- For further history of the 98.5 FM frequency in San Jose, see also KOME.
KUFX (98.5 FM) is a classic rock-formatted radio station in San Jose, California. It is owned by Entercom Communications. The station is referred to on-air as K-FOX. The station has studios located in the SoMa district of San Francisco, and the transmitter is located on Blackberry Hill above Los Gatos.
KUFX was originally located at 94.5 FM, then 104.9 FM, and moved to 98.5 FM on June 19, 1997. Before this, the 98.5 frequency was the longtime home to KOME, which is best remembered as a major Bay Area AOR station throughout the 1970s and into the 1990s. Several of the KUFX staff were employed by KOME. KUFX refers to itself as "98.5 KFOX".
KUFX is the official radio station for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. In a 2006 column, a writer for the San Jose Mercury News noted that he could only listen to a broadcast of a Stanley Cup playoff game on KUFX since his cable company did not carry OLN (later Versus. now NBC Sports Network), which had exclusive television rights to the game. That situation, he noted, provided an ironic twist to him living in the technology-rich Silicon Valley.
KFOX also holds a Last Band Standing competition every year, between bands that play classic rock cover songs. The three categories of competition include Cover Bands, Tribute Bands, and Under 18 Bands. The past overall winners are Aja Vu in 2004 (A Steely Dan tribute band and two-time winner of its category), The Strobe in 2005 (An Under 18 band from Leigh High School who specializes with Peter Frampton songs), and last years winner, Sage (a cover band).
In June 1997, KUFX, KBAY, and KBRG were involved in a three-way frequency swap, which saw KUFX moving from 94.5 to 104.9, and later to 98.5 FM. KBAY moved to 94.5, and KBRG got the coveted 100.3 signal and studios. 104.9 eventually became KCNL.
Owner Clear Channel Communications placed the station's assets, along with those of KSJO and KCNL, into an entity called the Aloha Station Trust on August 4, 2008 in order to seek a buyer for the station. This was due to Clear Channel being above the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership limits. These limits were imposed when Clear Channel was officially taken private by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners on July 30, 2008.
On January 11, 2011, Entercom Communications agreed to purchase KUFX, and on January 18, Entercom announced an agreement for the call sign and intellectual property of the company's KDFC-FM in San Francisco and their classical music programming (but not the frequency) to be acquired by the University of Southern California's Classical Public Radio Network. That move allowed them to simulcast KUFX's programming on the 102.1 MHz frequency, as KUFX's main signal on 98.5 only provides grade B coverage of San Francisco. This simulcast switched to 102.1-HD2 on August 1, 2014, when KUZX flipped to Rhythmic AC as KRBQ.