After roughly ten years in the Last Bastion Trust established by former owner Citadel, KINB (105.3 The Pro) has been sold to Perry Broadcasting, owners of KVSP (Power 103.5) and KRMP (Heart and Soul 92.1 and 1140) for $225,000.
The sale ends a tumultuous era for the Kingfisher-licensed station which was bought by then-Citadel in 2002 for $3.1 million.
Long and winding road
The started as a local Contemporary Christian station KLGH (The Light 105-dot-3)owned by the people who built the station in 2000, Kingfisher County Broadcasters.
Citadel moved the “The Sports Animal” format to the frequency in 2002 for less than a year to install a country format on 104.9, its former longtime home. Its low power (930 watts) and tower location (east of Okarche) proved to be insufficient for The Sports Animal franchise that brought FM sports to Oklahoma City in the late-9os.
So, the frequency debuted an alternative format at night, modeled after the longtime format on Stillwater’s KSPI-FM (which had since gone Hot AC). The K-SPY at night and The Sports Animal during the day experiment morphed into KSYY (105.3 The Spy) full time on Christmas Day of 2002 as “The Sports Animal” moved back to 104.9.
That lasted until 2004 when the low performing station with a cult following made way for Citadel’s first foray into Regional Mexican with KINB “La Indomable.” The format would last four and a half years on 105.3, before migrating to WKY (930 AM).
Next up was “ESPN Deportes” which lasted 11 months.
Alternative returned when former Spy DJ Ferris O’Brien revived the moniker and format on the station in 2009. O’Brien was a KSPI-FM and KSYY veteran and worked for legendary KDGE in Dallas in its heyday. He agreed to buy the station and leased the station from the Citadel, who had now put the station in a trust to comply with ownership limits now in place due to Citadel’s purchase of ABC Radio in 2006.
O’Brien and the trust agreed to a $2 million deal, but a year later, SpyMedia backed out of the deal due price of the station and the coverage problems in the metro.
O’Brien took his format online only and Last Bastion kept playing Alternative also calling itself “The Spy” and then “The Real Spy.”
The trust ran the differing alternative format on the air as “The Real Spy” for four months into the spring of 2011 when there was another shake up.
The new format was Adult Standards. Sensing a niche to be filled with a rimshot signal (or the fact that then-Citadel General Manager Larry Bastida was a fan of the format), 105.3 The Martini debuted in March of 2011.
That format lasted just over two years, when OKC received yet another sports station with 105.3 The Pro. Cumulus syndicates CBS Sports Radio, which provides most of the programming. Oklahoma City Thunder D-League affiliate Oklahoma City Blue games air on the station as well as overflow programming from “cousin” stations WWLS and KWPN. The station has also carried high school football as well.
What’s next for 105.3?
What will Perry do with KINB? The company does own a sports stations in Lawton, but it’s unlikely that they would buy a station in OKC and keep it sports with the glut of sports stations in the metro.
Perry could simulcast Urban KVSP (Power 103.5) on 105.3, but each signal hits the OKC metro from the west and they overlap. Neither signal is strong in northeast Oklahoma City where Perry’s studio is located.
A simulcast of Urban AC KRMP (Hear and Soul 92.1 and 1140) is possible. The AM simulcasts on the 92.1 FM translator which covers the urban core pretty well. Will Perry find the “Heart and Soul” listeners they want inside of KINB’s coverage area which is largely rural and includes suburban far northwest Oklahoma City?
Another long-shot is Black Gospel. Perry owns a station with that format in Augusta, Ga. KTLV (AM 1220) in Midwest City runs a similar format and has tried to get an FM translator, but that effort seems to have stalled.
Another interesting wrinkle is KINB’s studio location on Wilshire Boulevard near Council Road in northwest Oklahoma City. The station does not have a main studio waiver and that location is just within the 25-mile radius of the city of license, Kingfisher. Then-owner Citadel was fined $9,000 in 2004 for not maintaining its studio at that Britton road location (and for public file violations). Will Perry file for a waiver and move KINB’s studio to its location in northeast Oklahoma City?