KLIF (570 AM) is a commercial radio station licensed to serve Dallas, Texas, USA. The station is owned by Cumulus Media. KLIF primarily broadcasts a talk format to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The station's studios are located in the Victory Park district in Dallas just north of downtown, and the transmitter site is in Coppell near North Lake.
Call sign history
The call letters KLIF achieved recognition in radio broadcasting through the efforts of Gordon McLendon. The station which formerly broadcast music and talk on 1190 AM, was Dallas' and one of the nation's biggest Top 40 radio stations.. Playing Top 40 music during the 1950s and 1960s, it achieved an over , an unparalleled ratings success.
The station saw success in music and talk radio broadcasting. In 1954, 1190 KLIF switched from a more varied music programming approach to one that focused on hit music with periodic news. McLendon collected the names of local leaders in business and government working them into news on the station. McLendon said there were only two things that radio could compete with television on: "music and news". KLIF was headquartered at KLIF Triangle Point Studios from 1964 to 1980. It is a street front building with large windows where pedestrians and Downtown Dallas shoppers could look in the studio and see the action of live broadcasts. KLIF was known for its promotions which included top 40 surveys with photo shoots of the broadcasters. Other types of photos were of the broadcast staff at live promotion events. KLIF did live shows in different parts of Dallas. The announcers often toured the city in the KLIF radio vehicles. When FM radio took over Top 40 music during the late 1970s, the station lost its dominance in Top 40 music and later switched to talk radio. The KLIF call letters and format were moved to 570 AM in 1990. The frequency KLIF formerly occupied now hosts competitor news station KFXR.
KGKO of Wichita Falls moved to Fort Worth after being purchased by Amon Carter. WFAA and WBAP had a shared time agreement that lasted until May 1, 1970, when WFAA operated on 570 alone and WBAP moved to 820. This arrangement allowed both stations to program full-time music formats; WBAP launched a highly successful country music format (which eventually changed to the news/talk format the station now programs), while WFAA moved to an adult-oriented Top 40 format to compete with KLIF and KNUS-FM. WFAA music radio lasted until the mid-1970s, when the station began a talk radio format that lasted until July 2, 1983, when the station went stereo with classic rock music and the call letters KRQX. The station flipped on January 26, 1987, to a 1950s and 1960s oldies format, with new call letters KLDD. In January 1990, the station flipped to a simulcast of KKWM as KKWM-AM.
On February 5, 1990, Susquehanna Radio Corporation purchased KLDD 570 kHz from Anchor Media Ltd. That purchase became final on November 29, 1990. Beginning at 5:00 that morning, KLIF simulcast on both the 570 and 1190 frequencies for one week, and then began broadcasting on 570 kHz permanently. Susquehanna Radio Corporation, a division of kitchenware maker Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, was sold to Cumulus Broadcasting in 2005.
KLIF is licensed to transmit a digital signal using iBiquity's "HD Radio" system but stopped transmitting its digital signal in 2009. Because the license to broadcast digital "HD Radio" is perpetual, the station could resume digital broadcasts at any time. KLIF-FM temporarily stopped its digital (HD-Radio) simulcast of KLIF 570 in late November 2011 and resumed in early January 2012. As of February 2013, the simulcast has been moved to KSCS 96.3 HD2.
1st news/talk era
An event which foreshadowed KLIF's future success in the news/talk format was the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. KLIF News was always quick to report news bulletins when they came in, and this resulted in the station being one of the first media outlets on the air with reports of the shooting.
KLIF 1190 AM changed to talk radio during the early 1980s and became one the market's leading talk radio stations before other competitors soon emerged. KRLD, its primary competitor during the mid and late 1980s, was mostly all-news.
KLIF had its "classic" lineup of hosts. Kevin McCarthy, a more centrist host, held the midday spot with interesting interviews and conversational radio. David Gold had the late afternoon shift with his brand of conservatism. Gold may well have been Dallas' first major conservative host. The station's morning show featured Norm Hitzges on sports. Up until then, sports talk had primarily aired in afternoons and evenings in most U.S. cities. That lineup made the station one of the most respected Dallas-Fort Worth talk radio stations. Community leaders and politicians listened regularly, according to a Dallas magazine report.
It was during this time when KLIF achieved its highest ratings ever as a news-talk station, the only time it ever cracked the Top 10 after its Top 40 heyday.
Competition in the form of all-sports radio began to hurt KLIF's ratings. Also, during the late 1990s, KLIF's station owners stumbled by removing its popular hosts. The respected Gold was let go and the respected McCarthy was dismissed in favor of more confrontational shows. This change in the lineup caused listeners who had tuned into Gold and McCarthy for years to depart, and as a result, the station's ratings plummeted, barely garnering a 1.0 share.
Flip to all-news, return to mostly talk
Cumulus Media acquired Citadel Broadcasting, including the former ABC Radio Network, in late 2011, bringing it and its larger rival WBAP-AM/FM under common ownership. To reflect the common ownership between the two channels, KLIF 570 began swapping programming with WBAP and retooled its AM/PM drive to an all-news format, designed to compete against CBS Radio-owned KRLD 1080 AM. KLIF replaced Fox News Radio's top-of-the-hour newscast with ABC News Radio's. Since the beginning of 2015, it has been replaced with Cumulus' new Westwood One news service powered by CNN. Afternoon host Chris Kroc was transferred to WBAP for a local talk show in the evening hours, while morning host Jeff Bolton was dismissed. Two talk shows, The Mike Huckabee Show and The Dave Ramsey Show, remained on KLIF's lineup (Ramsey eventually moved over to KRLD); the evenings and overnights are filled by John Batchelor's nightly newsmagazine, which moved over from WBAP. KLIF also discontinued Coast To Coast AM from their line-ups, leaving the Dallas/Fort Worth market without such programming, although it has moved to competitor Clear Channel/iHeartMedia KFXR Talk 1190 AM. As of 2016 it has returned to KLIF.