WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ City of license WGVX: Lakeville, Minnesota
WGVY: Cambridge, Minnesota
WGVZ: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Broadcast area Minneapolis-St. Paul Branding Love 105 Slogan "Greatest Songs of All Time" Frequency WGVX: 105.1 FM (MHz)
WGVY: 105.3 FM (MHz)
WGVZ: 105.7 FM (MHz)
First air date WGVX: 1992
Format Commercial; Soft AC/Oldies ERP WGVX: 2,600 watts
WGVY: 25,000 watts
WGVZ: 950 watts
HAAT WGVX: 152 meters
WGVY: 91 meters
WGVZ: 254 meters
Class WGVX: A
Facility ID WGVX: 61379
Callsign meaning V105: "GrooVe of the Twin cities" (used with previous format) Owner Cumulus Media
(Radio License Holding III, LLC)
Sister stations KQRS-FM, KXXR Webcast Listen Live Website www.love105.fm
WGVX, WGVY and WGVZ is a trimulcast serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, and an area of central Minnesota to the north. The three stations are now owned by Cumulus Media, along with sister stations KQRS-FM and KXXR.
On May 8, 2007, the three stations flipped to a Soft AC/oldies hybrid format as Love 105, featuring mellow cuts by artists including Chicago, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Sade, Bread, and many others. The playlist also includes occasional adult standards, from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, along with some more traditional oldies. Prior to this, it was Drive 105, playing adult-leaning alternative rock.
In its most notable incarnation, the 105 signals broadcast under the moniker REV105, which was a critically acclaimed alternative rock station with a widely diverse playlist. After being purchased by ABC Radio in 1997, the station went through a few transformations.
Citadel Broadcasting has recently moved WGVZ from Eden Prairie to the IDS tower in downtown Minneapolis. This significantly improved reception of the station in Minneapolis and western Saint Paul despite the drop in effective radiated power from 5,800 Watts to 950 Watts.
Prior to their unification as REV105, the three transmitters were known by other names.
Today's WGVX was first licensed as KZPZ on November 15, 1990. It was officially signed on the air in late 1992 as WTCX by J. Tom Lijewski, who had previously worked at other Twin Cities stations. The station aired a Hot AC format targeting the south metro area of the Twin Cities. This was the initial FM station later purchased by Cargill Communications in 1993 to form REV105 a year later, when the call letters were changed to KREV.
WGVY is the oldest of the three stations, having signed on the air June 21, 1973 on 105.5 as KABG, with an MOR format. The call letters were changed to KXLV in 1983, and in 1991 the station increased its power, which necessitated a move to 105.3, and on December 13, 1991 became the latest of the many frequencies to use the WLOL call letters, after WLOL-FM was purchased by Minnesota Public Radio and the KSJN call letters were moved from 91.1 to 99.5. This longtime AC station became the northern signal of REV105, with the call letters changed to WREV in 1994.
WGVZ was first licensed as KOUO on March 26, 1992 to Jack Moore (creator/owner of the former Twin Cities stations WAYL 93.7 FM and KTWN 107.9 FM), and signed on as KCFE (Cafe 105.7) on March 11, 1993, airing a light jazz/adult album alternative format (which resembled the original format of Cities 97 from the 1980s, which was modeled largely on Moore's KTWN circa late '70s-early '80s). The station carried Don Imus's syndicated morning show for a short time. In October 1996, KCFE was sold to Cargill and briefly become REV105's third transmitter, prior to all three stations being sold to ABC Radio the following March.
REV105, "Revolution Radio," was owned by Cargill Communications (headed by Jim and Susan Cargill, heirs to the massive Cargill company fortune) and broadcast under the call signs KREV, WREV, and later KCFE on three different frequencies (105.1, 105.3 and 105.7). REV105 played a fairly wide variety of music, mostly alternative rock, and put a lot of time into promoting music from local performers. Minnesota has a very active music community, and a number of very diverse artists have received national attention (see music in Minnesota). Area highschoolers also contributed to some of the programming put on the air.
The station's genesis came out of another station. From 1990 to 1992, KJJO (KJ104) was an adventurous modern rock station, and gained a devoted (if small) listening audience. The station switched to country music in 1992, and many held out hope that KJ104's format would resurface soon. Two former KJ104 staffers, Brian Turner and Kevin Cole, actively sought out stations to pick up the format (on several occasions, they were turned down by the owners of both WTCX and KCFE).
Finally, with financial backing from the Cargills, Turner and Cole found that the owner of WTCX was ready to sell. In November 1993, the Cargills purchased WTCX for $2.6 million, along with big band music-formatted KLBB for $1 million and small suburban country music outlet KBCW for $400,000. The plan was to turn the one FM and two AMs into a modern rock radio network, eventually simulcasting programming around the country. Plans changed eventually and they decided to go with a more local approach (though REV105 did syndicate a show, Spin Radio for a short time). Soon, the Cargills were able to purchase WLOL (located next to WTCX on the dial but broadcasting from a location far to the north). Turner, Cole, and the Cargills were reluctant to change the big band music on KLBB, since it did have a small, if dedicated following, and decided not only to keep the format, but to simulcast it on their other AM signal, 1470 (105.3's legendary call letters, WLOL, were shifted to 1470). The only other changes made to KLBB was to give it a "hipper" sound, incorporating more lounge music and fresher advertising and imaging. Hence, the foundation of Rev 105 was set, with KREV and WREV soon to come.
The group's intended programming plans were public knowledge at the time and highly publicized. ABC Radio felt the time was right to lay its own claim to the rapidly rising alternative rock format. On February 6, 1994, ABC agreed to purchase KQRS' main rival, KRXX (the first "93X") from Entercom, and KQRS management immediately took control of the station. Within two days, the former 93X became the Twin Cities' newest modern rock station, "93.7 The Edge". In effect, ABC killed two birds with one stone by striking down a bitter rival, and warding off a potential new one. This did not change Turner's and Cole's plans at all, as they felt their station would be unique enough to compete in the market. Pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of Cargill's own station deals, WTCX officially went off the air February 7, 1994 (coincidentally, the first full day of The Edge's new format). WLOL followed on April 24. On May 1, REV105's eclectic new alternative rock format took to the air, with the first official song being "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.
REV105 was a unique station. It would not be an ordinary, consultant-programmed modern rock station like The Edge. Rather, it took many elements from typical modern rock stations, added a heavy amount of new, obscure and local artists, and mixed in other musical styles such as industrial, punk, classic rock, hip-hop, world, dance and techno. According to Cole, when REV started, it would play the newly popular Green Day next to old Who songs, comparing and contrasting two different instances of similar music. In addition, there were a large number of specialty shows, featuring other musical styles like "old school" funk, imports, club mixes and ambient music. REV105 was instrumental in introducing newer artists to the airwaves, such as Ani DiFranco and Soul Coughing. As music critic Jim DeRogatis said, "The brilliance of REV105 was that I would hear a set that would go Bob Marley to Nine Inch Nails to Black Sabbath. And that's how real people listen to music."
The new "Revolution Radio" was a mild success, even with the high-powered competition from The Edge. In the first full ratings book, it earned a 1.5 overall Arbitron rating, and did even better in the 18-34 age breakdown. Ratings were hampered throughout the station's history by signal reception issues, the eclectic nature of its format, and its limited budget. Signal issues were perhaps its biggest issue, as Rev's ratings were similar or higher than any of its successor stations. The limited transmitter reach of 105.1 and 105.3 were helped when Cargill purchased another neighboring signal, KCFE (Cafe 105.7) in October 1996, which improved its reach in the southwest suburbs and particularly in Minneapolis, where a large number of its listening audience resided.
Formats of the 105s Name (call signs) Format REV 105 (KREV/WREV/KCFE) Alternative (1994–1997)
(KCFE added 10/96)
X105 (KXXP/KXXU/KXXR) Active rock (1997) Zone 105 (KZNR/KZNT/KZNZ) AAA (1997–1999)
Classic alternative (1999–2000)
V105 (WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ) Rhythmic oldies (2001–2002) Drive 105 (WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ) AAA (2002–2004)
Love 105 (WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ) Soft AC/Oldies (2007–present)
REV105 becomes X105
REV105 enjoyed an almost three year run. But the end came at noon on March 11, 1997. That was when the station was purchased by competitor Disney/Capitol Cities/ABC, which already owned two powerful 100 kilowatt stations in the Twin Cities, KQRS-FM and KEGE (93.7 FM "The Edge"). By 1:15, most of the airstaff was fired, and the station was reborn with a hard rock format as "X105", with the three stations receiving the call letters KXXR, KXXU and KXXP.
This situation became a focal point for critics of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Fans of REV105 banded together to protest the loss of REV105, and out of this, the group Americans for Radio Diversity was formed. The purchase received fairly widespread news coverage, with articles appearing in Billboard magazine and Rolling Stone, where Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty stated, "Having officially walked through every radio station in North America, I can honestly say REV was the only one that had a cause that was righteous." Of course, Doughty had a somewhat personal stake in the station, as it is partially credited for making him very popular in the state (some have said that one in eight Soul Coughing albums were sold in Minnesota).
Many feel that the motivation to purchase REV105 was to eliminate the competition (as ABC obtained the rights to all intellectual property of REV105, including its logos and website, and Cargill reportedly signed a non-compete agreement). The purchase was seen in some ways as a defensive maneuver against other growing radio conglomerates such as Chancellor Broadcasting which then owned seven radio stations in the Twin Cities (eventually purchased by radio giant Clear Channel Communications in 1999). Of course, the basic fact remains that Cargill could not compete as a stand-alone owner in this environment and saw this as a perfect opportunity to sell the station. According to Cargill, "As we saw all this consolidation in the market, we just didn't feel we were going to be able to survive." 
REV105 was in many ways a successor to the Twin Cities area's original "alternative" station, KJJO 104.1 FM (now KZJK), which changed its format in 1992. Kevin Cole, the former program director at REV105, and a veteran of the old KJ104, later resurfaced at KEXP in Seattle, Washington. General Manager Brian Turner eventually went back to KTCZ, where he worked in the 1980s and hosts its morning show. In 2005, a few former REV hosts reunited at Minnesota Public Radio for the launch of KCMP. "89.3 The Current", as the station is called, has some similarities to REV105's old format. The Current scores in the 1.5-2 range (ages 6+, Mon-Sun 6am-12am) in the Arbitron ratings.
Soon after the birth of X105, a new hard rock station arrived in the Twin Cites when WBOB dropped country music and switched to a hard rock format with Howard Stern's morning show. ABC has long done everything in its power to fight off any potential competitors to its main highly rated station, KQRS-FM. The two stations swapped formats on September 18 when KEGE, the station with the stronger signal, became 93X once again and X105 became Zone 105, with an adult alternative format a week later. After a few months, 93X took the KXXR callsign from the former X105, and the three Zone 105 stations became KZNR, KZNT and KZNZ.
After the station became Zone 105, a few of the old REV hosts were brought back. Brian Oake, who had gone over to The Edge, and Mary Lucia hosted the morning show, and Lucia hosted a weekly local music program named Popular Creeps from the local Bryant-Lake Bowl. Creeps won multiple awards for programming quality.
Over time, Zone 105 went in more of a classic alternative direction but toward the end of its run leaned more towards alternative rock. None of the post-REV 105 incarnations of these frequencies were true alternative rock, as the frequency had to keep a safe distance between itself and sister station 93X. For this reason, any song with a rock "edge" was discarded by the 105s during this time.
On March 8, 2001, after so-so ratings as an alternative rock station, the three Zone 105 stations became V105, an automated rhythmic oldies outlet. Call letters were changed to the current WGVX, WGVY and WGVZ. V105 lasted less than a year before reverting back to a revised version of the old Zone 105's format as "Drive 105" on January 17, 2002.
Drive 105's format was an adult-oriented version of a typical alternative rock station, and similar in many ways to the previous Zone 105. However the fact that it was forced to distance themselves from sister station 93X by avoiding harder-edged rock meant that it played a lot of music that has more in common with the AAA format. For the better part of the last several years, the station frequently promoted "This station is not owned or operated by Clear Channel Communications," though the station was actually part of another huge media conglomerate—Disney.
Drive 105, along with sister stations KQRS-FM and KXXR (93X), were often referred to as Disney's "Wall Of Rock". Both 93X and the 105's are programmed with formats designed to fight competition off of Disney's flagship in the market, top-rated KQRS. When WRQC became a KQRS-fighting rock station in 1997, the current KXXR switched to a similar format despite a profitable alternative format already on that frequency. It is widely known in the local market that Disney will go to great lengths to protect its "cash cow".
In fact Drive 105 was in large part created to ward off competition from KTCZ, Cities 97. After the fall of Zone 105 and in the months before Drive 105 was created, Cities 97 made significant gains in the 25-54 age group. Disney saw this as a threat to KQRS and created Drive 105 originally to jab at Cities 97's ratings. To keep a distance from sister 93X, the station targeted an older age group than most alternative stations, hence the unique adult alternative format not heard in any other market in the United States. Like predecessor Zone 105, Drive would avoid any song that featured a significant amount of guitar distortion. When the station first aired in January 2002 it aired spots such as, "Remember when Cities 97 and KS95 sounded different? We do, that's why we're true to the music." This was a stab at Cities 97's old slogan, "true to the music" and a criticism of its recent tweak in the direction of pop sounding KS95. During its first two years on the air Drive 105 frequently made cracks at Cities 97. However, this came to end after criticism from the public and as the station began to take on an identity of its own.
Ratings-wise, Drive 105, like all of the previous formats, were hampered by the limited signal reach in the Twin Cities area and experienced only moderate success, usually reaching a 1% or 2% overall ratings share. Just before 3:00 PM on Monday May 7, 2007, the plug was pulled on the three signals' longest-running incarnation. Drive 105 played its last song, "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer, prior to temporarily switching over to a simulcast of sister station KXXR, in anticipation of a format flip. The flip to the current Love 105 happened at 5:30 AM the next morning, with Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" as the new format's debut song.
Shortly after the relaunch as Love 105, the station, along with ABC's other non-Radio Disney and ESPN Radio stations, were acquired by Citadel Broadcasting. Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.
- ^ "Cumulus now owns Citadel Broadcasting". Atlanta Business Journal. September 16, 2011. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2011/09/16/cumulus-now-owns-citadel-broadcasting.html. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Reece, Doug (April 4, 1998). KREV Fans Rally for Radio Diversity. Billboard. (archived at Americans for Radio Diversity)
- Evolution Radio "City Pages"
- Hwang, Francis (April 3, 1997). Radio-Free Minneapolis. The Minnesota Daily. (archived at Beatworld.com)
- Who Killed Rock Radio?
- REV 105, the Reader and Life on Main Street. The Minnesota Daily.
- The music stops for alternative station REV 105 The Minnesota Daily.
- Haugen, Dan. "The End of Radio As We Know It." Star Tribune.
- Rand, Michael. Radio Killed the Radio Star.
- Northpine.com News Archive: March 1997
- Northpine.com News Archive
- Van Alstyne, Rob (January 27, 2005). Left of the Dial. Pulse of the Twin Cities.
- Riemenschneider, Chris (May 7, 2007) Drive 105 looking for Love Star Tribune
- FCC Database 
- Love 105
- Americans for Radio Diversity
- 89.3 KCMP "The Current" (to hear former Rev105 DJs Mary Lucia, and Steve Nelson)
- A tribute and memorial to REV 105
- A collection of REV105 airchecks, including first and last moments, as well as some promos that poke fun of The Edge.
- REV105 website by Doc Ozone & Gonzo that was ready to go one week before it went off the air
- Kevin Cole's page on KEXP
- radiotapes.com Featuring Minneapolis/St. Paul radio airchecks including Zone 105.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WGVX
- Radio-Locator information on WGVX
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WGVX
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WGVY
- Radio-Locator information on WGVY
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WGVY
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WGVZ
- Radio-Locator information on WGVZ
- Query Arbitron's FM station database for WGVZ
Radio stations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market by AM frequency by FM frequency NOAA Weather Radio frequency162.500 · 162.550 by callsign
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