KITA -FM  102.1 MHz Modesto's First Spanish Station

KITA-FM, was the first all Spanish station in the Modesto market when the station signed on the air in October, 1975. KFIV-AM owner Robert Fenton, principal officer of Kilibro Broadcasting Corp., applied for the FM  license in 1972 but before the Federal Communication Commission acted on the application, Lupe Hernandez, a Spanish-programming personality on KLOC radio and television, also sought the license with his daughter, Adelita Morales.

Rather than go, through lengthy FCC hearings to determine which applicant would get the license, Fenton agreed to consolidate with Hernandez and his daughter to obtain the license.  After the license was issued Hernandez bowed out of the agreement in favor of his daughter having 20 per cent of the station control as a director. Fenton put up the financing and was the majority owner.  They operated from a mobile studio next to Fenton's KFIV studios on Orangeburg Ave.

In 1977 a dispute erupted between Fenton, Morales and Hernandez culminating with Fenton removing the Spanish programming and simulcasting the station with KFIV on January 2, 1977.  The call letters were changed to KFIV-FM.  The disagreement centered over whether the original operating agreement called for Spanish language programming.  Hernandez and Mrs. Morales said the original agreement, as they understood it,  was to continue Spanish language programming for three years.   But Fenton ordered the station off the air claiming the Spanish format was unprofitable.

Mrs. Morales and Hernandez claim Fenton used them to obtain the license and the station lost money because he took a personal salary of $36,000 out of the station operation and bought $11,000 worth of furniture declared as KITA assets, but used in the KFIV offices. Fenton admitted he was paid a salary by KITA but not in the amount claimed by Mrs. Morales. 

Mrs. Morales said the station lost $47,000 during the 14 months of Spanish programming and she and her father plan to file a complaint with the FCC.

Today the station is known at Sunny 102 FM KJSN and is owned by Clear Channel with studios at Oakdale Rd. and Lancey Drive in Modesto.




Radio Station Directors' Feud  Silences
Spanish Programs of KITA
January 20, 1977

Modesto's first Spanish language stereo radio station, KITA-FM, broadcasting  began broadcasting the, pop-music format programming of KFIV yesterday after being off the air for two days because of a directors dispute.  There is disagreement among the stations  directors over whether the original licensing pact was for the station to continue as a Spanish language station. It has broadcast 16 hours a day for 14 months at 102.3 on the FM dial.

Station KFIV owner Robert Fenton, who is the principal officer of Kilibro Broadcasting Corp., applied for an FM  license in 1972.   But before the Federal Communication Commission approved that license Lupe Hernandez, a Spanish-programming personality on KLOC radio and television, also sought the FM license with his daughter, Adelita Morales, who is  believed to be the' first woman of Mexican descent to hold a class A broadcasting license, a requirement for the station license. 

Rather than go, through lengthy FCC hearings to determine which applicant would get the license, Fenton agreed to consolidate with Hernandez and his daughter to obtain the license, according to Fenton's attorney Mark Kanai.  Hernandez bowed out of the agreement in favor of his daughter having 20 per cent of the station control as a director. Fenton put up the financing, and the station went on the air in October 1975.

Hernandez and Mrs. Morales say the agreement as they understood it was to continue the station with its Spanish language programming for three years.   But Kanai said Fenton ordered the station off the air on Monday because the Spanish format was unprofitable.  He said a random community, telephone survey will be made to determine the needs and the station will resume broadcasting with a format based on that survey which could be to continue as a Spanish language station. 

But Mrs. Morales and Hernandez claim Fenton used them to obtain the license and the station lost money because he took a personal salary of $36,000 out of the station operation and bought, $11,000 worth of furniture declared as KITA assets, but used in the KFIV offices.   KTTA operated from a mobile home adjacent to the KFIV offices on East Orangeburg Avenue.   Fenton was paid a salary by KITA but not in the amount claimed by Mrs. Morales; according, to Kanai, who said there were no fire irregularities  with the books of the FM station.

Mrs. Morales,  employed as the manager of KITA, said the station lost $47,000 during the 14 months. She said she has resigned but will retain her 20 per cent ownership. Kanai said the four full time workers at the station were offered an opportunity to remain on the payroll. Mrs.  Morales and her father said they will take their case to the complaint and compliance division of the FCC.