KKDA-FM, known as "K-104", has been a leading radio station in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for the last 30 years. It is a longtime heritage urban contemporary/mainstream urban-formatted station that broadcasts on 104.5 MHz. It is owned by Service Broadcasting Corporation alongside KRNB and its former AM counterpart KKDA AM. Its studios are located in Grand Prairie, Texas, and the transmitter site is in Cedar Hill.
Its longtime morning drive show, Skip Murphy and the Home Team, was ranked number 1 during the morning drive time slot for nearly a decade, according to Arbitron ratings. Over the last few years, several popular personalities on the show, such as comedian Nannette Lee and Wig, have moved on. The most recent personality to leave was Thomas "Skip" Murphy. He announced in July 2008 that he was moving to sister radio station KRNB (105.7) to work weekdays from 3 pm to 7 pm. Nationally syndicated personality Tom Joyner became recognized as the "Fly Jock" because he hosted the morning drive slot on "K-104" and traveled regularly to host an afternoon drive slot on WGCI-FM in Chicago. His show was heard later on KRNB and most recently aired on KSOC-FM.
104.5 FM,known as(k one zero four) the station that would become "K-104", began operation on June 8, 1947, as KIXL. KIXL (pronounced "Kicksil") aired a successful beautiful music format, simulcast on both 104.5 FM and 1040 AM ("104 on both dials"). The station maintained the KIXL call letters until 1973, when it changed to KEZT, continuing to play easy-listening musical fare but with much lower ratings.
On December 22, 1976, KEZT changed formats and call letters to urban contemporary station KKDA-FM, or "K-104" as it is called, under the leadership of new owner Hyman Childs. K-104 was initially the FM counterpart to KKDA AM ("Soul 73"), which aired R&B and soul music during the day and gospel at night. "K-104" primarily began as a disco station (with the slogans "K-104 is Disco Soul!" and "K-104 is Disco"), then shifted to more mainstream urban contemporary fare after the end of the disco era while maintaining high ratings. In the late 1980s, the station was briefly known as "Hot 104", but was dropped immediately and went back to "K-104."
Through the mid-1990s, under the leadership of GM Ken Dowe and PD Michael Spears, K-104 skewed its former urban contemporary format with slower R&B and soul songs at night and urban contemporary gospel on Sunday mornings, towards the mainstream urban genre consisting of hip hop and current R&B-heavy playlist. That format helped project K-104 to being one of the highest-rated radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth DMA, where it has remained to this day.
Competitively, KKDA also has a current crosstown rivalry with rhythmic contemporary KBFB ("97.9 The Beat"), who has taken advantage of KKDA's 'traditional' urban direction and used that to their advantage, resulting in the two fighting it out for R&B/hip hop dominance in the Metroplex. Their first competition until 1985 was the now defunct R&B radio station KNOK 107.5 (which used the slogan "Disco and More!") and their second competitor from 1988 until 1995 was station KJMZ (known as "100.3 Jamz"). In addition, they also once had a competitor in rhythmic contemporary rival KZZA ("Casa 106.7"), which had shifted from a Hispanic rhythmic direction, since KKDA also has a sizable share of Hispanic listeners. However, KZZA is a rimshot signal. KNOR was considered a competitor from 2004-2006 as it was the only station in the Metroplex having a similar format to KKDA-FM's urban contemporary format.
As the FCC loosened ownership rules over the past decade or so, virtually all major market radio stations became part of large broadcast groups such as Clear Channel, Citadel, and others. Today, KKDA-FM is one of the few remaining major market commercial stations in the nation that is still owned by a local, non-corporate broadcaster.
During the station's disco era, K104 had a mascot that billed itself as "The Disco Chicken".
In May 2006, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that current program director-morning personality Skip Cheatham and nighttime deejay Cat Daddy appeared in part 2 of the Aggtown Fightz underground video series, seemingly to promote the violent teen-fight DVDs. The two radio personalities explained that while attending a music conference a year earlier, they were asked by a listener to do a shout-out for his video, which they thought were MC battles. Cheatham told the newspaper he thought he was "helping out a young entrepreneur. I would never endorse or condone any type of violence against our youth." After the news broke, the station waged a war of words with the Arlington, Texas, police department, who investigated the videos. KKDA Station Manager Ken Dowe told the Star-Telegram in a follow-up story that because the police and community leaders had not been able to stop the teenagers from fighting, they were "looking for a fall guy." Police and community leaders claim KKDA has been slow to step up and publicly condemn the videos. Dowe also told the newspaper, "We're going to do what the police were unable to accomplish. We're going to get this stopped." The story reports that Dowe met with Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and the police department to claim "irreparable harm" to the station and demand a public exoneration. Dowe also stated, "K104 will track down the DVD's producer and sue to stop sales." Two months after the airing of the video, which caught the local media's attention, the producer of the actual fight tapes came forward and admitted to authorities that neither Cheatham nor Cat Daddy, nor any other K104 affiliates were involved in any wrongdoing.Thwre is also Dede in the morning. Prank calls and some nice gossip. Their scenes were edited into the film merely as a promotional scheme. This indeed made the local media and police department exonerate K104 from all accusations. There was no word of any lawsuits being filed, nor has the police department offered a public apology for the incident.
Notable past and present DJs
- Tom Joyner 1983–1993
- KKDA (Classic soul)