Type Radio network
Country United States
Availability National, through broadcast stations and translators
Slogan Positive, Encouraging K-LOVE
Owner Educational Media Foundation
Launch date
Webcast KLOVE Webstream
Official website

K-Love (stylized K-LOVE) is a contemporary Christian music radio programming service in the United States operated by the Educational Media Foundation (EMF). The network is one of three formats produced by the Educational Media Foundation, the other two being K-Love Classics and Air1. As of March 2013, the network's programming is simulcast on over 440 FM stations and translators in 47 U.S. states and 1 U.S. Territory.[1] K-Love has over 12 million listeners weekly online and in cities across the United States on FM radio including Anchorage, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York City.[2] It is also the sixth-most online-streamed station in the world.[3]


The 1980s

K-Love began in 1980 as a single radio station with the call sign KCLB. It was a full-time contemporary Christian music radio station, launched by radio personality Bob Anthony, in Middletown, California.[4] After several tries at purchasing a station in San Francisco, a small, non-commercial radio station was acquired just north of San Francisco for $67,000.[5] On October 15, 1982, 91.9 KCLB came on the air for the first time with Bob Anthony as announcer. The very first song played on KCLB was "Praise The Lord" by The Imperials, which was a hit on the Christian Music charts in 1979.[6]

With the slogan "The Positive Alternative, Christian Music Radio KCLB 92FM", the station continued to grow in listeners. In 1986, Dick Jenkins was hired as General Manager.[7] That same year, Bob Anthony left the station and moved to Oregon, to start a new radio ministry.

On September 12, 1988, a 9,000-acre brush fire destroyed KCLB's main transmitter building on Geyser Peak. The radio station transmitter was relocated to 4,000-foot Mount Saint Helena.[4][7] The new location improved signal strength, and listeners reported they could now hear the station as far as 125 miles away.[5]

As KCLB continued to expand its signal reach, in 1987 the signal could be heard on transmitters in San Rafael, Salinas, and Monterey, California that rebroadcast KCLB's signal.[5] In 1988, KCLB changed its call letters to KLVR, and adopted its on-air brand name K-Love and the slogan "Encouraging Words, Positive Music, K-Love Radio".[7]

By 1989, the signal could be heard in Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Los Gatos, California via microwave transmission and television subcarriers.[5]

The 1990s

K-Love expanded its reach during the 1990s by purchasing small stations and translators, and repeating its signal. In 1992, K-Love began using satellite technology to expand to locations further away than just northern California. The Educational Media Foundation continued to purchase small translators in California but also bought stations in Portland, Oregon (KLVP),[8] Phoenix, Arizona (KLVA),[9] Oklahoma City (KYLV)[10] and San Antonio (KZLV).[11]

During the 1990s, K-Love also began to expand its on-air personalities. David Pierce joined in 1991.[12][13] Also Mike Novak,[14] JD Chandler and Larry Wayne[15] started working air shifts in the late 1990s. In addition to expanding the on-air talent, K-Love expanded its facilities and moved its headquarters from Santa Rosa to Sacramento in 1993.[7] In 1998 K-Love increased its reach online by streaming live on klove.com.[7]

The 2000s

During the decade of the 2000s, K-Love went through a period of expansion through the purchase of stations and translators across the United States. On October 5, 2000, Colorado Christian University sold KWBI Morrison / Denver, KJOL Grand Junction and KDRH Glenwood Springs, Colorado as well as 18 translators to K-Love.[16] The Colorado radio network was sold for a reported $16.6 million. A Colorado Christian University release said the board considered "many offers from Christian, as well as other suitors," but the priority was finding a buyer committed to "top-quality Christian programming."[17] KWBI is now KLDV, and is one of K-Love's most listened to signals.[18] K-Love picked up the KWBI calls for their radio station in Great Bend, Kansas.

In 2003, the EMF took advantage of a window of time where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed for the filing of new applications for FM translators, also known as the "2003 Auction 83 filing window" and labelled as the "Great Translator Invasion of 2003."[19] During that time, the FCC received over 13,000 applications for original construction permits on translators. EMF filled over 800 applications,[20] of which over 250 have been approved, and most of those now carry the K-Love network.[21]

In January 2007, the EMF purchased 94.3 WJKL Elgin, Illinois, which broadcasts to the Chicago area, for $17 million.[22] Shortly after the purchase, a flood hit the WJKL transmitter site that knocked the station off the air for more than a week.[23] WJKL has since moved and now broadcasts from Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois to the Chicago market.[24] On November 30, 2007, K-Love purchased 97.3 KCXM, which was an ESPN radio affiliate for Kansas City, for $16 million.[25] The call letters were changed to KLRX shortly after and now broadcasts from Lee's Summit to the Kansas City area.[26] As a result, these and other station purchases, plus the new translators approved during the 2003 filing window, the K-Love radio network grew to be the largest broadcaster of contemporary Christian music in the world.[27] By 2010, K-Love had an estimated listenership of 6 million people,[28] from both terrestrial stations and on-line streams.

In 2002, the EMF moved its headquarters from Sacramento, California, to Rocklin. The new headquarters now housed K-Love, Air1 and Christian Music Planet magazine.[7] On July 15, 2009, K-Love bought 101.9 WKLU, which broadcasts to Indianapolis, for $4.75 million, plus $1.55 million for the studio. The studio then became the broadcast location for the K-Love Morning Show.[29] In January 2004, K-Love partnered with Premier Christian Cruises and had its first annual "K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise". Passage on the cruise sold out 13 weeks after sales began in April 2003.[30]

In 2001, Christian radio personality Jon Rivers, along with his wife Sherry, became the K-Love Morning Show hosts, and broadcast from their ranch in Texas.[31] The K-Love Morning Show became popular and continued with Jon and Sherry for seven years until March 28, 2009, when it was announced that Jon and Sherry Rivers would no longer be hosting the morning show, due to family issues.[32] Host Lisa Williams assumed the duties of hosting the program, and was later joined by Eric Allen.[32] Other DJs also joined the K-Love team during this time such as Scott Smith[33] and Kelli Caldwell, which eventually became the afternoon show.[34] On October 1, 2007, Mike Novak was named CEO and President of EMF, K-Love, and Air1, replacing Dick Jenkins,[35] and as a result stopped having a regular on-air shift.

After purchasing a radio station in Indianapolis, as of November 2009, the morning show broadcasts from Indianapolis, Indiana.


Into the new decade, K-Love began to purchase more full-power stations in medium and larger markets. Since 2010, K-Love has begun broadcasting, or upgraded signals in Dayton, Ohio (WKCD formerly WCDR),[36] Jacksonville, Florida (WCRJ),[37] Knoxville, Tennessee (WYLV, formerly WDLF),[38] Salt Lake City (KKAT),[39] Stockton, California, San Francisco, California (KLVS),[40] San Diego, California, and Camden, New Jersey.

In May 2011, K-Love came on the air on WKLV Port Chester, which covers New York City.[41] The WKLV (formerly WCTZ) signal originates from a new transmitter site atop the Trump Plaza building in New Rochelle. This made it the largest market in which K-Love could be heard until late 2017 when K-Love purchased KSWD covering the entirety of Los Angeles and surrounding areas.[42] In July 2012, EMF exchanged WLVM (formerly WABB Mobile, Alabama) with Cumulus Media, for Classic Hits WRQQ Nashville (a major hub for the Christan music community and where the majority of labels originate from). EMF changed WRQQ's call sign to WLVU, which now broadcasts K-Love programming.[43][44]

In July 2010, K-Love began sponsoring MacDonald Motorsports' #81 car and Michael McDowell in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.[45] Then in March 2012, K-Love announced it would be the primary sponsor of Tony Pedregon's Funny Car for 12 of the final 20 races of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.[46] In February 2013, K-Love announced the inaugural K-LOVE Fan Awards, a listener-voted awards show for contemporary Christian musicians held in Nashville. The inaugural ceremony was held in June 2013, and hosted by Phil, Kay, Jasie, and Missy Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.[47]

In July 2011, K-Love made changes to its on-air staff: Amanda Carroll joined the team in the mid-morning time slot,[48] and the network announced that Lisa Williams and Eric Allen would no longer be hosting the K-Love Morning Show.[49] JD Chandler took their place until the K-Love Morning Show with Craig, Amy, and Kankelfritz acquired the spot in November 2011.[50]

In December 2013, K-Love presented a Christmas music special for the cable network Up, K-Love Music City Christmas. The special was hosted by Candace Cameron Bure, and featured performances of Christmas-themed music by various contemporary Christian musicians.[51] Also around that time, K-Love slightly retooled its CCM format to be adult contemporary-oriented while its counterpart Air1 gradually reformatted from Christian rock to CCM themselves.

K-Love also operated an online radio stream, K-LOVE France which aired a mix of English and French Christian music until May 2017 [52] when EMF transferred all operations of K-LOVE France to French entity, Radio Gospel.

In mid 2018, K-Love introduced a new format that started as online only, airing Christian music from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. This 'Christian Oldies' format, branded as K-Love Classics soon moved to FM and was first heard on 88.1 WAIW in Chicago.[53] The station airs music by artists such as Bryan Duncan, Nicole Nordeman, Keith Green, Point of Grace, Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, and The Imperials.

List of stations


K-Love has a full-time ministry team that processes over 100 phone calls a day from listeners seeking guidance. According to the ministry, the pastors and staff at K-Love pray for over 1,000 prayer requests every day, and on average, intervene in one suicide case per day.[54][55] Requests are submitted online or over the phone.[56]

K-Love also partners with other ministries and donates air time and web site space to these ministries. Some of the ministries have included International Cooperating Ministries, Compassion International, Food For The Hungry, Teen Challenge, Cure International and Faith Comes By Hearing.[57]

Awards and nominations

Christian Music Broadcasters Echo Awards

Year Category Nominee(s) Result
2007 Air Personality of the Year (Markets 1-25 & Networks)[58] David Pierce (K-LOVE) Nominated
Jon & Sherry Rivers (K-LOVE) Nominated
Industry Impact[58] EMF (K-LOVE & Air1) Nominated
Music Director of the Year (Markets 1-25 & Networks)[58] Jon Rivers (K-LOVE) Nominated
Program Director of the Year (Markets 1-25 & Networks)[58] David Pierce (K-LOVE) Nominated
2011 Promotions Director of the Year[59] Mike Tedesco (K-LOVE & Air1) Won
2013 Station of the Year - Major Market[60] K-LOVE Won

National Religious Broadcasters Awards

Year Category Nominee(s) Result
2013 Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Christian Communications[61] K-LOVE & Air1 Won

Best Christian Workplaces

Year Category Nominee(s) Result
2004 Media[62] EMF (K-LOVE & Air1) Won
2006 Media (100+ Employees)[63] EMF (K-LOVE & Air1) Won
2007 Media (100+ Employees)[64] EMF (K-LOVE & Air1) Won


K-Love is governed by the Educational Media Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry. No individual owns any stock in the corporation, which is held for charitable purposes. Members of the Board of Directors at large serve without compensation for rotating four-year terms, and a person with supervisory accounting experience holds one of the board positions.[65]

K-Love stations are licensed as non-commercial educational stations; therefore, most of K-Love's funding is provided by donations. The majority of donations are made during seasonal pledge drives, usually held in the spring and in the fall.[54]

In addition, EMF is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Founded by Billy Graham, the ECFA oversees EMF's financial affairs, ethics and reporting standards.[65]

EMF is recognized by Charity Navigator with a Four-Star rating, the highest given to charities.[66] In addition, EMF is audited yearly by an independent accounting firm, ensuring accuracy and completeness of its books and records.[65]

Charity Navigator reported K-LOVE's CEO Mike Novak makes $463,420, including bonuses, as of 2010.[67]

See also


  1. "Printer Friendly Master Station List". Educational Media Foundation. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  2. "Fan-based Christian music awards slated". Archived from the original on 2013-02-26.
  3. Daigle, Paul. "Operation Warm Partners with K-LOVE and Air1 Radio's Fall Pledge Drive". Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  4. 1 2 Stave, Dave (January 3, 2003). "K-LOVE, broadcasting on 88.9 FM in La Grande, spread words of faith, inspirational songs, hope in ch[...]". La Grande Observer.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "WZLV Frequency Background".
  6. "KCLB First Broadcast!". Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The Story behind K-LOVE Radio".
  8. "This Day In Portland Radio History (February)".
  9. "Call Sign History KLVA".
  10. "CAll Sign History KYLV".
  11. "FCC New or Modified Call Signs 12/3/1999".
  12. "David Pierce Profile on Zoom Info".
  13. "David Pierce named VP of Programming for EMF Broadcasting". Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  14. "Mike Novak Profile on kloveair1foundation.com".
  15. "Larry Wayne Profile on LinkedIn".
  16. "KJOL "Our Story" at www.kjol.org". Kjol.org. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  17. ""Radio Waves" on denverpost.com". Extras.denverpost.com. 2000-10-12. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  18. "news page on". Hisair.net. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  19. Eyre, Michi. "REC proposes ideas to FCC to allow for translator/LPFM co-existence".
  20. "Historic accord reached between Prometheus and the Educational Media Foundation".
  21. "K-LOVE FAQ on Stations".
  22. "Transactions for January 8, 2007". Cclamp.radioandrecords.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  23. "History 94.3". 1943-05-26. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  24. "WJKL on". Radio-locator.com. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  25. "Asset Purchase Agreement". Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  26. "KLRX on". Radio-locator.com. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  27. "EMF Broadcasting Becomes Largest Christian Music Broadcaster".
  28. "K-LOVE, Positive and Encouraging".
  29. "Indianapolis Business Journal 7/14/2009". Indianaeconomicdigest.net. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  30. "Premier Christian Cruises Announces K-LOVE Friends & Family Music Cruise 2005 January 23-27". Crosswalk.com. 2004-05-01. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  31. "20 The Countdown Magazine About Us".
  32. 1 2 "Jon, Sherry Rivers Leave K-LOVE Mornings, Williams Steps In".
  33. "Official First Day For K-Love's Scott Smith".
  34. "Air 1 Mornings Moving To K-LOVE Afternoons".
  35. "GospelMusic.org GMA : Industry Newswire". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  36. "Cedarville Univ. Sells Four Stations To EMF". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  37. "K-Love Comes To Jacksonville, The Promise Moves Up The Dial". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  38. "EMF Buys Two Knoxville Stations". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  39. "EMF Paying $5.75 Million For KKAT/Salt Lake City". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  40. "EMF Buys KLVS". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  41. Fybush, Scott (8 November 2010). "EMF Buys Into NYC Market". North East Radio Watch. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  42. "news page on Hisair.net 6/8/11". Hisair.net. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  43. "Cumulus-EMF Mobile Swap Includes Nashville Deal, Too".
  44. "Audio clip from New Nashville Station". Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  45. "K-LOVE Partners With NASCAR's MacDonald Motorsports". Allaccess.com. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  46. "K-LOVE announces a major partnership with Tony Pedregon". Nhra.com. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  47. "K-LOVE Announces Fan Awards and Ultimate Fan Experience". AllAccess.com. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  48. "Amanda Carroll Joins K-LOVE Middays".
  49. "Williams Departs K-LOVE, 'Morning Show With Lisa And Eric' Ends July 29th".
  50. "K-LOVE Morning Show Blog 11/4/11".
  51. "K-LOVE Music City Christmas to Premiere on UP". Uptv.com. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  52. "K-LOVE France". K-LOVE. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  53. "EMF Launches Christian Classic Hits "K-Love Classics" - RadioInsight". RadioInsight. 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  54. 1 2 Support K-LOVE page on klove.com
  55. from KLA1 Foundation 2 years ago not yet rated (2011-01-28). "K-LOVE Pastors video". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  56. "Prayer request submission page at". Klove.com. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  57. "Ministry partners on". Klove.com. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  58. 1 2 3 4 "2007 Echo Awards Finalists".
  59. "2011 Echo Awards Winners".
  60. "2013 Christian Music Broadcasters Awards".
  61. "NRB to Honor K-LOVE and Air1".
  62. "Best Christian Workplaces 2004".
  63. "Best Christian Workplaces 2006".
  64. "Best Christian Workplaces 2007".
  65. 1 2 3 "Finance page on". Klove.com. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  66. "Charity Navigator - Educational Media Foundation". Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  67. "CEO Compensation Study" (PDF). Charity Navigator (Revised Final ed.). 2010.
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