Thursday, December 12, 2013

LA Radio: KDAY Is Sold, New Owner Plans To Keep Hip-Hop

Classic R&B and hip-hop radio station KDAY 93.5 FM has been sold to Meruelo Media, a Los Angeles company that has been expanding its holdings.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, according to the LA Times.

The station had been on the market for more than two years. Earlier this year, another company attempted a nearly $20-million deal to buy KDAY from Magic Broadcasting of Florida, but that deal fell apart.

The previous group, RBC Communications, had planned to switch the format to Mandarin language, which startled some longtime listeners. Under its new owners, the station will remain an English-language outlet.

KDAY 93.5 FM 60dBu Coverage
Meruelo executives said Wednesday they also intend to keep the old-school hip-hop format, which should cheer fans of the station who earlier this year launched a social media campaign, Save KDAY, and collected signatures to protest a potential change in programming.

Meruelo Media plans to invest in the station to make it a more robust player in L.A. -- the nation's largest radio market with an estimated $500 million a year in advertising spending.

KDAY has a rich history in Los Angeles.  In the 1980s, the original KDAY-AM (1580) station was the first 24-hour hip-hop station in the U.S., helping launch the careers of such rappers as Dr. Dre and LL Cool J.  But the station was sold in 1991 to Los Angeles real estate mogul Fred Sands for $7.2 million. Sands flipped it to a business news station with the call letters KBLA.

Investors revived the KDAY brand in 2004. They reformatted a Spanish-language FM station, KZAB, and promised a return to the previous station's hip-hop roots under the banner of KDAY 93.5 FM. Over the years, the station underwent several programming changes.

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