kfyr

KFYR signed on the air from Bismarck, N.D., in 1925.  Phillip Meyer and his wife, Etta, founded the station. 

During network radio’s golden era from the 1930s into the 1950s, KFYR carried NBC programming, along with local news, weather sports and variety shows.  KFYR’s low dial position and North Dakota’s excellent ground conductivity sent the signal far and wide, as this 1947 ad touts. 

KFYR switched to a Top 40 format in the early 1960s and attracted teenage listeners all over the Dakotas.  In 1979, The Pointer Sisters and Elektra Records sued KFYR when it redubbed the group’s then-hit “Fire” and made it sound like the women were singing “K-Fire,” the station’s branding slogan, in the chorus.  The suit was settled out of court.

KFYR-AM continued the format into the 1990s, when it added a news/talk format during the day and played classic rock and oldies in the evening.  Today, the station’s format is primarily news and talk programming.

KFYR-FM launched in 1966 as a middle-of-the-road station.  It flipped to oldies in 1972 before switching to Top 40 in 1975 as KYYY-FM.  It adopted a Hot AC format in 1996 and gradually added more Top 40 hits.  It flipped to adult contemporary in 2005 and moved back to its current Top 40 format in 2012. 

KFYR-TV signed on in 1953.  The Meyers’ daughter owned the station.  The family launched three other stations across the state in later years, forming the “Meyer Television Network,” with KFYR-TV as the flagship station.  

KFYR-TV’s local news operation has earned a reputation for quality.  The NBC affiliate’s newscasts have led the ratings for decades.

The Meyers sold the KFYR stations in 1997.  As of 2014, Clear Channel Communications owns KFYR-AM and KYYY-FM.  Hoak Media owns KFYR-TV.

Sources: Wikipedia (KFYR-AM), (KYYY-FM), (KFYR-TV)