KMVQ-FM (99.7 MHz), under the brand as 99-7 Now, is an FM radio station in San Francisco, California in the United States. The station, owned by CBS Radio, broadcasts a Top 40 (CHR) format. The station transmits its signal from the San Bruno Mountains, while studios are located in downtown San Francisco.
The 99.7 FM frequency was originally owned by NBC, with sister station KNBR. The station signed on the air on October 12, 1949 as KNBC-FM. At various times, it aired a middle of the road format as KNBR-FM and an all-news format as KNAI-FM.
In 1978, NBC decided to take advantage of the newfound success of FM radio, so programmers were hired to create a new format, similar to Top 40 but targeting a market they felt was underserved, adults in the 25-34 age range. Years later, this approach would be labeled as "Hot adult contemporary." The station became KYUU.
Over time, the station migrated to more of a Top 40 format as "The Hit Music Station". By 1986, the station migrated back to an adult contemporary direction. During much of this time, KYUU's morning host was Don Bleu.
In 1988, NBC decided to sell all its owned-and-operated radio stations and concentrate on television. KYUU was among the last to be sold when Emmis Communications bought the radio station. Emmis made many changes, and due to heavy competition, in October 1988, decided to relaunch the station with a straightforward CHR approach as X-100 and the KXXX call letters.
X-100 fared poorly compared to the legacy of KYUU, which led Emmis to sell the station to real estate developer Peter Bedford under his "Coast Broadcasting" division. X-100 flipped to oldies as KFRC-FM on March 18, 1991. The following month, Bedford would buy 610 AM from RKO General, completing the sell-off of their radio division. In January 1993, Alliance Broadcasting, a company run by former KYUU general manager John Hayes, would buy KFRC. On August 12, 1993, 99.7 FM began simulcasting on 610 AM.
Oldies 99.7 KFRC
This was not KFRC's first attempt at FM broadcasting. For many years, KFRC owned an FM counterpart at 106.1 FM, which carried a variety of formats. In 1977, KFRC's owners sold off the money-losing FM station at 106.1 (which soon became successful AOR station KMEL). Over the next few years, as the FM band eclipsed AM in popularity, it became clear that the owners had made a mistake. This was finally remedied in 1991 under different ownership with the purchase of KXXX.
As KFRC, 99.7 FM simulcast the oldies format of its well-known sister AM station. The oldies format proved very successful in the Bay Area market, reaching number one with the 25-54 year old demographic. In September 1995, Alliance would be bought out by Infinity Broadcasting.
In 2005, Infinity Broadcasting (later becoming CBS Radio) traded 610 AM to Christian radio broadcaster Family Stations, the owners of KEAR, for their station at 106.9 FM. On April 29, 2005, Family Stations began simulcasting the signal of their FM station on 610 AM, and the oldies format and KFRC call letters remained at 99.7 FM.
On September 5, 2005, KFRC relaunched its oldies format, this time focusing on 1970s & 1980s music with a low-key approach. The station billed itself as "the Bay Area's Classic Hits."
At 10:03 a.m. on September 22, 2006, after playing "American Pie" by Don McLean, KFRC switched to a Rhythmic AC format, relaunching this time as "The New MOViN' 99.7" (with KFRC calls) with "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory as the first song. The "MOViN'" brand had previously been picked up by KQMV/Seattle, KMVN/Los Angeles, KYMV/Salt Lake City, KMVK/Dallas and WMVN/St. Louis.
The format switch was met with sharp criticism from long time listeners of the oldies format because it was the last remaining oldies station in the region.
On May 17, 2007, CBS Radio decided to bring back the old KFRC, as dropping the Free FM talk format on 106.9 FM and revived the old "classic hits" format. The KFRC call sign moved to 106.9 FM. As a result, 99.7 FM received the new call sign KMVQ. (KFRC-FM is now an All-news radio station, simulcasting KCBS 740.)
Transition to CHR
On November 14, 2008, KMVQ was added to the , making it the oldest existing Top 40 radio station in California under CBS Radio still having the format today. The station has moved away from the typical Rhythmic AC format and transitioned to a Rhythmic-leaning top 40 with occasional classic rhythmic songs carried over from the previous format, becoming the first mainstream top 40 station for San Francisco in six years since KZQZ flipped to country music in 2002. As a result, this move pursued Clear Channel Urban AC station KISQ to acquire the rhythmic AC format from KMVQ, which became musically similar to CBS Radio's other newly launched top 40 stations in Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and Detroit.
In early 2009, KMVQ added many former DJ's from KYLD, including St. John, Strawberry, Joe Breezy, and Dennis Martinez. Later that year, on November 12, KMVQ added Fernando and Greg in the Morning as the station's new morning show, replacing Baltazar and Maria. The pair are the first openly gay duo to host a morning broadcast on American commercial radio. Before moving to KMVQ, the show was initially established on KNGY.
In mid-2010, KMVQ changed its logo to match the "AMP Radio" stations in Los Angeles (KAMP-FM) and Detroit (WDZH). The station began using the slogan "All The Hits!" On December 31, 2010, the station re-branded as "99-7 Now" to match the CBS owned WNOW-FM (92-3 Now) in New York City with afternoon host St. John as the station's imaging voice.
On April 29, 2015, KMVQ introduced a new mid-day jock, Shan Berries, replacing Letty B, who left for KIIS in Los Angeles.
KMVQ-HD1 airs the same programming as the analog frequency. KMVQ-HD2 features a Dance format, billed as "Pulse Radio." The move came about after KNGY dropped its Dance format for Top 40/CHR in September 2009. KMVQ-HD3 airs a simulcast of KZDG.