|Broadcast area||Sacramento, California|
|Branding||New Country 105.1|
|Slogan||Sacramento's #1 Country|
|Frequency||105.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||February 21, 1960 (as KHIQ)|
HD2: Classic Country
HD3: KHTK Simulcast
|Callsign meaning||Nationwide Communications, Inc. (former owners)|
(full acquisition pending)
TDC Communications, LLC |
(The Entercom Divestiture Trust)
|Sister stations||KHTK, KYMX, KZZO|
KNCI (105.1 FM, "New Country 105.1") is a commercial radio station in Sacramento, California, United States. Formerly owned by CBS Radio, it is being operated by Bonneville International pending its sale to the company from a divestiture trust. The station carries a country music format, alongside a classic country format known as The Ranch and a simulcast of sports talk KHTK on HD Radio subchannels.
Its transmitter is located in Folsom, and its studios are in North Sacramento (just north of the American River).
105.1 FM signed on the air on February 21, 1960 as KHIQ. In the 1970s and early 1980s, that station had a "beautiful music" format and the call letters were KEWT. It was automated using the Cart-O-Matic system, popular in the late 1970s. The then rival KAER 92.5 Country music station was the only FM station competing with the AM giant KRAK featuring DJs Joey Mitchell, Racin' Rick Stewart and Big Jim Hall. Management decided to give KAER a challenge and try the Country Market with KEWT, changing the call letters to KSKK. It was a huge success. After a short while, KAER dumped the country format and started playing Adult Contemporary, which turned out to be a successful venture for them. Later, KSKK became KRAK-FM. In February 1994, KRAK and rival KNCI swapped frequencies.
KNCI has had a ratings boost since management changes in late 2010, and in May, Pat & Tom in the Morning was #1 in the morning ratings for every demographic.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom (which locally owns KKDO, KUDL, KSEG, KRXQ, and KIFM; the company formerly owned KDND until it shut the station down and turned in its license to the Federal Communications Commission two days later). The merger was completed November 17, 2017. To comply with ownership limits, KNCI, KHTK, KZZO, and KYMX, as well as four stations in San Francisco, were divested to the Entercom Divestiture Trust pending their sale to a third-party, with Bonneville International assuming operations under a local marketing agreement. In August 2018, Bonneville subsequently announced its intent to acquire the eight divested stations outright for $141 million.
KNCI offers two HD Radio subchannels. Its HD2 station, known as "The Ranch," features classic country hits and a weekly country gospel music. Its HD3 channel is a simulcast of Sports Talk KHTK.
- Entercom LMAs Sacramento & San Francisco Stations to Bonneville
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- "Bonneville Turns San Francisco and Sacramento LMAs Into Purchase". RadioInsight. 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
- Sacramento HD radio guide
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KNCI
- Radio-Locator information on KNCI
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KNCI
- FCC History Cards for KNCI