KEGL (97.1 FM, "The Eagle") is a radio station licensed to Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The station broadcasts a Mainstream rock music format to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. KEGL is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. 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.
Rock/Top 40 era
Formerly KFJZ and KWXI ("Quicksie," using the longtime moniker of WQXI in Atlanta) and again as KFJZ (as "Z97", and later "Z97 The Texas' Music Star", and "Texas' FM97") KEGL was one of three rock and roll stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex throughout most of the 1980s. In 1980, Robert Jones, known on air as "Christopher Haze", became the program director of the station in August 1980, and changed the call letters and imaging of the station as "The All New Eagle 97 FM" on January 20, 1981. Within a short period of time, the station possessed a hybrid rock/top 40 format known as "Rock 40." The original morning show was "The Rude Awakening Morning Show" consisting of Billy Hayes, Rose Wright and "The Rude Moose" (a character voiced by Hayes). Future KLOL morning jocks Stevens & Pruett were the next morning show hosts from February 1982 to March 28, 1986. Stevens & Pruett were replaced with Paul Robbins, Paul Kinney, and Phil Cowan. James Paul "Moby" Carney was added to the lineup as the afternoon drive jock on September 1, 1986. Jocks from the earlier era of KEGL included Drew Pierce, Charlie "Doc" Morgan, Danny Owen, Jonathan Doll, Dave Cooley, Jimmy Steal, Anthony "Tony Paraquat" Johnson, Jim White (1980–84; hosted an afternoon talk show on the station, "Relationships," during 1981–82), Sharon Golihar-Wilson (who hosted the evening show, "The Eagle 97's House Party"), Lisa Traxler (who went on to work at Boston's WBCN), future KEGL afternoon jock Russ Martin hosted a late Sunday night talk program, and Martha Martinez reported news during Stevens and Pruett's program.
The late David "Kidd Kraddick" Cradick of KHKS-FM started his career as KEGL's night DJ in 1984, then moved to afternoon drive on October 20, 1986, when "The Moby in the Morning Show" replaced RKC, who left to do mornings in Sacramento. (Cradick used his real first name, Dave, for a time between 1989–1991. He was also known for a regular segment, "Burn Your Buns," where a fake threatening telephone call was placed to a specific unsuspecting person, by a listener's request). Moby left KEGL on April 8, 1988, because of Federal Communications Commission's alleged violations of content. Cradick was then moved to mornings with "The Kidd Kraddick and Company Morning Show"; the show debuted on April 11, 1988. Rusty Humphries was briefly a personality for KEGL in the 1990s, known for his attempt to "smuggle" toy weapons into the DFW Airport as an on-air stunt.
Through most of the 1980s, the station was owned by Sandusky, a newspaper company. The studios were located in the Xerox Tower at 222 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Las Colinas, a commercial district in the Dallas suburb of Irving. (The station had been located at 4801 West Freeway in Fort Worth under the original KFJZ and KWXI tenures, then to 5915 W. Pioneer Parkway in Arlington during the second incarnation of KFJZ.)
Responding to KTKS-FM's format change to CHR from oldies in September 1984, KEGL changed its format to CHR on September 12 of that year and altered its moniker to "All Hit 97.1 KEGL, The Eagle". By the late 1980s and early 1990s, KEGL began playing more upbeat rhythmic titles in addition to the rock material the station was known for. KEGL's program director at the time was Joel Folger.
In June 1992, KEGL's first female PD Donna Fadal decided to change the station to a more hard rock-based format, and after being jockless for most of the summer (and stunting with weeks of Eagles songs), KEGL hired former Z Rock jock Madd Maxx Hammer for afternoons.
The first active rock era
KEGL was a Howard Stern affiliate from September 8, 1992, to July 26, 1997. This ended when he criticized the new ownership, Nationwide, an insurance company, on the air. In August 1997, Russ Martin took over the morning show. Within six months, "The Russ Martin Show" had returned the morning program to its number 1 ranking in Adults 25–54 and Men 25–54. In late 1999, Jacor, who had bought the Nationwide Communications chain of stations in mid-1997, was bought by iHeartMedia (then known as Clear Channel Communications). Martin quit KEGL on March 15, 2000 after a "co-host" had been hired and Martin did not like him; in addition, Martin had been offered to host mornings on Infinity Broadcasting's KLLI. Another controversial show that aired on KEGL was Kramer and Twitch in evenings, who had started on KEGL's sister station KDMX, but were moved to the rock formatted KEGL because they were more suited for that genre. In 2001, a prank was aired on the show stating that Britney Spears was dead in an accident, to the horror of her fans. The phony report, which made it around the world in less than 24 hours (being reported on Australian news reports), also falsely stated that her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, was critically injured in the wreck. Trouble followed, including hundreds of calls to local law enforcement agencies, and Kramer and Twitch were fired from KEGL.
One week later, motorists in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex were outraged over a billboard promoting the station that was entitled "Highway to Hell", a reference to the AC/DC song of the same name. The billboard, which was erected on a major Dallas thoroughfare, featured Satan giving a lethal injection to Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh, who was executed just days before the billboard went up.
Jocks during the later KEGL era include T.C. McGuire, Michael Blake, Pamela Steele (who quit the station on May 28, 1993, over a Howard Stern promotion the station participated in, where Steele was asked by Donna Fadal to appear alongside other KEGL female personalities donning sports bras), Nancy Johnson, Marc Richards, Edward "Fast Eddie" Coyle, Andre Gardner, Tracy Barnes, Leigh Ann Adam, Bubba Stewart, Darren "Dangerous" Silva, Brad Baxter, Mike Esparza (host of "The Mikey Morning Show"). Robert Miguel, Chris Ryan, J.D. Ryan, and Cindy Scull (who has worked almost every full-time air shift at the station during her career).
As Sunny and La Preciosa (2004–2007)
A decision was made to eliminate the rock format on KEGL as Clear Channel also owned similarly-formatted The Edge. At 5 pm on May 18, 2004, the first "Eagle" era came to an end after 23 years, and flipped to a gold-based adult contemporary format, branded as "Sunny 97-1". The final song on the "Eagle" was "Eagles Fly" by Sammy Hagar, while the first song on "Sunny" was "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. Competing head-on with KVIL-FM and sharing audience with KLUV-FM, "Sunny" lasted until August 2005. (From 1992–1996, the "Sunny" branding was once used on KSNN-FM (now KWRD-FM) as a Classic country station.) Mornings were hosted by former rock-formatted jock "Fast" Eddie Coyle; he was later teamed with Anna deHaro on March 22, 2005. Other jocks included Stacey James, Jeff Thomas, Dave Mason and Steve Knoll.
On August 25, 2005, KEGL became "La Preciosa", a Spanish language oldies format (not to be confused with KDFT's La Poderosa station). "Sunny" morning show co-host Anna deHaro was held over for the new format. With several other Spanish stations in DFW, La Preciosa did not live up to expectations. However, the format lasted just over 2 years, before Clear Channel decided it was time for a change.
The Eagle returns
"La Preciosa" dropped its Spanish format and started playing commercial-free Christmas music at Midnight on December 1, 2007. Clear Channel announced that KEGL would return to an English format after the holiday season, but kept the new format secret to keep the listeners guessing, with rumors being that 97.1 could flip to country, classic hits, or CHR. At 10 am on December 18, 2007, 97.1 gave a brief history of Sunny and La Preciosa (claiming that the people who decided to introduce Sunny were not working anywhere, or even heard from, since the flip.) 97.1 The Eagle then returned with the words: "Where were we? Oh, yeah. 97.1 KEGL Dallas. The Eagle... rocks... again." The first song on the revived "Eagle" was "Flying High Again" by Ozzy Osbourne. On January 7 and 8, 2008, KEGL simulcasted The Lex and Terry Show from KDGE. On January 9, 2008, The Lex and Terry Show moved its flagship station from "The Edge" to KEGL. Former mid-day host Chris Ryan was brought on as afternoon drive host and program director. Former KEGL jock Cindy Scull was rehired in 2008 to host a live weekend shift.
KEGL lost a competitor when Cumulus Media's KDBN (now KLIF-FM) flipped to adult album alternative on April 27, 2009. In response to the flip of KDBN, KEGL adjusted its format to mainstream rock, with a heavy emphasis on rock music from its 1980s heyday.
On January 8, 2010, KEGL changed their name to "97.1 The Bird" replacing the Eagle name. The change was made just before the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card playoffs and the station did not want to be associated with the Eagles in any way. The station reverted to "97.1 The Eagle" the next day.
On January 20, 2010, station management announced that morning show hosts Lex & Terry would be replaced beginning January 21. Cindy Scull, who had held the evening shift on the station, was moved to mornings "on an interim basis" while the morning show undergoes retooling that will "involve playing more music". The Eagle also added Saturday morning programming with John Clay Wolfe at this time.
On September 26, 2011, KEGL rearranged the lineup to move The Russ Martin Show to the afternoon shift, while midday host Cindy Scull moved to mornings. Chris Ryan, the previous afternoon shift host, moved to middays.
On May 6, 2013, the station's lineup reverted to its previous lineup from mornings to evenings, with Cindy Scull returning to mornings, Russ Martin on afternoon drive time and Sixx Sense back to evenings.
Its 97.1 HD-2 subchannel (HD Radio needed) previously aired a commercial-free version of "The Eagle". As of 2011, it is simulcasting from iHeartRadio's "Slippery When Wet", a station airing classic metal music.