KDGE (branded as 102.1 The Edge) is a Fort Worth-Dallas, Texas, based radio station operating on FM frequency 102.1. It is owned and operated by iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications until September 2014) and plays an 'alternative rock' format. The station's studios are located along Dallas Parkway in Farmers Branch (although it has a Dallas address), and the transmitter site is in Cedar Hill.
102.1 FM history
Frequency 102.1 FM was authorized in 1960 as KFMF. AM 870 (then KJIM) purchased the KFMF construction permit and went on air in 1962 as KJIM-FM, playing automated easy listening. KJIM AM and FM added a UHF-TV permit in the mid-1960s (See KTXA-TV) and sold off 870 to raise capital. In 1966, KJIM-FM changed its call letters to KFWT-FM and moved from 2,900 watts at 165 feet to 100,000 watts at 1,000 feet at the Channel 21 CP site. (Channel 21 went on the air in 1967 and signed off in 1970.) KFWT-FM was sold to Marsh Media of Amarillo, Texas and subsequently changed call letters to KFWD. In 1973, the station flipped to album rock. In late 1978, Program Director Steve Sutton changed the calls to KTXQ and branding to "Q102" (to launder the station of a Fort Worth image, and to lessen confusion with then CBS affiliate KDFW-TV). During that time, the very popular station carried classic rock/mainstream rock formats. Bo and Jim were popular Q102 DJ's for most of Q102's existence. AMFM bought Chancellor Media in early 1998. Due to low ratings, Q102 signed off on August 27, 1998. On August 31, at 3 p.m., after stunting with simulcasts of other AMFM stations (such as KYLD, WJMN, WHTZ, WGCI, WKTU, WUBE and KZPS), KTXQ flipped to Rhythmic Oldies as "Magic 102." The first song on "Magic" was "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All Stars. In 2000, as a condition of Clear Channel's purchase of AMFM Communications, the 94.5 frequency, along with the intellectual property of Magic 102, was sold to Radio One. When Radio One moved the rhythmic oldies format to 94.5 on November 9, Clear Channel moved 94.5's alternative rock format to 102.1 as KDGE, "102-1 the Edge."
Created and led from 1989 to 1994 by Wendy Naylor and George Gimarc (originator of the first punk rock radio show in Dallas, the Rock n Roll Alternative in 1978), "The Edge" became an important force in the local music scene in Dallas, being the only station to play local and national "alternative" styles (although "The Eagle 97.1" had switched to a more modern format around 1982; by 1989, that station was largely playing hits from national playlists.)
Important contributions were made by Gimarc. Along with designing the station's musical format, and being its primary DJ, he also assembled a series of 11 compilation CDs of local bands under the name Tales from the Edge. Released between 1990 and 1996, each CD featured between 15 and 20 bands, mostly from Dallas, Austin and Denton. The CDs were value-priced: the first four include the prominent slogan "Still Only $2.94!" (sponsorships and advertising paid for the bulk of production). Several later issues were double-CD compilations, with one CD featuring current local bands, and the other being more specialized, including one focused on the area's earliest punk bands, including tracks by The Nervebreakers, The Telefones, Stickmen With Rayguns, and The Hugh Beaumont Experience, while another, put together by DJ Jeff K, featuring the (then-)newer styles of dance-club music including techno, trance and electropop (a direction the station was increasingly taking in 1994-95, after the departure of Gimarc, and with the increasing prominence of Jeff K). Notable artists featured on the CDs early in their careers included Course of Empire, Horton Heat, Deep Blue Something, Tripping Daisy, Sister 7 (as "Little Sister"), and Poi Dog Pondering. All told, over 100,000 CDs were sold in the series.
There were also seven editions of The Edge Home Movie, a free rental - full hour of music videos hosted by Edge DJs. One was filmed at Edgefest in 1994, and another at Lollapalooza that same year. Other notable jocks during this time include Alex Luke, Brian the Butler, Jerry Lentz, Ernie Mills, Jeff K, Josh Venable, DJ Merritt, and Valerie Knight.
The station featured an annual music festival called Edgefest once or twice a year. Past Edgefest acts included Pearl Jam, The Charlatans, Sugarcubes, Tripping Daisy, Seether, The Origin, Nickelback, Staind, My Chemical Romance, Muse, The Killers, Placebo, Kaiser Chiefs, Weezer, The Toadies, Blue October, INXS, Beck, Social Distortion, Everclear, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Default, KoRn, Deftones, Hole, Phoenix, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Cake, Flogging Molly and Drowning Pool. The first Edgefest was documented in the Jerry Lentz film "Angry Blue Planet."
The station's 'unofficial' 20th Anniversary party was on July 3, 2009, at the Lakewood Theatre with performances from Zac Malloy of the Nixons, John Easdale of Dramarama, Deep Blue Something, Pop Poppins, and the Bat Mastersons.
The hard rock has been reduced due to sister station KEGL flipping back to active rock, with the station returning to a more balanced alternative format.
Specialty programming includes the Saturday night electronic/dance music show called "Edgeclub" with DJ Merritt (nation's longest running and highest rated mixshow), and Sunday shows "The Old School Edge" with Jeff K, "The Adventure Club" with Josh, and "The Local Show" with Mark, which features music made in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.
Edgeclub was taken off the air in 2010.
Josh Venable became the Program Director in 2011.
In January 2013, KDGE was briefly rebranded as "102-1 KDGE", however it has returned to its current "The Edge" ident.
102.1 HD-2 (HD Radio needed) originally broadcast a limited commercial interruption version of its format with tracks never before played on the radio in between known as "The Cutting Edge". On July 2012, KDGE-HD2 switched formats and began airing a Classic Alternative format and renamed as "Old School Edge", though the playlist on there leans more to adult alternative. As of October 2013, it is broadcasting recent episodes of "Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx" in addition to a mainstream rock format via iHeartRadio.