Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|WGVX 105.1 MHz||Lakeville||2,600 watts||A|
|WGVY 105.3 MHz||Cambridge||25,000 watts||C3|
|WGVZ 105.7 MHz||Eden Prairie||6,000 watts||A|
Drive 105 is an adult album alternative ("Triple-A") radio station—arguably, a tiny radio network—serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, and an area of central Minnesota to the north. The station has three relatively weak FM signals. The station is locally programmed with local talent as disc jockeys. Previously the 105 signals had broadcast under the moniker REV-105 and had a fairly freeform playlist based around modern rock. After a buyout in 1997, the station eventually became Zone 105 for a few years, which was relatively well regarded by local music fans and featured a critically-praised local music show.
Even the current incarnation has been moderately popular among music-heads in the area, though a repetitive playlist has driven many away. The station frequently promotes that "We are not owned by Clear Channel Communications," something that belies the fact that the station is actually part of another huge media conglomerate—Disney. In official ratings, the formats have only ever met with moderate success, usually reaching a 1% or 2% share.
REV-105, "Revolution Radio," was was owned by Cargill Communications (headed by Jim Cargill) and broadcast under the call signs KREV, WREV, and KCFE for the three different frequencies. REV-105 played a fairly wide variety of music, generally based around modern rock, and put a lot of time into promoting music from local performers. Minnesota has a very active music community, and a number of very diverse artists have received national attention (see music in Minnesota). Area highschoolers also contributed to some of the programming put on the air.
The station became a focal point for critics of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 when it was purchased by competitor Disney/Capitol Cities/ABC and changed formats on March 11th, 1997. Papers to make the purchase official were signed at noon on March 11th, and the station changed formats very soon thereafter at 1:15 PM. It lasted for several months as the hard rock X105, but the station had a string of format changes until settling as Drive 105 for a few years.
Fans of REV-105 banded together to protest the action, and the group Americans for Radio Diversity was formed. The purchase received fairly widespread news coverage, with articles appearing in Billboard magazine and Rolling Stone, where Soul Coughing frontman M. Doughty stated, "Having officially walked through every radio station in North America, I can honestly say REV was the only one that had a cause that was righteous." Of course, Doughty had a somewhat personal stake in the station, as it is partially credited for making him very popular in the state (some have said that one in eight Soul Coughing albums were sold in Minnesota).
|Name (call signs)||Format|
|X105 (KXXP/KXXU/KXXR)||Hard rock (1997)|
|Zone 105 (KZNZ/KZNR/KZNT)|| Adult alternative (1997–1999)|
Classic alternative (1999–2000)
Alternative rock (2000–2001)
|V105 (WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ)||Rhythmic oldies (2001–2002)|
|Drive 105 (WGVX/WGVY/WGVZ)||Adult album alternative (2002– )|
Many observers were confused by the purchase of REV-105 in 1997. At the time, ABC already owned two powerful 100 kilowatt stations in the Twin Cities, KQRS and KEGE (93.7 FM "The Edge"), so the buyout of a weaker station with only a moderate ratings share didn't make sense. KEGE was the most direct competitor to REV-105, having broadcast a modern rock/alternative format at the time.
Curiously, that station had been a hard rock station for a few years up until 1994, known as "93X." After REV-105 had been purchased and operating as X105 for a few months, the KEGE returned to a hard rock format as 93X on September 18th and X105 switched to an adult alternative format a week later. After a few months, 93X took the KXXR callsign from the former X105.
In one aspect, many feel that the motivation to purchase REV-105 was probably to eliminate the competition with money rather than savvy programming. However, another important point is that a huge wave of consolidation was sweeping across the United States at the time, and the purchase of the station by ABC could be seen in some ways as a defensive maneuver against other growing radio conglomerates such as Chancellor Broadcasting which then owned seven radio stations in the Twin Cities and was eventually bought by radio giant Clear Channel Communications in 1999. Of course, the basic fact remains that Cargill wished to cash out on the investment made in the station.
After the station became Zone 105, a few of the old REV hosts were hired back. Brian Oake and Mary Lucia hosted the morning show, and Lucia hosted a weekly local music program named Popular Creeps from the local Bryant-Lake Bowl . Creeps won multiple awards for programming quality.
REV Prehistory and follow-on projects
Prior to becoming REV-105, the three transmitters were known by other names. Today's WGVX originated as KZPZ in 1990, then changed to WTCX in 1993, before becoming KREV in 1994. WGVY began as KXLV in 1983, became one of the many WLOL reincarnations in 1991, and then became WREV in 1994. WGVZ started as KOUO in 1992, and was briefly jazz station KCFE from 1993 until it was eventually purchased to become REV-105's third transmitter. Some consider REV to have been a successor to another "alternative" station that shut down in the early 1990s, KJJO 104.1 FM (now WXPT ). Kevin Cole , the former program director at REV, went west to work at KEXP in Seattle, Washington. In 2005, some former REV hosts came back together on the Minnesota Public Radio station KCMP 89.3.
- Reece, Doug (April 4, 1998). KREV Fans Rally for Radio Diversity. Billboard. (archived at Americans for Radio Diversity)
- Hwang, Francis (April 3, 1997). Radio-Free Minneapolis. The Minnesota Daily. (archived at Beatworld.com)
- REV 105, the Reader and Life on Main Street. The Minnesota Daily.
- Haugen, Dan. The End of Radio As We Know It. Minneapolis Star Tribune.
- Rand, Michael. Radio Killed the Radio Star.
- Northpine.com News Archive: March 1997
- Northpine.com News Archive
- Van Alstyne, Rob (January 27, 2005). Left of the Dial Pulse of the Twin Cities .
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