96.1 KSIQ - Q96

KSIQ (Q96) – Brawley/El Centro, CA – 2000 – Bill Stewart, Mary Jesse


“From Baja to the North Shore, from Pine Valley to Arizona’s Door”. Q96 was one of the best-sounding CHRs I’ve ever heard, and it’s more impressive upon realizing that the area it served (the Imperial Valley in far Southern California) was/is not even rated by Arbitron.  It offered great music, air talent, and production values. This aircheck was recorded sometime in 2000 (presumably in the Summer or Fall, judging by the mention of the 100+ degree temperatures).  Please note that this montage represents two separate segments (one at the end of morning drive, and the other in late afternoon drive), so certain songs are heard twice.

Sadly, in an effort to garner more advertising dollars, the owners of Q96 made an attempt to move the station’s signal closer to the San Diego market. This was an ill-fated decision; the station was sold to the Educational Media Foundation and switched to the “Air 1” Christian-rock leaning format at the end of 2013.


  1. It’s a crying shame that this great station has gone silent. I am from Mexicali and remember when I was in Mexico City 16 years ago for about a year and a half. I really missed Mexicali and the Imperial Valley and I reminisced the phrase “From Salton Sea to Mexicali, Winterhaven to Pine Valley… this is KSIQ FM…. Q96!!! It just filled mi mind with feeling of younger days and energy. I rememember since High School or when getting ready for College every morning I used to wake up to this station. Just to hear this clip makes me feel younger again. Thanks for posting it!

    1. Ed. Thanks for the kind words! I’m the guy doing afternoons (Drive at 5…etc) on this aircheck. I just stumbled onto this while looking for something on my lunch break. What strikes me is that we had such a great sounding radio station, especially for the market. That credit goes to Tony D, who was not satisfied unless it sounded great. And it did. This brings back great memories!!!

      1. I as well served the Q96 93-94 with bill in the morning and my time was the 6 to 10 when i left to come back to LA miss those days and crew ! had a great time

  2. In that area, there’s a station on 98.3 (XHMIX) calling itself Power 98 that, at least format-wise, is pretty good (upon hearing it last Fall, it seemed to be a very broad Rhythmic-leaning CHR.) It uses a similar “From…to” liner. But it definitely doesn’t have the “heritage” feel that Q96 possessed.

  3. Q-96 was a rarity back in 1989. As a student at SDSU, we’d take road trips out to El Centro and upon discovering Q-96, we headed up to Brawley to hang out in the studio which had a window that faced out onto the street. It had like a 22-share rating out there. “Today’s Hits, “Q-96…Brawley El Centro Calexico…” All the Latinas would call in requesting Johnny Gill, Calloway and Sweet Sensation…haha. The town was a total dump, but the station was pretty advanced for that time and sounded great. They even ran syndicated Friday Night Hot Mix show (Dave Rajput and Co.) (on Vinyl) and sounded better than most San Diego CHRs. I was an intern at KKLQ Q-106 back then…

  4. was a blast back in the day for me 93 – 94 ended up doing the 6 – 10 spot with maria following me ! Great memories of time gone by ! hello to all my friends from LA

  5. Also dan was the PD at the time Bill /Lisa Fox /Beemer/and the whole crew ! i had a blast doing the request shows and weekend nites it was really crazy sometimes

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