KVET-FM (98.1 K-VET) is an Austin, Texas radio station operating a country music format. It is licensed to Austin, Texas with an ERP of 49,800 watts from a transmitter site near West Lake Hills, TX, and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. (previously Clear Channel Communications). It shares studios with four other sister stations in the Penn Field complex in the South Congress district (or "SoCo") of south central Austin within walking distance of St. Edward's University.
Shortly after the end of World War II, a group of young men pooled their resources to start a radio station in Austin, Texas. All of them were veterans of the conflict, hence K-VET AM-1300 signed on October 1, 1946. These men included future Texas Governor John Connally, and future United States Representative Jake Pickle.
As was common in the 1940s and 1950s, KVET offered "full service" radio, block programming of music, news, talk, cooking shows, even soap operas. As was not common, KVET also included programming for Austin's minority community. Spanish language news and music on "Noche De Fiesta"; music and news for the African-American community on "The Elmer Akins Gospel Train".
In the 1950s, even more diversity was added to the lineup when Lavada Durst introduced Austin to R&B and "Jive Talk" on KVET's nighttime "Dr. Hepcat Show".
Noche de Fiesta and Dr. Hepcat were phased out in the 1960s, but Gospel Train is on the air on KVET to this day.
During most of the 60's, KVET featured the popular music of the day, plus a strong emphasis on news and sports block programming. The music of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Dianah Shore...Paul Harvey commentary, the Joe Pyne show, and Houston Astros baseball were all part of the mix.
KVET switched formats on April 14, 1969 to country music, and the Country Giant was born. Popular celebrity DJ's including Arleigh Duff, Penny Reeves, Jerry Gee and Sammy Allred quickly took KVET to the top of the local ratings during the 70's.
In September 1990, KVET began broadcasting on 98.1 FM. With the new signal came the creation of the Sammy Allred and Bob Cole Morning Call-In Show. The show was a consistent ratings winner until Allred was fired in October 2007 for using profanity on the air.
In August 2008, KVET's evening show was modified into "The Roadhouse", a hybrid format consisting of Texas/Red Dirt, Classic Outlaw and Americana/Alt-Country, programmed and hosted by Chris Mosser.
98.3 MHz went on the air in 1950 under the call letters KHFI-FM, becoming Austin's second FM station. Prior to acquisition by KVET/KASE Broadcasting in 1991, the frequency was changed to 98.1, and the branding was changed to K-98.1. After the acquisition, the call letters were changed to match the company's AM station, KVET. The KHFI call letters were then moved to the separately-owned 96.7 frequency. In 2000, the KVET/KVET-FM/KASE combo which by then included KFMK-FM and owned by AMFM/Capstar merged with Clear Channel Radio which already included 96.7 KHFI-FM and KPEZ-FM.
In May 2007, morning show host Sammy Allred was suspended after calling presidential candidate Barack Obama a "clean darky", in response to Sen. Joseph Biden's comments about Obama. He was fired on October 30, 2007, for apparently swearing on-air, calling a listener an "a-hole."
Allred's firing came just three days after afternoon host Janice Williams was terminated for budgetary reasons.
KVET-FM broadcasts a diverse mix of newer and past favorites of alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock and new wave and sometimes plays hip-hop and Electronic Dance Music on its HD-2 subchannel under the name "iHeart Austin", with local air personalities. The format also airs terrestrially on local FM translator K276EL (103.1 MHz).
Initially, K276EL broadcast the "Air 1" contemporary Christian music network from Educational Media Foundation. When Clear Channel acquired the translator, Air 1 was dropped in favor of a simulcast of sister AM station KVET. The simulcast lasted until May 8, 2012, when a rhythmic adult contemporary format was launched as "Jammin' 103.1".
On March 7, 2013, iHeart Austin was launched as a temporary "pop-up format" dedicated to the South By Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Festivals. The station aired coverage of the festival and featured music by artists playing there. It was originally intended to run through the end of the festival on March 17, with the "Jammin'" format returning to the frequency, but Clear Channel management decided to continue the format after the end of South By Southwest.
- Bama, Rob & Heather
- Bama Brown
- Rob Mason
- Heather White
- Producer: Matt Kaspar
- The group also used to produce a music intensive afternoon show on XM11 Nashville!
- Bob Pickett, 10am-3pm
- Chris Mosser, 3pm-7pm
- Angie Ward, 7pm-12am
- "The Roadhouse" 11pm-12am
- Scott Fisher, Weather
- Chris Mosser and The Sunday Night Texas Show
- Image Voice: John Willyard
KVET-FM has been nominated for the CMA Large Market Station of the Year in 2011 and previous years.