Red Rock Radio is the Northland's premier family of radio stations. Located in the historic Canal Park of Duluth's downtown, Red Rock Radio Corporation is proud to promote the best in the most popular music genres and feed it over the airwaves to the surrounding areas.

Contact: KQDS
501 Lake Avenue South - Suite 200
Duluth, MN 55802
Office: 218-728-9500
Studio: 724-7625 / 877-724-9595

KQDS FM History Timeline

95 KQDS began as KAOH FM a country station located on Lake Ave. and Superior st.


(Prior to its official launch, KQDS FM had evolved from a lower power station that first began its rock and roll legacy in mid-June 1980. This early form of KQ was signed on by Stu Taran with the lineup including Big G Walters, Annie Steamer (1980-1982), Dan Culhane and Jonathon Hanley (1980-1985). General Manager was Mark Alan (1980-1983)

Other staff included Dan Culhane (Dan Lightfoot) (1980-1985), Tony Jasmin (1980-1982), Mike Simonson (1980-1984), Jacob Lewin News Director (1980-1983), Lisa Barr Reporter (1980-1982), Bruce MacGregor Morning Show (1982-1984), Cindy Hoeffling Reporter (1982-1985)

August 1, 1981 KQDS FM, a 100,000 watt station at 94.9 FM debuted featuring a classic rock format. The first studios were at 10th Ave. East and 1st st. in downtown Duluth across from Northland Medical Center (It is now a parking lot, and at the time was a medical office building). The first song played was “coming up” by Paul McCartney.


1982 KQ was purchased by “The great Duluth Broadcasting company”. Greater Duluth owns the station for 13 years selling to Fant in 1993. Mark Alan was General Manager his wife Loretta Alan was sales manager, Program director was Bruce Mcgregor. Music director was Brian Taylor. News director was Mike Simonson. This was the era of 3 in a row, lots of live concerts and big giveaways as FM took over music radio.


1983 Monte Riffkin becomes General Manager. Mark Stevens was Sales manager.


1984 Steve Grazier becomes Sales Manager. KQ operates without a General Manager.


1985 Leonard Harvey (Steve James) becomes General Manager.


1987 Mike Keller became Program Director


1987 Chuck Poet becomes General Manager


1988 Steve Grazier becomes General Manager. Sales Manager and General Manager operate as one position. Bryce Crauser replaces Mike Keller as Program Director. Rick Church was music director. Crauser and Church are the KQ morning show.


In 1991 KQ moved its offices and studios into the 2001 London road facility.


In 1992 there was a change in management and Leonard Harvey (Steve James) became the General Manager for the second time. Leonard Harvey continues in a dual role of General Manager and Sales manager. Rick Church moves to the Program Director position.


1993 Fant Broadcasting purchases KQDS AM & FM. Steve James continues as General Manager under Fant.


1993 Stu Brown becomes the morning jock with Bill Jones joining the morning show in August of 1993


1995 Dave Cummins becomes the General Manager. His wife Diane works as a salesperson.


1997 Red River Broadcasting headed by Myron Kunin and Ro Grignon buys KQDS radio and TV. Ivan Honestadt becomes the interim General Manager.


1998 Tom Leweski becomes General Manager


June 30, 1999 Shawn Skramstad becomes General Manager. The era is now more corporate as KQDS becomes the flagship for a growing cluster of stations.


1999 Jim Payne becomes General Sales Manager in August.


1999 Bill Jones becomes Program Director late in the year.


1999 KQDS FM moves to Canal park on October 1 and adds WWAX FM and KZIO FM.


2008 Jim Payne resigns and Jeff Anderson becomes General Sales Manager


2009 Bill Jones resigns and Jason Manning takes over the KQ morning show with Scott Savage


2011 Jim Payne returns as General Sales Manager


2012 Marty Meldahl becomes General Sales Manager


2014 Scott Christensen becomes General Sales Manager


Click to check out our KQ Honor Roll 

Click to check out images and commercials from the last 30 years


If you have any other info about KQ please comment below, we would love to include you in our timeline!

Marty Essen October 7, 2013

Please add Marty Essen (1980 – 1983) to your KQDS history. I worked both on-air and in sales.

Deejay Bushney December 5, 2015

Hi there guys
I am from Nelspruit in South Africa and I work in a Law Enforcement Ops Centre, I work a lot of graveyard shifts and love your playlist. I listed all the way on live streaming.

Mercedes Calderon March 25, 2016

Hi Guys I am writing from Lake Gogebic MI yes you heard me right you reach all the way into the up of Michigan & I thank god every day for your station I came from the Detroit area & miss the up beat radio stations. I drive 800-1000 miles per week for work I am in sales. I don’t know what I would do with out you. Thank you so mush for all you do.

Steven Hamil September 23, 2016

I was VERY disappointed to find that after broadcasting the Vikings games on KQDS for years you had switched them to a different station. I live in Calumet in the Keweenaw Peninsula and I was usually able to follow my homestate team on your station. It seems really strange that you would broadcast the preseason games on KQDS and then switch the broadcast to another station once the regular season started. It really sucked on opening day when I tuned in your station only to find out I would be able to hear the game.

    jason September 26, 2016

    Hi Steven,

    I don’t know what to tell you but we’ve been broadcasting Vikings games on 94.9 Fm and 95.3 Fm consistently. We have no changed. At all.

    Feel free to call me with any questions.

    Thank you,

    Jason Manning