only the voices of listeners from phones messages left on the request line voice mail. Many of the phone messages were angry listeners yelling "You guys suck!" and "What happened to 'KDL the party station'".

The logo for "Indie 103.1" was designed by "André the Giant Has a Posse/OBEY Giant" street artist Shepard Fairey, who would achieve greater fame as the designer of Barack Obama's "Hope" poster for his 2008 presidential campaign.

The station began as a collaboration between Entravision and Clear Channel. Clear Channel primarily handled advertising on the station, but because the organization already owned the maximum number of stations in the Los Angeles market allowed by Federal Communications Commission regulations, the arrangement was terminated in March 2005.[citation needed]

On February 10, 2004 at noon, the first live DJ appeared on "Indie 103.1": Steve Jones — guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of the Sex Pistols. His program, Jonesy's Jukebox, became famous for its freeform music and Jones' unorthodox delivery style which included long pauses, belches, and the frequent whistling of songs. Within its first year, "Indie" (as it came to be known) was airing live original programs hosted by Rob Zombie, Henry Rollins, The Crystal Method, and Dave Navarro.

Indie 103.1 quickly grew in popularity among listeners around the Los Angeles area and around the world, although due to limited signal range it was never a ratings winner, in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine declared Indie 103.1 "America's Coolest Commercial Station",[4] and in April 2008, the same publication voted Indie the "Best Radio Station" in the country.[5]

In March 2006, Dicky Barrett of The Mighty Morning Show was forced out by the station.[6] He was replaced by Joe Escalante, who called his show "The Last Of The Famous International Morning Shows". In February 2007, program director Michael Steele left and was replaced by Max "Mad Max" Tolkoff of XETRA-FM (Tijuana/San Diego, "91X") fame.

On August 19, 2008, Station Manager Dawn Girocco announced her departure from the station[7] Starting in October 2008, longtime specialty shows were either dropped ("Feel My Heat", "Community Service", "Big Sonic Heaven", "Camp Freddy Radio") or moved to weekends ("Harmony in My Head").[8] Upon the cancellation of his roots music show "Watusi Rodeo," Chris Morris accused the station of "now being styled as KROQ Jr." in an effort to increase the station's ratings.[9]

In November 2008, Escalante stated he was giving up the morning show but would continue to host an expanded two-hour version of his legal-advice show, "Barely Legal Radio."[10]

On January 15, 2009, Entravision made the decision to drop the "Indie" format.[11][12][13] At 10 am that day, after departing station personalities bade farewell to listeners, "Indie" signed off with My Way by Frank Sinatra. A 5-song loop and a pre-recorded message was then repeated on the air until midnight on January 17, 2009. The message, written by one of the Entravision sales managers and not an actual statement from the staff of Indie 103.1, read as follows:

"This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 radio audience - Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option - to play the corporate radio game. Indie 103.1 has decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great, Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course. This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative simply put, only the best music. For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to That's and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves. We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world."

After the demise of "Indie", the simulcast flipped to regional Mexican as "103.1 El Gato". The format would later shift to Spanish adult hits as "José". On January 8, 2018, KDLD and KDLE dropped Spanish adult hits and reverted to the regional Mexican format as "La Tricolor".[14]

Super Estrella return

Super Estrella was first launched on 97.5 FM in Riverside, as well as online, on April 14, 1997. In 2003, Super Estrella moved to 107.1 FM and 97.5 FM. In May 2008 Super Estrella moved to only 107.1 FM, and then transitioned to an online streaming station in 2016. On July 26, 2018 at 10:04 AM Super Estrella returned on 103.1 featuring a Rock en español format.[15]

Signal coverage

When the signals were synchronized, they consisted of a 3000-watt directional signal in Santa Monica and 2000-watt non-directional signal in Newport Beach. However, in late 2005, an attempt was made to improve signal coverage by adding an extra 700 watts to the Santa Monica transmitter and removing the gain antenna to provide a non-directional signal.[citation needed] The transmitter in Newport Beach was moved a few miles south to a mountain south of Newport Beach, downgrading power to 300 watts but tripling the height. The Newport Beach transmitter was made directional, sending the signal northeast and southwest. This fixed the problem of poor signal along the coastal cities and in Orange County, California. Nevertheless, the combined signals still have poor coverage in some areas of Los Angeles County. In the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, the KDLD/KDLE signal is subject to interference from KSRY (also at 103.1 FM) in the Antelope Valley. In the Torrance area, adjacent-channel KVYB (103.3) in Ventura County bleeds over 103.1 in an unprotected service area between the KDLD and KDLE transmitters.

In popular culture

  • On an episode of the Fox TV show The O.C., the character of Ryan is seen waking up to Indie 103.1 on his alarm clock.
  • An Indie 103.1 bumper sticker is seen in the cubicle in the movie Grandma's Boy
  • On an episode of the MTV show Punk'd, the Indie 103.1 studios are the place where Latin reggaeton star Daddy Yankee gets pranked with Native Wayne and TK.


  1. ^ "HD Radio Guide for Los Angeles".
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Groove 103.1 Switches From Rhythmic CHR Back To Dance".
  4. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2004-06-10). "Free-Form Radio Lives | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  5. ^ "Indie 103.1 Named 'Best Radio Station' By Rolling Stone". 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  6. ^ Kate Sullivan (2006-03-29). "Bye-Bye Barrett - Page 1 - Music - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 2008-08-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Yasseen, Omar. "News: Shakeups at Indie 103.1 -". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  9. ^ "Classical Geek Theatre: Indie 103.1 makes more changes". 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  10. ^ Escalante, Joe. "". Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  11. ^ Venta, Lance (2009-01-15). "Indie 103.1 Los Angeles To Become "El Gato"". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  12. ^ Roberts, Randall (2009-01-21). "The Day the Music Died: The End of Indie 103.1 - Page 1 - Columns - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  13. ^ "An Exclusive Interview with Indie 103.1's Music Director Mark Sovel". The Daily Swarm. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  14. ^ Venta, Lance (2018-01-10). "Entravision Ditches Jose in 12 Markets". RadioInsight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  15. ^

Previous logos

KLYY Jose97.5-103.1 logo.png

External links

This page was last edited on 1 October 2018, at 20:05
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