By now, all KPRIFM fans have heard the shattering news that the locally owned radio station was sold. On September 28, 2015, it was announced that KPRI would be sold to the Educational Media Foundation, pending FCC approval. Later in the afternoon, after playing Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" as its final song, KPRI 102.1 flipped over to EMF's Contemporary Christian music feed K-Love.
KPRIFM Co-founders Robert "Bob" Hughes and Jonathan Schwartz, both have backgrounds on the corporate side of radio and desired to create a station that was commercially viable while successful at the same time.
The station launched in 1996 as Sets 102-FM. They acquired the 102.1 frequency in 1995 as part of a $68 million deal with Par Broadcasting. From 1998 through 2015, the station broadcast an adult album alternative format.
"KPRI had been a ‘true labor of love.’ I thank each and every one who has helped us create and sustain a truly amazing radio station.” Bob Hughes expressed. Hughes had noted that the independent ownership had made KPRI difficult to operate profitably, as other stations in the market are owned by conglomerates in clusters of multiple stations each, and enjoy financial synergies as a result of their scale.
For us San Diegans, KPRI was much more than a radio station. They held various listener appreciation concerts, hosting artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, and Norah Jones, as well as sponsoring the Green Flash concert series, held at the Birch Aquarium.
Oma and Opa were honored to attend KPRIFM’s last Private Listeners Concert featuring Anderson East, an American rhythm and blues/pop group at the Coasterra Restaurant on Harbor Island.
Bob Hughes and Jonathan Schwartz your hard work with KPRI was innovative and appreciated by a multitude of San Diego music fans. I can not wait to learn of your new projects!!!