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Power 106

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Power 106

City of license Los Angeles, California
Broadcast area Greater Los Angeles
Branding "Power 106"
Slogan "Where Hip-Hop Lives!"
Frequency 105.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
105.9 HD-2 for WorldBand Media (South Asian Radio)
First air date July 15, 1946 (as KFI-FM)
Format Rhythmic Contemporary
ERP 25,000 watts
HAAT 925 meters
Class B
Facility ID 35498
Callsign meaning K-PoWeR 106!
Former callsigns KFI-FM (1946-1958)
KBMS (1958-1969)
KWST (1969-1982)
KMGG (1982-1986)
Owner Emmis Communications
Webcast Listen Live

KPWR (105.9 FM, "Power 106") is a commercial radio station located in Los Angeles, California, broadcasting to the Greater Los Angeles area on an analog signal and in HD Radio. KPWR airs a Rhythmic contemporary radio format playing hip-hop and R&B hits with the occasional Rhythmic Pop/Dance hits. It is owned and operated by Emmis Communications and is one of two flagship stations under its ownership alongside WQHT ("Hot 97") in New York City.

The studios of KPWR are based in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank in a prime location surrounded by various media outlets, and the transmitter is based from Mount Wilson alongside most TV and radio stations transmitting from there.


105.9 FM signed on as easy listening KFI-FM on July 15, 1946, later becoming KBMS in 1958 before adopting the KWST call letters and "K-West 106" moniker in 1969. During its years as KBMS and later KWST, its format had been beautiful music prior to its flip to a rock format on January 1, 1975. K-West emulated the then-popular sound of KMET & KLOS. By 1981 though, the ratings had slipped and KWST had changed to a Top 40 format, and let all of their disc jockeys go. KWST eventually evolved into KMGG, or "L.A.'s Magic 106 FM" in summer 1982, and played upbeat Adult Contemporary music.

In May 1984 Century Broadcasting Decided to sell KMGG and St. Louis's KSHE to the Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications.

Magic 106 would continue to climb in the ratings, but after seeing a unique niche to counter Top 40s KIIS and KKHR and Urban outlets KDAY, KJLH, and KACE (the latter three all signal challenged), Emmis would flip KMGG from adult contemporary to a dance music/Top 40 direction at 6 PM on January 11, 1986 and became KPWR, "The All New Power 106, The Fresh New Music Mix." [1] The first song on "Power 106" is "Say I'm Your Number One" by Princess. Actor, Comedian, & DJ Jay Thomas was hired as the official host of "The New Power 106 Morning Zoo" and then later "The Power 106 Morning Zoo" or "The Original Morning Zoo" or just simply put it "The Morning Zoo". In its first seven years, the Power 106's Power Playlist or Power Play for short is concentrated based mostly on an upbeat, party-style mix of dance, house, freestyle, urban pop, and sometimes every once a while they add a little bit dose of rap to keep the station alive, while avoiding hard rock. This mix of music became known as crossover, due to the way in which dance and urban music were presented to an audience that liked pop, and vice versa.[2] Power 106 would use these monikers to make the station one of a kind, their 1st moniker was "Pure Energy...Dance Now!" in 1986, and then their 2nd moniker was "L.A.'s Hottest Music" in 1991. At the time it originally broadcast "72,000 Watts Of Music Power!" (mentioned in legal IDs by the late great Chuck Riley) of WNAP fame. Realizing the success of the newfound rhythmic/CHR format on KPWR, Emmis purchased more stations and applied the format to WAPP in New York City which became WQHT "Hot 103.5" and then "Hot 103" later that year before making an agreement with NBC Radio and moved to 97.1 FM (resulting in its current "Hot 97" moniker) two years later.

Around 1992, KPWR began to focus on urban music with hip-hop as the musical base, primarily based on gaining competition from KKBT. In 1992, The Baka Boyz came to Power 106 and started the long-running "Friday Night Flavas" late-night hip hop mix show. The Friday Night Flavas show passed from the Baka Boyz to the Fantastik 4our crew by 1998, until finally being canceled on January 4, 2006. By January 2005, the station had woven in non-R&B/hip hop artists such as Natalie, Baby Bash, NB Ridaz and Gwen Stefani to the mix, resulting in a return to rhythmic contemporary hit radio. The move may have been a response to a change in directions at rival station KIIS, which was programming Top 40 hits, until they started a shift towards a Rhythmic lean, since the market itself is heavily Hispanic and tends to favor this genre.

KPWR picked up additional competition in May 2005 when KXOL dropped their Spanish adult contemporary format for a Hispanic Rhythmic, or hurban, format known as "Latino 96.3". The format is a crossover mix of Hispanic hip hop, reggaeton, dancehall, and R & B/hip hop targeting a bilingual audience. However, the abrupt switch violated a transmitter lease agreement that KXOL's parent company, Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), had with Emmis; the agreement required formal notification to Emmis of any change in format and expressly prohibited KXOL from programming to directly compete with KPWR. SBS switched formats anyway, and Emmis filed a lawsuit to force SBS to either drop the format switch or find a new transmitter. SBS announced that KXOL would move to another transmitter site a month later, and both parties settled the dispute sometime after.[3]

Shortly after the debut of Latino 96.3, KPWR replaced the majority of their non Latino DJs with personalities of Latino descent who often pepper their broadcasts with Spanish words, in an effort to regain some of the audience lost to Latino 96.3. Today, Big Boy (African-American), DJ E-Man (Filipino), DJ Vick 1 (Armenian), Krystal Bee, Rikki Martinez and Louie G. (all Latino) all represent the multi-cultural population of Los Angeles.

On August 17, 2006, KPWR's Country music sister station KZLA flipped directions to Adult Rhythmic Contemporary as "Movin' 93.9." Most of the songs played on Movin' 93.9 consisted of Rhythmic Pop and Dance hits from the 1980s and 1990s to the present day, along with classic Disco and Freestyle tracks thrown in for balance. But after almost a year in the format, KMVN shifted directions to Rhythmic Oldies. With the unique combination of both KPWR and KZLA, the move gave Emmis and Los Angeles its first Rhythmic duopoly, as well as the second duopoly in California with this arrangement, the other being Clear Channel Communications siblings KMEL and KYLD in San Francisco. But that arrangement ended on April 15, 2009, when KMVN flipped to a Spanish format under a LMA with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City.


Leaning heavily on hip hop and broadening their music mix to challenge competitors, KPWR's core listening audience is geared toward youth and young adults ages 18 to 34, including large English speaking Latino listeners.[4] KPWR is, by de facto, the only full market hip hop station, after its rival, KKBT (now KSWD), flipped from mainstream urban to urban adult-contemporary in May 2006. Meanwhile KDAY, the station that would inherit "The Beat" slogan from KKBT, flipped to Urban AC in August 2008, only to return to a Mainstream Urban direction in January 2009. KDAY's signal does not cover the market in full, which might have played a factor in its brief decision to switch formats, as KDAY broadcasts from a Class A transmitter in Baldwin Hills that is limited in signal range vs KPWR's Class B; ironically KDAY had shifted to Rhythmic in July 2007, only to return to Urban a few weeks later.

Other stations in the market have other primary interests; KIIS plays Top 40 music, KAMP-FM, like Power 106, also plays Rhythmic Contemporary but bills itself as a Top 40/CHR, KXOL has their hurban format, KXOS (KPWR's former sister station) plays a Dance-leaning Rhythmic Top 40 format that features english-language music but uses Spanish-speaking DJs, and KHHT their Rhythmic Adult Contemporary direction. After KDAY began shifting to Old-School Hip-Hop in August 2009 (and by 2013 would be sold to a new owner who will flip it to a Asian format), KPWR briefly increased its playlist with Hip-Hop currents, but as of 2010 it began embracing Electropop tracks, and with KAMP moving in on their audience with their shift towards Rhythmic, KPWR continues to add Rhythmic Pop tracks in an effort to retain its Hispanic base, as they see KAMP as a serious competitor. As of 2011, Power 106 had decreased the amount of plays they give to Rhythmic Pop tracks so it can focus on R&B/Hip Hop product, but given the changing taste among its listeners, it continues to add the occasional Rhythmic Pop/Dance track, as it contributes to both Mediabase and BDS Rhythmic reporting panels[5] but remains heavily within the R&B/Hip Hop area. Power 106 finished 2011 #1 Adults 18-34 for three straight ratings periods, fending off competitors from large media conglomerates CBS and Clear Channel Media as a stand-alone FM in Los Angeles.

Although Power 106 had moved away from the Dance music scene in favor of Hip-Hop, KPWR continues to support the genre through the program "Power Tools", produced by Gerry Meraz and hosted by Richard Vission. Power Tools, which airs late night Saturday/Early Sunday morning from 2 to 4am, is also the station's longest running program, debuting in 1992. In addition, they do revisit their Dance and Freestyle music roots during their mixes, especially The World Famous Aquanet Set, which they air on Fridays. In 2008 KPWR began phasing in current Dance and Rhythmic Pop crossovers into their daily and weekend mix shows again, as evidenced by addition of the daily noontime "Power 106 Party Mix," which replaced the Old School mixshow. Power 106 features the daily, "Mickey Fickey Mix" with DJ E-Man at 5:20, 6:20, 7:20, 8:20 and 9:20am, the "Power Party Mix" with DJ Reflex at noon, the New@2 mix with DJ Felli Fel and Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5pm feature celebrity guest DJs with the Jump-off mix.

For a time in 1996, Power 106 switched genres and began to focus more on house music which then was very popular among Latino listeners. They began to play less hip-hop, as many listeners switched over to former rival KKBT. They eventually reverted to Hip-Hop/R&B by the fall of that year, and hired former security guard Big Boy to host the morning show, replacing the veteran Baka Boyz. The Baka Boyz were moved to afternoons, before being dropped by Power and moving to KKBT in 1999, where they would only last several months before KKBT switched genres. The Baka Boyz later moved to San Diego and worked for XHMORE ("Blazin 98.9 FM"), a Rhythmic Top 40 radio station with the same format as Power 106. The Baka Boyz left that station in 2007 (XHMORE would later drop the Rhythmic format in 2008) and now concentrate on their syndicated Hip-Hop remix show "The Baka Boyz Master Mix."

In May 2010, KPWR began streaming the station online.

In September 2011, Power 106 was named Large Market CHR Radio station of the year and awarded the Marconi at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago, Illinois.[6]

On September 19, 2011, Power 106 partnered with and launched a Facebook integrated music streaming platform that was announced at Facebook's f8 convention. Power 106's jelli station features new music that is promoted on Power 106's New@2 program. Listeners can "rocket" songs up and vote them off the playlist with a "bomb". Songs can be dedicated and sent to friends via email and on their Facebook pages.

In June 2012, Power 106 was named by Radio Ink as "Best Radio Station Website" at its annual digital convention in San Jose, California. Earlier in the year, Power 106 was recognized as having the best use of Social Media and as "Best Digital Partner" by

In June 2012 Power 106 partnered with Tune-In and iHeart Radio to provide the Power 106 stream on their apps.

On July 29, 2012, Power 106 was nominated as Major Market Station of the Year for the NAB Marconi Awards.

On September 18, 2012 Power 106 wins Silver “Best in Show” for best website at the 2012 W3 Awards.

KPWR-HD subchannels

KPWR launched a Spanish-language [1]

On 2008-09-08, Emmis announced a programming partnership with WorldBand Media, using KPWR's HD-3 signal to produce programming for the South Asian communities in 3 major cities including Los Angeles.[7] The said content began in Mid-October 2008, and by the Summer of 2009 moved to HD2, replacing Power Dos.

The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show

"The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" is the nationally-syndicated morning show for KPWR.

Big Boy is best known in the local area for his billboards. In early 2002, Big Boy was morbidly obese; Will Smith agreed to donate to a charity of Big Boy's choice an amount equal to $1,000 times the number of pounds he lost, if he could lose 50 pounds. Through a strict diet and by using a personal trainer, Big Boy lost 110 pounds, and as promised, Will Smith donated $110,000 to charity. By 2003, Big Boy had gained all the weight back, plus some, and weighed 510 pounds. In November 2003, Big Boy underwent duodenal switch surgery and has since lost more than 250 pounds (114 kg). KPWR billboards showed off his new look after his surgery.

On August 6, 2007, Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg in July 2009.

On February 17, 2010, Citadel announced that it will no longer carry "The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" and that its last national broadcast would be March 22, 2010. But on March 26, "The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" found a new syndicator when it moved over to Dial Global.[8][9]

Big Boy, along with Luscious Liz from the 'Neighborhood' starred in an episode of Entourage as well as an episode of Nick Cannon's sketch comedy show Wild 'N Out. In addition, Big Boy also appeared in an episode of For the Love of Ray J.

On July 27, 2010, sidekick Tattoo is no longer with the show. [3]

Big Boy is the recipient of 2 National Association of Broadcasting Marconi Awards for Major Market Personality of the Year.

On August 22, 2011, Luscious Liz Hernandez leaves Big Boy's Radio and is now with E! News. [4]

Power 106 added Rikki Martinez, Krystal Bee and Louie G. to Big Boy's Neighborhood. The programming changes paid off with Big Boy's Neighborhood closing out 2011 with a 6.5 share 18-34 Adults in morning drive and placed #2 in the market over-all and #1 English Language, Source: Arbitron Holiday 2011 (#1 was KSCA/Spanish). Big Boy's Neighborhood's programming changes continued to pay off in 2012 with Power 106 ranking #1, Adults 18-34 for 6 straight books and ranking #2 by .1 of a point behind Kiis-FM only one time during 2012 without the benefit of the Clear Channel's larger marketing budgets (Clear Channel owns an outdoor billboard company) and the world exposure of American Idol and Ryan Seacrest.

Flava Unit

The Power 106 Flava Unit is the Promotions Team that goes out on the streets of Los Angeles and promotes the radio station and it's advertising partners to the city, specifically targeting urban Latino youth. The Flava Unit consists of at least one MC, "rocking the mic", and is sometimes partnered with a Flava Unit Mixer (the disc jockey). They are also there to help when there are live broadcasts that consist of the on-air jocks and/or mixers.

Some notable Flava Unit Alumni include DJ Reflex (on-air mixer), DJ Los (on-air mixer), DJ Sourmilk (on-air mixer), DJ Eric-D-Lux and DJ Big Syphe (afternoon on-air talent and mixers), DJ J-Boogie (currently the host of "CW Now", "Yo Momma" on MTV, and the show turned television network for teens TeenNick from Nickelodeon), Mando Fresko (currently late-night on-air talent, TV host for LATV, actor, and model), Krystal Bee (Currently on air during Big Boy's Neighborhood 5am-10am and as a VJ on The Warner Sound music channel), Louie G. (Currently on air during Big Boy's Neighborhood 5am-10am), Junior M. (club promoter and marketing specialist), DJ Class1c & DJ Eddy Xpress (KDAY on-air mixers), DJ Inferno (On-air mixer), and DJ Virman (who would later form the Electropop/Hip-Hop act Far East Movement).


Current Power 106 DJ's

"The Big Boy's Neighborhood Morning Show" (5-10a)

  • Big Boy
  • Rikki Martinez
  • Krystal Bee
  • Louie G.


  • Yesi Ortiz



  • J. Cruz



  • Jeff G.
  • DJ Eric D-Lux
  • Wendy Carrillo

Mixshow DJs

  • DJ E-Man
  • DJ Reflex
  • DJ Ever
  • DJ Disko Drew
  • DJ Justin Credible
  • DJ Eric D-Lux
  • DJ Coke-E
  • DJ Sourmilk
  • DJ Los
  • DJ Fuze
  • DJ Vick 1
  • DJ P-Jay
  • DJ Ingwell
  • DJ Carisma
  • DJ Epic 12
  • DJ Big Syphe
  • DJ Virman
  • DJ Inferno
  • DJ Vice
  • DJ Echo

Current Station Voices

  • Eric Edwards (The 1st and only voice of Power 106 since the station's debut in 1986)

Former Power 106 DJ's

  • Jay Thomas
  • Monica Brooks
  • Hal "9000" Abrams
  • Patricia "PowerMouth Patty" Lotz
  • Tommy Jackson
  • Buster Bodine
  • Jeffrey "Wyatt On The Radio" Wyatt
  • Al Tavera
  • Brenda Ross
  • Franklin "On The Loose" Lozano
  • Laurie Allen
  • Mucho Morales
  • Joe Nasty
  • Todd Parker
  • Billy Alexander
  • George Moore
  • Ricky Cummings
  • Deborah Rath
  • Jesse "The Brown Beauty On Duty" Torrero
  • Charlie Huero
  • DJ Boris
  • DJ Chris
  • Geoffrey St. John
  • Tony B.
  • Joseph "The Boomer" Servantez
  • George McFly
  • DJ Richard Vission
  • The Fantastik 4our Crew
  • The Baka Boyz
  • Yolanda "Yo-Yo" Whitaker
  • Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus
  • William "Flavor Flav" Drayton Jr.
  • Elizabeth "Luscious Liz" Hernandez
  • Tattoo
  • DJ J-Boogie
  • DJ Junior M.
  • DJ Class1c
  • DJ Eddy Xpress
  • Fuzzy Fantabulous

Former Station Voices

  • Bobby Ocean

Former Station Jingles

  • TM Studios Creators of the "K-Power!" jingle package that features Chuck Riley on vocals where he rapped on that jingle instead of singing it, that jingle package was such a big hit for fans and jocks of "Power 106", that it was also used for WQHT when they where at 103.5 in 1986 under the name "Hot 103.5" & then "Hot 103" & when they moved to 97.1 in 1988 they recustomized the "K-Power!" jingle package with Chuck saying "Hot 97" on it.
  • JAM Creative Productions Creators of the "Power Up!" jingle package where the JAM jingle singers rapped this jingle instead of singing it, but Chuck decided that he could do the vocals on that package instead of the JAM jingle singers and luckily he did.



  • The PowerJam Concert
  • The PowerHouse Concert
  • The Cali Christmas Concert


External links

  • Power 106 official website
  • Power 106 MySpace page
  • KPWR's history as KWST at
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for KPWR
  • Radio-Locator information on KPWR
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KPWR

Coordinates: 34°13′37″N 118°04′05″W / 34.227°N 118.068°W / 34.227; -118.068

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