Radio host Boise Kekeluv leaves KCIX Mix 106 FM



Kekeluv roamed the streets of Boise in 2009 while doing a marathon. He set out to walk through poverty as part of Kiss FM’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month theme. He planned to do his seventh marathon the next day, finishing near the Statehouse. “I was in tears,” he said before starting his sixth marathon in as many days. “My knees are killing me.”

Chris Butler / Idaho statesman

A well-known local radio personality disappeared from the Boise airwaves after nearly 15 years.

Mix 106 afternoon host Steve Kicklighter – known to listeners as Kekeluv – is no longer with the station.

“I gave you everything,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, that was not enough for the (management) team from out of town. I just got let go.

Kicklighter, who grew up in Houston, hosted mornings and afternoons for 13 years in Boise on 103.5 Kiss FM before moving to afternoons on Mix 106 in 2020. Kiss is a Top 40 station. Mix has a Hot AC (contemporary adult) format. Both stations are owned by New York-based Townsquare Media Group.

During his time in the Treasure Valley, Kekeluv (sometimes spelled Keke Luv) became an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence. He has led large-scale awareness campaigns such as the annual “Live for 175” – where he has sworn not to sleep for an entire week – and has run marathons for seven consecutive days on the streets of Boise.

This spring, Kicklighter sat in the 35,700 seats at Albertsons Stadium as part of a Rise Up Against Child Abuse promotion. Mix 106 called him a “legend of Treasure Valley” on his website.

Due to his dedication to the community, his fans were not just radio listeners. They included other members of the media.

“You are my hero,” Maggie O’Mara, morning presenter on KTVB Channel 7, replied Tuesday to Kicklighter’s Instagram post.

“Keke, you are the best DJ in this valley!” another commentator said. “You have the purest heart, the purest soul.”

Kicklighter hinted his work might not be finished – “more to come,” he promised – but provided no details.

“Thanks, Idaho,” he wrote. “You are special and I really have a connection with you. I met my wife in Albertsons and we had three amazing children in Saint Alphonsus. I am obsessed with you. I don’t know exactly how to act so my apologies. All I ask is this: FOLLOW ME wherever I go. That chip on my shoulder is getting bigger and I promise I got you!

Chris Pickett, Content Director for Townsquare Media Boise, called Kicklighter’s service to the community “second to none.”

“We thank Keke for everything he has done for the Treasure Valley over the past 14 years and wish him the best,” Pickett said in an email to the Idaho Statesman.

“For years, Mix 106 has been a part of the heart and soul of the Boise community,” added Pickett, “and we are looking for a great local personality who can help us continue this tradition and commitment.”

Mix 106 struggled in the latest reviews from Nielsen Audio. The station attracted a share of 2.0 among weekday listeners aged 12 and over between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Entertainment writer and opinion columnist Michael Deeds chronicles the good life in Boise: restaurants, concerts, culture, cool stuff. Deeds materialized at the Idaho Statesman as an intern in 1991 before taking on roles such as sports writer, editor, and music critic. Over the years, his freelance work has ranged from writing album reviews for The Washington Post to advertising Boise in the airline magazine you left on the plane. Deeds holds a BA in Editorial Journalism from the University of Nebraska.

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