WLEX-FM [WKQQ's original call letters] came on the air in 1968 on 98.1
MHz, with an RCA transmitter running 50KW ERP. WLEX was an RCA house, for
the most part. RCA videotape machines and transmitters have been used at
the TV facility for years and RCA audio consoles were used for the FM
station. It surprised me that they used Harris (GE) studio cameras for
years. WLEX-FM was another automated station. Using Drake-Chenault's "Hit
Parade" and "Solid Gold" formats for years, it kept bringing in the bacon.
WKQQ window decal
Sometime in the mid 1970s, it was sold to
Village Communications of Chapel Hill, NC and the call sign was changed to
WKQQ or "Double Q" as it was known. The format became AOR. Shortly
afterwards they acquired WBLG-AM and the old WKYT-TV building. This gave
them a broadcast facility, with a 500' black iron tower on site. WKQQ was
licensed as a 50KW facility, and sometime in the late 70's or early 80's
that was increased to 100KW. A Sintronix transmitter was purchased for the
upgrade in power. It ran from this site until the late 90's when the FCC
mandated that all Class C FMs running 100KW ERP must be 1000' HAAT. At
this point, WKQQ switched frequencies with the old Winchester, KY Class A
FM, received a CP for 100KW on 100.3Mhz and built a new station and
identity. Winchester received the old 98.1 Mhz frequency at the 50KW power
The History of
Lexington's Rock 'n' Roll Institution
This appeared in a 1989 Lexington
Herald-Leader Advertising Supplement
Until 15 years ago Lexington had never
heard anything like it. In December 1974, WKQQ-FM 98.1 signed on as a
computer-automated, 24-hour-a-day stereo FM radio station. According to
listeners, Lexington has never been quite the same.
From the beginning, WKQQ's goal was to be uniqque (that's how they
spell it) with concert information, more variety of music, more comedy,
and wacky promotions.
In the '70s, WKQQ brought such acts as Aerosmith, Steve Martin, Fleetwood
Mac, and Billy Joel to Rupp Arena.
During that decade, listeners heard Kruser, Jim Mastin, Jack Renaud, and
Terry Meiners. They played rock 'n' roll music that had never been heard
on Lexington radio. Popular promotions included Skylab Insurance, Invasion
of the Album Snatchers, and "Rumper" Stickers. In the early years,
blizzards, the bicentennial, and the Who concert tragedy made the news.
WKQQ went live in 1976. In 1977, after only three years on the air, the
pinnacle of broadcast success was reached by WKQQ when listeners rated it
the No. 1 radio station in Lexington for that year. Since then, the
station has remained No. 1. (Source Arbitron 1977, Birch 1989)
In 1978, Homespun, an album featuring original material from some of
Central Kentucky's finest musicians was released. The project was such a
success, that Homespun, Too soon followed.
WKQQ's Laugh Track Live, now the longest running comedy show in the
nation, began in 1979. WKQQ's Memorial Stakes Day at the Red Mile also
started its lasting tradition that year.
The '80s ushered in such flamboyant personalities as Mike Wolfe, Ross
Martin and Scoop Rogers, and Gary Dickson and Nola Roeper.
In 1982, the station began its Decent Exposure contest, which allows local
bands who need some "decent exposure" to compete for prizes such as music
equipment and, possibly, if the stars are in their favor, a recording
During the early '80s, concert goers were treated to WKQQ sponsored acts
such as Rod Stewart, John Cougar, Billy Joel, The Who, and Rolling Stones.
The Weather Fairy, Explode a Record, and "What Your Favorite Color Says
About Your Sex Habits" all bid a fond farewell in 1983 with the split of
morning personalities Gary and Nola.
With the first decade of craziness behind it, Double Q gave its listeners
even more entertainment -- Kruser and Co., The Great Ramblin' Raft Races,
Bar Wars, Kiss Your Landlord Goodbye, and The Rolling Stones in Europe.
Listeners were sent to Live Aid and The Grammys and won big money in the
$5,000 Outrageous Contest, and a $10,000 giveaway for WKQQ's 10th
Anniversary. Also there were many car giveaways, including a pink Cadillac
WKQQ welcomed such bands as U2, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones,
Pink Floyd, and more to Lexington.
Classic Café, No-Repeat Thursdays and Block Party Weekends remain the
highest rated features among Double Q's avid listeners.
One source of pride to WKQQ has been the hundreds of thousands of dollars
raised for charitable organizations during its 15 years on the air. The
ultimate national recognition came for the second year in a row (1988-89),
when WKQQ was recognized by the National Association of Broadcasters for
Outstanding Community Service.
Now ready for the '90s, WKQQ explodes into the next decade and beyond with
more laughs, more community service, more music, and more contests than
In the infamous words of Bachman Turner Overdrive, "B-B-B-Baby, you ain't
seen nothin' yet!"
Kruser and Company Morning Show
This appeared in a 1989
Lexington Herald-Leader Advertising Supplement
Kruser & Company
(morning show) consists of, front from left to right, weather with
Frank Faulconer; news with Brian Wright; in back, Kruser; and sports
with D.G. Fitzmaurice
The following interview with Dave
Krusenklaus was conducted by WKQQ.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Kruser has been with WKQQ-FM since late 1978, first as
afternoon drive host and since 1983 as morning show matron of madness. He
agreed to this interview only after the editors agreed to buy him an
expensive lunch and ply him with rare French champagne.
QQ: Why would you give up an afternoon drive air shift where you
could sleep late and party all night for an air shift that demands you to
get up at 4:15 a.m.?
KRUSER: It was easy to say yes to the change after the management
of WKQQ brainwashed me and then applied torture methods left over from the
QQ: Well, certainly there are morning shows that you're proud of.
What are some of your favorites?
KRUSER: That's hard to say because we've done so many uniqque
things. The shows that come to mind are the two shows we've done from
listener's homes, the Ms. Morning Show contests, and the Sportstalk shows
with local celebrities as guests. We've had great moments with the Comedy
on Broadway headliners every Thursday, and who can forget that great show
we did at Eddyville, and my many years on the USO tour with Bob Hope.
QQ: If we missed any of those moments is there any chance we can
hear some of this again?
KRUSER: Yes. For the next couple of months during our birthday
celebration, we'll replay classic moments from the show for which I hope
to receive a fat royalties check.
QQ: Are you going to call these replays Kruser & Company: The Lost
Kruser: It would sound better. But what does it mean when they say,
for instance, Bonanza: The Lost Episodes? Were they really lost? I thought
Hoss ate them.
QQ: Do you get along with the other members of your show: Brain,
Frank, and Fitz?
KRUSER: No, can't stand them. We never hang out. They're scum.
QQ: What did you do before you got into radio?
KRUSER: I always dreamed of being a department store model --
standing in front of those fake outdoor backgrounds modeling cheap
polyester Easter suits. If I couldn't do that, I wanted to work at a toxic
QQ: Did you start working in radio while you were in college?
KRUSER: Yes, I was Mr. Extra-Curricular Activities. I worked at
three radio stations while in college, played rugby, was on the
cheerleading squad, wrestled, was a member of the debate and fencing
teams, was in the French club, and spent my spare time sucking up to the
professors for a higher grade.
QQ: Did you go to UK?
KRUSER: I tried, but I couldn't find a place to park, so I went to
the University of Dayton.
QQ: Is there anyone you owe anything to for your success here in
KRUSER: I don't owe anybody a dime...what do you think I am -- a
savings and loan?
QQ: Not in terms of money, we're talking in terms of support.
KRUSER: Oh...well in all seriousness...I owe a thanks to the
Village Companies, our parent company, and particularly the three general
managers I've worked for -- Peter Jorgenson, Chris Ackerman, and Keith
Yarber -- for their support.
Terry Meiners was a real friend when I first moved here, and we're still
friends today -- even though he's a Louisville big shot -- and we all know
how painful that can be.
Thanks to all my co-workers, past and present, that I've enjoyed good
relations with. They made it a pleasure to come to work.
And most of all, thanks to the listeners. Our best shows are those in
which we have good phone interplay with the listeners. It's a real kick to
meet people who listen to you when they get up every morning. We have the
best, brightest, and most creative listeners in town.