|City Omaha, Nebraska|
Repeater(s) 92.3 FM HD2 (KEZO-FM)
|Branding AM 590 ESPN Radio|
|Broadcast area Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area|
Frequency 590 kHz (also on HD Radio via KEZO-FM-2)
Translator(s) 103.1 MHz (K276FB) Schuyler, Nebraska
KXSP (590 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Omaha, Nebraska. The station is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company and it airs a sports radio format. Most weekday afternoon and evening programming is from local hosts, while during mornings, late nights and weekends, KXSP carries the ESPN Radio Network.
KXSP operates at 5000 watts, using a non-directional transmitter off Sorensen Parkway in North Omaha. Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, as well as Nebraska's flat land (with near-perfect ground conductivity), its signal is easily heard in most of the eastern half of Nebraska, as well as parts of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota. It provides grade B coverage as far south as Kansas City as far east as Des Moines, and as far north as Sioux Falls. Offices and studios are located on Mockingbird Drive in South Omaha. KXSP is also heard on FM translator K276FB on 103.1 MHz in Schuyler, Nebraska. KXSP programming is also carried on the HD-2 subchannel of KEZO-FM.
On April 2, 1923, the station first signed on, owned by the Woodmen of the World life insurance society, using the call sign WOAW. Management originally sought the call letters WOW (for Woodmen Of the World) but they were already used by the steamship Henry J. Bibble. A call sign beginning with "W" was possible in Nebraska because originally the dividing line between "K" and "W" stations followed the western border of Nebraska. WOAW's call sign was issued on November 27, 1922, shortly before the divide was moved to the Mississippi River in January 1923. Despite this, the station was able to claim the WOW call sign on December 16, 1926, upon retirement of the Bibble. The Woodmen society put the station up for sale in 1945 out of fear that it would jeopardize its tax-exempt status; it eventually leased the station to "Radio Station WOW," a group of local investors. That group later added a television station (now WOWT) in 1949 and an FM station in 1961 (now KEZO-FM).
In 1951, Meredith Corporation bought the WOW stations. The AM station became a Top 40 station in the early 1970s, where former Shindig! host Jimmy O'Neill worked for a time, and a country station in the early 1980s. Meredith sold the station in 1983, and Journal Broadcast Group bought it in 1999. On November 22, 1999, the WOW call letters were dropped in favor of KOMJ with adoption of a new format of adult standards, branded as "Magic 590". On April 25, 2005, KOMJ and then-sister station KXSP (1490 AM) swapped formats and call letters, with 590 adopting the sports format (as "Big Sports 590") and 1490 adopting the standards format.
On February 1, 2011, KXSP swapped affiliations with 1620 KOZN. KOZN took the Fox Sports Radio affiliation and KXSP took ESPN. With the affiliation swap, KXSP also became known as "AM 590 ESPN Radio" instead of "Big Sports 590".
On August 23, 2012, KXSP aired The Front Stretch Radio Show on Sunday mornings. Originally hosted by Michael Grey, Buddy Ray Jones and Andrew Kosiski, the front stretch covered local dirt track racing and NASCAR.
KXSP is simulcast on sister station 92.3 KEZO's HD2 digital audio subchannel.
Journal Communications and The E.W. Scripps Company announced on July 30, 2014 that the two companies would merge to create a new broadcast company under the E.W. Scripps Company name that will own the two companies' broadcast properties, including KXSP. The transaction was completed in 2015.
On February 10, 2015 Journal Broadcast Group and the IMG group announced they had signed a contract for Journal Broadcast Group in Omaha to be the broadcast partner for Nebraska Cornhuskers sports. Effective July 1, 2015 KXSP became the primary station for Nebraska Cornhuskers sports broadcasts, sharing flagship status with Lincoln's KLIN. Co-owned KEZO will simulcast football games, while KKCD will air any volleyball, women's basketball and baseball games that conflict with other athletic events. This ended a nine-decade association between the Huskers and KFAB, the state's most powerful radio station. However, school officials had long felt chagrin at KFAB's unwillingness to air all major sports, and wanted all games to air on a single, powerful station. Although operating at only 5,000 watts, KXSP's daytime broadcast range is comparable to that of KFAB's.
WOW received a 1946 Peabody Award for Outstanding Regional Public Service for its program series "Operation Big Muddy."