History of KMXN

The ceremonial ribbon cutting of “92.9 The Bull.” KLWN/KLZR/KMXN General Manager Ron Covert is holding the scissors, while Program Director Amber Lee is holding the right side of the ribbon. 19 November 2009

“92.9 The Bull” as the station is currently known, started out as a small outfit to serve Osage City. Osage City is located roughly halfway between the urban centers of Emporia and Topeka, and different owners have reached out to both of the larger communities.

Authorization was initially granted for a station at 92.7 for 3 kW on a 300-foot tower located 1 mile south of Barclay, or about 5 miles southwest of Osage City. FCC records show that the initial construction permit was granted in March of 1980 to Alvin R. and Linda Crippen, Devany and Karen L. Crippen, Joy R. and Terry D. Crippen. The station was given the call sign KZOC in September of 1981.

During the construction process, changes were made. In October of 1981, the Crippens applied to transfer control of the station to E. Eugene McCoy and E. Eugene McCoy, Jr., which was approved by the FCC in December. At the same time, KZOC’s construction permit was extended to April 1, 1982. In April of 1982, the McCoys applied to tweak the Construction Permit to allow for the installation of a taller 341 foot antenna, and to reduce power to 2.3 kW to compensate for the height. This was granted, as well as another extension to September 1. The station went on the air in August, with a license to cover granted in September 1983.

In March of 1989, KZOC applied for a substantial upgrade, increasing power to 36 kW and antenna height to 172 m (564 ft), moving the transmitter to 0.8 miles northeast of the junction of highways 99 and 170, in Lyon County west of Reading, and moving up the dial from 92.7 to 92.9. The upgrade was completed by the end of 1990. The new allotment allowed the station to reach into Emporia.

In November of 1994, the station was sold to Majestic Broadcasting of Wilmington, Del. Majestic quickly turned around and sold the station to C&C Consulting of Emporia. C&C changed the calls to KANS-FM, effective April 1, 1995. At some point, C&C instituted a satellite-fed oldies format, calling itself “Kansas Radio.” In 2000, KANS-FM applied to downgrade to 7.9 kW on a 164 m (538 ft) tower near Burlingame. The permit was granted in March of 2000.

In May, 2003, C&C Consulting applied to sell the station to 3 Point Media. During the approval process for selling the station, C & C applied for a license to cover the move to the Burlingame transmitter, and subsequently applied for a permit to move back to the Reading transmitter. The application to move the transmitter to Reading was a fail-safe plan. In the event that C & C was unable to sell the station, they could revert the station back to its original position. The FCC approved the sale to 3 Point on August 12. The license to cover the transmitter move was approved on the 18th, with the permit to return to the Reading transmitter approved on September 11, 2003.

3 Point quickly made changes. The Burlingame transmitter, even at a lower power, was able to penetrate Topeka. 3 Point dumped the oldies format, and started to play Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” on a continuous loop, with a ID every third pass. On August 11th, a day before the FCC formally approved the sale, 3 Point adopted a Rhythmic Contemporary hit format, calling itself “Wild 92.9,” with the emphasis pointed toward Topeka. The KKYD calls were brought in on August 18. C&C moved the KANS calls to a station in Emporia that they subsequently purchased.

In December of 2004, Jerry Zimmer purchased the station from 3 Point communications, and LMA’d the station pending FCC approval. The FCC approved the sale on January 31, 2005. Zimmer purchased the station under the name “Viking Enterprises.” Eventually, name of the parent company was changed to “Great Plains Media.”

In July 2005, the 92.9 station pulled the rhythmic format. After a week long stunt, KKYD adapted a “Variety Hits” format, calling itself “92.9 Max FM,” and taking the call sign KMXN on August 4.

Despite the fact that the signal covers Topeka, KMXN looked for a way to go improve its coverage. In September 2005, KMXN formally canceled the CP for the Reading transmitter and applied for a new transmitter site south of Overbrook with a 41.6 kW power on a 163 m (534 ft) tower. The Licence to Cover the Overbrook transmitter was approved on December 18, 2006

After 6 months with the Variety Hits Format, KMXN flipped to a album rock oriented format as “X 92.9” in February, 2006.

In 2006, X 92.9 hosted a post-season Free State High School football game due to a scheduling conflict with a KU basketball game on KLWN. The following season, it was announced that KLWN would carry all Lawrence High games, and KMXN would carry all Free State games.

In 2009, Great Plans Media elected to go with a Contemporary County format on 92.9. Great Plains General Manager Ron Covert brought in Amber Lee as the Program Director and midday host. On October 7th, the rock format was dropped, and the next day, “92.9 The Bull” debuted. “The Bull” continued to air Lawrence Free State football games. A Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Event occurred on November 19th.

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