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 format as KKMI. The station shifted to "Quality Hits KQ-96" as KQKT in 1985. On January 5, 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 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 in September 1995; shortly afterwards, Infinity sold KYCW to EZ Communications in February 1996, with KYCW joining KCIN under common ownership, which prompted EZ to flip KCIN to Rhythmic AC the following month. EZ Communications would be bought out by American Radio Systems in July 1997. In September, ARS would be bought out by Infinity, which effectively returned the station under Infinity ownership.
On December 17, 1999, Infinity flipped KYCW-FM to all-80's hits, branded 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 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, R.E.M., U2, and Depeche Mode, as well as capitalizing on Seattle grunge acts such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. It competed with KNDD, which changed 29 hours earlier to a gold-based Alternative format. It also competed with, to a lesser extent, KFNK. The station brought in former KNDD personalities Andy Savage and Bill Reid for morning and afternoon drive. Ratings for the station under this format were poor.
On April 22, 2005, at 10:00 AM, after playing "Black" by Seattle band Pearl Jam, KRQI flipped to its current Adult Hits format as "96-5 Jack FM". The first song on "Jack" was "Get the Party Started" by P!nk. The call letters were changed to KJAQ on May 7, 2005. Since its debut, the station has never featured any on-air personalities.