6ZAE signed on as an amateur station in 1919 from Pittsburgh. KQV received its commercial license in 1922, one of only four stations east of the Mississippi River with a call sign beginning with “K.”
KQV later became an NBC-Blue network affiliate. It switched to Mutual Broadcasting System in 1945. KQV-FM signed on in 1948.
ABC Radio purchased the station in 1957. It adopted a Top 40 format in 1958 and became a successful pop outlet for almost 20 years. Over the years, it was known as “Colorful KQV,” “Audio 14,” “Groovy QV” and “The Big 14.” Check out the KQV Aircheck page for sounds from the station’s past.
KQV-FM became WDVE-FM in 1971 and adopted a freeform rock format.
As listeners turned to FM and competitors began eating away at the audience, KQV’s ratings declined. Owner ABC Radio sold the station in 1974 to Taft Broadcasting. Taft stuck with Top 40 for another year before switching to all-news, relying largely on the NBC News & Information Service.
Newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife and KQV’s then-general manager, Robert Dickey, formed Calvary, Inc., and purchased KQV in 1982. Scaife sold his shared to the Dickey family in 2013.