The Death Of A Radio Station

By Ken Foote, CBSDFW.COM

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Ken Foote

To me, radio stations are like people we invite in our cars, homes, and offices. We don’t want them to change too much and we want them around forever. But unfortunately that doesn’t apply in the radio business.

At the end of 2012, the owner of Soul 73 KKDA, Service Broadcasting, completed the sale of the station to a private company and as this month the new owners switched formats to a Korean language format.

I grew up with KKDA 730 in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Back then many cars, transistor radios, and home radio sets only had AM Radio…few had FM Radio and there was no HD or satellite radio then. My high school and college car only had AM radio. KKDA started as a 500 watt AM station in Grand Prairie that made its mark being a forerunner in playing R&B music and being a strong voice for the DFW African American community. For a 500 watt station, it had a good signal and good coverage. Only thing back then was that they were required to sign off at dusk because the 730AM frequency was designated by international treaties as a Mexican clear channel for radio station XEX, a 250,000 watt blowtorch from Mexico City. It was only within the last few years that KKDA could operate after dusk (as a side note, the Federal Communications Commission today will not grant a new application for a license for an AM radio station that is daytime only). You could see their two towers in Grand Prairie off of Interstate 30 at Beltline Road, right over by Lone Star Park, and that tower site is still there today. There is still one station in the area that signs off at dusk: KFJZ 870AM, because radio station WWL in New Orleans has the rights to be on 870 at night with 50,000 watts of power.

Many great personalities went through KKDA back then, the most famous one of being Tom Joyner. But this station was ahead of time for sure. This was a station that was very much in touch with the community and clued into their audience, better than most stations are. And they had great jingles! When they signed on in the morning and then signed off in the evening, they aired the poem, “I Am…Somebody!”

The one thing in life we can count on is change. As actor George C. Scott said in his role as General George S. Patton, Jr. when being relieved of duty, “well, I guess all good things must come to an end.”

Thank you, Soul Sockin’ 73……..K-K-D-A……….thanks for the great music and service to our area……….we will miss you.

See you next time.

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