KKLS – 95.7 The Hills


660 Flormann St. Ste. 100, Box 2480     Rapid City, SD 57709
Phone 605-343-6161     Fax 605-343-9012

The Station

Founded: KEZU-AM debuted in 1959 a 1kw daytime station with a “Middle of the Road” format. In 1969 KEZU was sold to Bob Ingstad Broadcasting and the call letters were changed to KKLS-AM. A format change to Top 40 soon followed. In 1971 KKLS-FM went on the air simulcasting KKLS-AM. KKLS-AM was granted a power increase to 5kw daytime and the AM/FM combo’s programming was split with KKLS-AM retaining the live Top 40 format. KKLS and sister station KKHJ-FM was sold to Southern Minnesota Broadcasting in 1979. In 1983, KKLS-AM flip flopped formats with it’s sister FM and became a “Middle of the Road “ station once again. KKLS-AM began broadcasting in AM stereo in 1984 the first and only station in the market to adopt this new technology. KKLS-AM and sister station KKMK-FM was sold to TEI Broadcasting in 1996, Triad Broadcasting in 1999 and to Schurz Communications as New Rushmore Radio in 2006. In September of 2009, KKLS was authorized to rebroadcast it’s signal on 97.5 FM.

Population: Rapid City has a population of just fewer than 70,000 and Pennington County 79,000.

The Market

Definition of the market: Metro: Pennington and Meade Counties. (Arbitron Spring 2006)

Total Survey Area(TSA): Pennington, Meade, Haakon, Ziebach, Dewey, Jackson, Bennett, Shannon, Fall River, Dawes(Neb), Custer, Lawrence, Butte, Harding, Perkins, Adams(ND), Bowman(ND), Carter(MT),Powder River(MT), Crook(WY), Weston(WY), Campbell(WY) (Arbitron Spring 2006)

Market Size: Total Survey Area (persons 12 +) 225,200; Metro Area (persons 12+) 99,000 (Arbitron Spring 2006)

Listenership: 7,500 Metro, 8,900 TSA (Arbitron Spring 2006)

Median Age: 34.8 (US Census 2000)

Median Household Income: $43,124 (Arbitron Spring 2006) 40.1% of households have an income between $35,000 and $74,999 (Arbitron Spring 2006) Median value of an owner occupied home is $88,800 (Arbitron Spring 2006) 23.3% of persons 25+ have 4 or more years of College (Arbitron Spring 2006) 30.3% of persons 25+ have completed High School (Arbitron Spring 2006)

Derek Stone

Derek Stone, DJ

Market: Rapid City is gateway to the Black Hills, the home of Mt. Rushmore, several National and State Parks, Historic Deadwood and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Races.  Tourism is the areas number one industry.  The Rapid City System of Care is a regional healthcare system that serves the medical needs of 5 states. Ellsworth Air Force Base is just 8 miles east of Rapid City and is South Dakotaís largest employer. Ellsworth is home Base of the elite 28th B-1 Bomber squadron.  Rapid City also boasts the South  Dakota School of Mines and Technology, one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in the country.

The Community

The Rapid City area boasts a very diverse population. Steeped in the rich traditions of the Native American culture, its influences are found throughout the community. The wild west is historically celebrated!  GOLD was discovered in the Black Hills in 1876. The famous and the infamous called this area home, including Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, General George Custer, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Many service men and women once stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, make Rapid City and the Black Hills their permanent home after retirement. Rapid City is the hub to most of the tourism in Western South Dakota.  58% of all visitors to South Dakota, over 472 million annually, stay in the Black Hills.  Tourism is big business in Rapid City with visitors spending well over 216 million dollars in 2006. Taxable sales for 2005 exceeded 2 billion dollars in Rapid City alone.

Ellsworth AFB: 8,000 service men and women call Ellsworth home, making it the 6th largest community in South Dakota.  Ellsworth also houses the 28th B-1 Bomber squadron.  In 2005, through the bipartisan co-operation of the Ellsworth Task Force, EAFB was taken off the base closure list.  A most improbable outcome to a monumental effort put forth by local and state politicians and local Rapid City organizations.