Call Letters: KBEQ
City of License: Kansas City, MO
Format: Country "Young Country Q104"
Owner: Steel City Media
KBEQ "from the Plaza" legal IDs
KBEQ April 1982 montage
KBEQ Charlie Van Dyke sweeper
KBEQ 1994 sweeper
1960-1966 - KBEY - Beautiful Music //KBEA
KBEY-FM hit the air November 1, 1960, with 17,500 watts of power. Simulcast with 1480 KBEA, under the same ownership. When KBEA signed off at night, KBEY would continue programming. KBEY upgraded to 100,000 watts in 1965, as King Louie took over the station.
1966-1967 - KBEY - Nostalgia/Standards "Demand Radio 104" //KBEA
Once again, KBEY shared the programming with KBEA
1967-1970 - KBEY - Beautiful Music //KBEA
1970-1973 - KBEY - Progressive Album Rock
Interstate Securities Corp. gave the album rock format a try in 1970 after KCJC-FM dropped out. At its peak, the station had better ratings than some of the AM powerhouses, and even the ear of record labels for playing acts no one else would touch. However, like "Jack FM" in 2005, the "next big thing" in the mid-1970s was bringing Top 40 to FM under the name "Super Q". KBEY made the change in 1973, though a former employee classified it as one of the most professional transitions in radio (employees had six weeks' notice, glowing references and full use of the production facilities). I don't think I've ever had six weeks' notice!
1973-1993 - KBEQ - Top 40 "Super Q" / "Q-104"
The FM Top 40 powerhouse in Kansas City began on August 15, 1973, under the ownership of Capitol Broadcasting. Mariner Broadcasting bought the station in 1977, and Noble took over in 1987. Super Q was the upstart competitor to what was being seen as an aging WHB, then around for 20 years itself. Q retained a lot of its success in the 1980s, despite being real hesitant to pick up on unfamiliar acts. One thing that remained constant, KBEQ's penchant for oldies. Right up to the late 1980s, they would still throw in '60s classics. Even '70s music would still slip in occasionally in the early 1990s. Another constant - classic personalities. Bobby Ocean, Bobby Day, Chuck Nasty and Randy Miller are just some of the names to have passed through the station.
As KBEQ said itself, times change, and KBEQ had trouble changing with them. By 1992, they had added a nightly modern rock show called "Planet Q," featuring new modern music and modern classics, in the absence of a full-time commercial modern rock station. CHR had been dropping in popularity at this time. After airing a special called "20 years in 20 days," featuring the music Q-104 played from 1973-1993, KBEQ pulled the plug on the format, despite no major competition. The move shocked quite a few people.
1993-current - KBEQ - Country "Young Country Q-104"
"Young Country" was popular at the time, and KBEQ went in full-tilt on February 19, 1993. At the time of KBEQ's change, there were three other country stations in the city, and plenty more in surrounding areas. KBEQ and KFKF eventually fell under the same ownership. Randy Miller had been the morning show host at the time of the transition, but exited. EZ Communications bought the station in 1995. American Radio Systems took control in 1997, and Infinity took over in 1998. In 2005, all 3 major country stations were rated in the top 7 of Arbitron's 12+ demographic. In late 2005, KBEQ reached #1 in the 12+ demographic for the first time as a country station. In 2006, Wilks Broadcasting bought the station. In 2011, still owned by the same company, KBEQ and KFKF tied for sixth in the ratings. In 2014, Steel City Media bought KBEQ.