KLIF-FM (93.3 FM, branded as "Hot 93.3") is a radio station licensed to serve Haltom City, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and the broadcast license is held by Radio License Holding SRC LLC, and it broadcasts a CHR music format to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas.
The KLIF calls have a long history of being associated with CHR/Top 40 music. The original KLIF at 1190 on the dial was Dallas/Fort Worth's most popular Top 40 music station from the 1950s through the 1970s.
KLIF-FM is licensed by iBiquity to broadcast a digital "HD Radio" signal. KLIF-FM stopped transmitting its digital signals in late November 2011 and resumed in early January 2012. The digital signal ceased again sometime in the summer of 2014. Because the license to broadcast digital "HD Radio" is perpetual, the station could resume digital broadcasts at any time.
History and formats
The early years
Marcos A. Rodriguez was the first to control the license after having successfully obtained it directly from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). After his financing source defaulted, Rodriguez sold the license to Susquehanna Radio. Cumulus Media subsequently took control of the station in May 2006 as part of its acquisition of Susquehanna, instituted cost-cutting measures, and completely restored a classic rock format after the station had experimented with more recent rock offerings.
93.3 FM began broadcasting on October 31, 1996 as KNBR-FM "The Zone", with an adult alternative format. The call letters KNBR-FM were only short-term, as they were changed to KKZN to match the moniker on December 20, 1996. After a day-long stunt with episodes of "The Bob Newhart Show" and a loop of "Pop Muzik" by M, the station became KKMR "Merge", with a modern AC format on August 31, 1999. The first song on "Merge" was "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" by Lenny Kravitz. At Midnight on January 3, 2002, after playing "Brass in Pocket" by The Pretenders, the station began stunting with funeral bells and random audio soundbites. At 5 p.m. that day, the station became KDBN "The Bone", with a 1970s-1980s classic rock format (specifically hard rock and heavy metal from that era), launching with "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood. This produced an initial spike in ratings, though the station lost much of that audience, as the years progressed.
On April 24, 2009, KDBN began stunting with music from the Dave Matthews Band with limited commercial interruptions. It would switch back to Adult Album Alternative as "FM 93.3 - Quality Rock" on April 27. On-air staff included The Regular Guys, a morning show syndicated from Atlanta, Alexis (middays) and Scott Gaines (afternoons).
Among former on-air staff were Gary Thompson (mornings), Pugs and Kelly (afternoons), Candy Stuart, Bo Roberts, Yvonne Monet, Jeff K, Carter, Channing, Jennifer Reed, Kat Von Erick, Debbie Sexxton, Squeaky, Paladin, Logan, Barb Smith (traffic reporter), and Rich Phillips (sports reporter). However, this format would be short-lived, as the station's ratings failed to raise their already anemic numbers.
93.3 as a Top 40 station
On September 2, 2009, the station began stunting again, urging listeners to tune in that Friday (September 4) at Noon. At that time, the station launched a top 40 format as "i93", and on September 7, a callsign change to KLIF-FM was made. As a reference to the station's I branding used for newer Cumulus-launched top 40 stations, the station's new top 40 format launched with The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling. The station aimed for an older audience; rival 106.1 KISS-FM skewed toward younger listeners.
93.3 gets "Hot"
In September 2014, websites were registered showing a possible rebranding or format change to rhythmic Top 40/CHR, urban, classic hits, oldies, smooth jazz, or rhythmic oldies. The registrations followed the recent hiring of former KBFF program director Louie Cruz for the same position at KLIF-FM. This station has not been able to make up ground on KHKS as it continues to hover right below a 2 share in the Dallas/Fort Worth Nielsen ratings of August 2014. The change was confirmed on October 3 of that year, when 93.3 began running liners promoting that "Something New Arrives At 93.3" at 5 PM that day, and relaunched as "Hot 93.3". While the station still maintained its Top 40 format as before, KLIF-FM began leaning towards rhythmic CHR.
On November 14, 2014, at 5 p.m., KLIF-FM began playing Classic hip hop songs around the clock (as part of a holiday season-only promotion), only to be upstaged an hour later by KSOC, who dropped their Urban AC direction to go full-time with Classic Hip-Hop as "Boom 94.5." It is not known if this was done intentionally, or if KLIF-FM was trying to pull a pre-empted strike to bring the format first to the area before another station picked it up. The flip has also resulted in Mediabase changing KLIF's reporting status from Top 40/CHR to Rhythmic.
On December 2, 2014, at 6 PM, KLIF-FM shifted their format to urban contemporary, retaining the "Hot 93.3" branding, even though Mediabase continued to list the station as a Rhythmic reporter. In March 2015, KLIF adjusted its direction back to Rhythmic with the inclusion of Pop/Dance crossovers that it had dropped previously, and was added to Nielsen BDS Rhythmic reporting panel. Competitors in the format included KKDA-FM and KBFB.
In September 2015, KLIF-FM gradually returned to more of a Mainstream Top 40/CHR, putting it in competition with KHKS once again - a status affirmed with Mediabase returning KLIF-FM to its Pop panel in November. Nielsen BDS continued to have KLIF-FM report to the Rhythmic panel until May 2016. It currently competes with KHKS and for a time in October 2016 to November 2017, CBS Radio-owned Hot AC-leaning KVIL. Ironically, AM sister station KLIF, during its Top 40 era, was competing with KVIL in the late 1960s.