The home-grown Americana/Country outlet on 99.3 mHz in Austin has recently upgraded from 6-kW to 24-kW, after being approved in late September by the FCC. No word yet if they will divest their 98.5 translator now, which we hear isn’t the only one the station airs on.
The station, at launch, featured personalities well known to Central Texas listeners, including former Clear Channel KVET-FM morning host Bob Cole and meteorologist Troy Kimmel.
Cole teamed with Austin attorney Jason Nassour and former KVET morning show producer and afternoon host Eric Raines to acquire the 99.3 FM frequency from broadcaster Dick Oppenheimer.
The 99.3 frequency was previously a Christian talk format, and that format moved to 1490 AM, a station also owned by Oppenheimer.
A handful of “strategically picked” Central Texans have also contributed funds to help with the purchase of 99.3 FM.
The original KOKE, which saw those call letters disappear in 1987, made a splash on the national radio scene in the early 1970s when it helped launch a format known as “progressive country” (some would say Americana) that featured an eclectic mix of country acts as well as other, noncountry performers. The playlist included songs from Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Gary P. Nunn, Kris Kristofferson, the Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, among others.
In 1974, when it was broadcasting on the 95.5 FM frequency that’s now occupied by Entercom’s KKMJ-FM, KOKE was dubbed the “most innovative station in the country” by Billboard magazine.