|City of license||Payson, Arizona|
|Broadcast area||Phoenix, Arizona|
|Branding||"92.7 & 99.3 The Beat"|
|Slogan||Arizona's Classic Hip Hop|
|Repeaters||92.7 (South Mountain)
99.3 (Downtown Phoenix)
|Callsign meaning||NRJ from former format as Energy 92.7 & 101.1.|
|Former callsigns||KAZL (2000-2002)
|Owner||Sierra H Broadcasting|
KNRJ 101.1 FM, K224CJ 92.7 FM, K257CD 99.3 FM, and K228XO 93.5 FM are a quadrocast station serving the Phoenix area. KNRJ is licensed to Payson, Arizona, which is 57 miles north of Phoenix, while K224CJ is a 10-watt translator from South Mountain's antenna farm to provide a better signal to the Phoenix area. Both are currently owned by Sierra H Broadcasting, but on December 14, 2007 the station was sold to Independence Media for $3 million. Independence will take over ownership of the station in 2008. though current business conditions may delay the transfer.
KNRJ targets Phoenix; although KNRJ's 101.1 signal does reach the northern portions of Maricopa County, K224CJ brings crucial coverage to the Phoenix metropolitan area and can be heard in the central and southern portions of the region, although recently K224CJ has been suffering from severe multipath distortion. Its main signal on 101.1 between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon has interference from 101.1 FM KPLD in Saint George, Utah; the K228XO translator brings coverage to the Flagstaff area due to this interference. Past Seligman, Arizona, the signal from 101.1 FM KRRK in Lake Havasu City disrupts any KNRJ reception. The addition of 99.3 FM covering mostly West Phoenix greatly increases KNRJ's reach to its target market.
The first attempt to put a station on the air on 101.1 in Payson Arizona failed. A group had a construction permit for KRMM, but that never got on the air and the construction permit lapsed. Another group applied for the frequency and was more successful.
In the late 1990s, KESP-FM signed on from Payson, Arizona as a classic hits format station named Loop 101. In 2000, the callsign was changed to KAZL (K AriZona Loop), and K224CJ 92.7 FM from South Mountain and K292DF 106.3 FM (now K228XO 93.5 FM) in Flagstaff were applied for and signed on during the same period. The station's goal was to be an alternative to KSLX-FM, another classic hits station serving the Phoenix area. KNRJ, K224CJ, and K292DF never achieved sufficient ratings.
The dismal ratings were followed by a format change on 18 June 2002: KAZL began stunting, leading listeners to believe they were becoming an all-commercial station (All Commercials, All the Time, KAZL) Steven Szalay, Operations Manager, established A/V Producer and stockholder in Sierra H Broadcasting, Inc, created an entire phony radio format complete with sweepers, liners, I.D.'s and recorded DJ comments as well as a collection of classic radio commercials. The station received a great many calls asking if this was serious; some called to express their appreciation of the joke, and some believed it pleading and demanding that the classic hits format be returned.
The stunting was stopped at 5 p.m. three days later (21 June 2002) and because of the clever and original stunting did receive considerable press coverage for the end of the stunt and the start of a format similar to WKIE in Chicago, CHR Dance. At this time it was known that WKIE was sold and to be changed to a Spanish language format. Chris Shebel the program director of WKIE programmed the music of KAZL for nearly a year by e-mail. Also, the name changed to "Energy 92.7 & 101.1"; to match, the callsign on 101.1 became KNRJ. WKIE was also known as Energy; the name was chosen for KNRJ to continue the legacy. KNRJ was also a reporter in Billboard Magazine's Hot Dance Airplay panel. The station would still receive calls from Chicago visitors asking if they are the same Energy that was in Chicago. The KNRJ callsign previously resided in Houston, Texas at 96.5 FM under a top 40/dance/alternative format from 1988 to 1990, as Energy 96.5.
KNRJ's dance music product included house, techno, and club music, as well as remixes of pop and R&B hits. The first personality to be live on-air was KEDJ's "Pistol Pete" who took the afternoon day part. Shortly therafter, Lysa D. began as the station's evening voice. In January 2002, Alex Santa Maria (PD of then KNRJ's sister station , KAJM Mega 104.3/99.3) took over the programming reins as well as becoming the voice of the morning drive. The first mixshow to air on the station was a syndicate of UK's own, Paul Oakenfold. After months of promoting the station, evening personality, Lysa D. (also a club–mixshow DJ), launched live mixshows including: the Friday Night Funky Mix and "GrooveSessionz" which aired Saturday evenings. With the thought of expanding the station's reputation in the dance world, she would feature exclusive interviews and mixes from the likes of Bad Boy Bill, Richard Vission, as well as much local talent, such as Rob Wegner, Kevin Brown, Pete Salas, just to name a few. Later, Beau Duran became the afternoon host and Pistol Pete took over as the morning show host.
In May 2004, programming authority had changed as well as the station's playlist. Internet radio station Energy 98's "Mike O." took the crown as KNRJ's new Program Director and continued the success and dance trend for which Energy was known. Energy 98's operations were merged with KNRJ's, and Energy 98's website redirected people to Energy 92.7 & 101.1's website. Months later Pistol Pete left for Los Angeles and Lysa D took over mornings with her show titled "The Morning Frenzy". More mixshows and some of the world's top talent would be featured including: Carl Cox, Armin Van Buren, Roger Sanchez, JJ Flores, Marcus Schulz, Justin Dohman, Spencer Thomas, Eddie Amador, Rod Carrillo, DJ Perry, DJ Kilo, Mickey "Mixin" Oliver (Chicago's Hot Mix 5), Victor Dinaire, and many more.
In Summer 2005, Mike O. was let go, bringing Energy 98 back to the world the same day. Rod Carrillo took over programming KNRJ, and the entire on air staff was let go including Detour Diva, the traffic reporter. Later with Pistol Pete returned from L.A. as the afternoon host, and Carla Cruise became the new traffic reporter. After Rod Carrillo took over programming, the station became mostly jockless. The unhosted morning show was titled "More Music Mornings", the unhosted mid-day show was called "More Music Mid-Days", and the unhosted evenings and overnight show was titled "High Energy After Dark".
On October 31, 2007 KNRJ began stunting, playing Wall of Voodoo's Mexican Radio, Front 242's Headhunter, and Ministry's Everyday Is Halloween along with commercials, the normal legal ID with Harry Legg saying "KNRJ Payson/Phoenix, 92.7 K227CJ Phoenix, 106.3 K292DF Flagstaff", and a white man speaking in Spanglish saying (roughly translated) "Friends, please excuse the music which you hear on 92.7 and 101.1. Tune in tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the morning for more information. Thank you." At 10 AM on November 1, 2007, KNRJ played the Mexican Hat Dance three times and then KNRJ was relaunched with Beau Duran saying that Energy is back. The changes that took place included Beau Duran (who had been let go in 2006) taking over mid-days, Pistol Pete still hosted afternoons, recorded mix shows were played overnight rather than just music, the station playlist was completely revamped, and all new jingles were produced without long time Energy voice over veteran Harry Legg, instead he was replaced by a similar sounding person.
In April 2008, Rod Carrillo resigned, to pursue his growing producing career and to start his own dance record label, as program director and Beau Duran took over as program director. Since the station was no longer even making it on the Arbitrons, mainly due to the lack for support of management towards the dance genre for over two years, Beau Duran decided to take the station in a different direction in an attempt to gain better ratings.
Energy signed off at 5pm on October 31, 2008. The final song was Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence. K257CD 99.3 FM began simulcasting KNRJ, as KAJM now had adequate Phoenix area coverage, and KNRJ then launched a stunt format that started with a man saying "This is KNRJ Payson. If you're looking for Arizona's Old School, you need to hike it on over to Mega 104.3. The Valley will be in the Zone, Monday morning at 9:27 AM; right now though, I found this guy's iPod. Let's see what's on it." and then played U2's Pride (In The Name Of Love). KNRJ's stunt format included many different songs from different genres as well as an announcer announcing that a new format will be coming to the Valley. Each announcement mentioned a different radio station, some of which were legacy names (e.g. Y for KYOT (which formerly was KOY-FM/Y-95).
On November 3, 2008, the new format as Old school hip hop 92.7 & 99.3 The Beat launched, the first song being was Ice Cube's You Know How We Do It. At first, they were the only known all old-school station on terrestrial radio up until KDAY/Los Angeles relaunched their Old School Hip Hop format in August 2009. It plays the old school hip hop from the '80s and '90s and some hip hop songs from the early 2000s. It also carries Sunday Nite Slow Jams w/ R. Dub on Sunday-Thursday nights.