KQRC-FM is a radio station licensed to Leavenworth, Kansas, and serves the Kansas City metropolitan area. The station's morning show, hosted by shock jock Johnny Dare, is regularly ranked atop the local Arbitron ratings. Its studios are located in Mission, Kansas, and the transmitter site is in South Kansas City.
The station, with the brand name 98.9 The Rock, broadcasts an Active Rock/Album Oriented Rock format consisting of Hard rock and Heavy metal acts. They tend to play heavier rock than modern rock/alternative rock sister station KRBZ with such artists as Disturbed, Godsmack, Staind and Shinedown mixed with older rock acts like Black Sabbath, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Def Leppard and Van Halen. Metallica is frequently played, including a featured "Mandatory Metallica" at 9:00 p.m. weekdays with three consecutive songs by the band. At 11 p.m. the station plays "The Pit," which is an hour of heavy metal and death metal. The Rock airs two nationally syndicated shows on Sundays—The House of Hair with Dee Snider at 8 a.m., then the rock news show HardDrive with Lou Brutus at 10 p.m. The rest of the station's schedule features normal airplay.
On September 26, 2010, KQRC was the first FM radio station in the country to release an app for the iOS operating system (Apple mobile devices) that offered an events list with Google Mapping, and push messaging.
The 98.9 MHz frequency shuffled between formats when it first went on the air in 1962. Licensed to Leavenworth, the station began as KCLO-FM, a religious/MOR outlet simulcasting with its AM sister station on 1410. In 1979, it became a country station as KTRO. In December 1982, KTRO became "ZZ 99", KZZC. They competed heavily against the city's already existing Top 40 outlet KBEQ-FM by emphasizing on newer music in comparison to KBEQ's oldies lean. The station also was home to Kansas City legendary DJ Randy Miller in morning drive. On August 25, 1986, due to financial trouble, the station flipped to an automated oldies outlet as "98.9 Gold" with the KZZC call letters still in place. On September 24, 1987, "98.9 The Wave" debuted with a new age (a precursor to the smooth jazz format) and easy listening format, competing with a multitude of AC stations. The call letters were also changed to KCWV. In 1989, the station flipped to soft rock as KRVK, "98.9 The River". The station was largely automated with very low-key on-air personalities.
On April 2, 1992, after playing "The River" by Garth Brooks, "98.9 The Rock" debuted with Kansas City band Shooting Star's "Hang On For Your Life". The Rock has lived up to its name in the stability of its format, surviving a rock format shuffle in 1997 that claimed Kansas City's (then) longest-surviving (23 years) FM rock station, KYYS "KY-102". Despite its success, the station has seen several program directors come and go, including the late Doug Sorensen (The Rock's very first PD), Greg Stevens, Vince Richards and Neal Mirsky. The station's current PD, Bob Edwards, has been at the helm since March 2003.