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Cities 97 logo
City of license Minneapolis, Minnesota
Broadcast area Minneapolis-St. Paul
Branding Cities 97
Slogan "Quality Music From Then And Now"
Frequency 97.1 FM (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
97.1-2 FM (KTCZ2 Studio HD - Acoustic (HD Radio)
First air date 1940s
Format Adult album alternative
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 315 meters
Class C
Facility ID 10142
Callsign meaning Twin CitieZ
Former callsigns KTCR (1969-1984)
Owner Clear Channel
Sister stations KDWB, KEEY, KFAN, KFXN, KQQL, KTLK
Webcast Listen Live
HD2 stream

KTCZ-FM (97.1 FM, "Cities 97") is an adult album alternative (AAA or "Triple-A") radio station broadcasting to the Twin Cities market of Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin.

Cities 97 is owned by Clear Channel Communications. Its transmitter is located in Shoreview, Minnesota.



The frequency of 97.1 in Minneapolis is one of the oldest FM stations in the Twin Cities, having been established in the late 1940s. The original call letters were WTCN, and its owners eventually started the local television station with the same name on channel 11. By the late-1950s, 97.1's call letters were KWFM.

Al Tedesco purchased the station in 1968 and operated it as KTCR-FM, mated with its AM sibling of the same name (KTCR, 690 AM).[1] Al Tedesco and his two brothers were inducted into the Pavek Museum of Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.

In the early 1980s, KTCR-FM was a struggling country music station. KTCR-FM was up against aggressive competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s, most notably KEEY, and Al Tedesco decided to sell the stations. The stations' new owner, John Parker, dropped the Country format on February 8, 1984, and a unique new format was introduced. KTCZ ("Cities 97") was a different kind of station, featuring progressive rock, alternative rock, new age music and even jazz. The station's approach was similar to stations such as WXRT in Chicago and KBCO in Denver. KTCZ's other influences reach back even farther, to progressive FM rock stations from the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the freeform days of KQRS-FM.

Former Cities 97 logo

Back then, the term 'Triple-A' did not even exist. It was a relatively eclectic rock format, far different than any other rock station around. Cities 97 has continued to thrive, building and sustaining a dedicated listening audience. Over time, the jazz and new age music was dropped, and the station went through a few different phases, at various points leaning more toward classic rock or alternative rock. Although Parker Communications sold the station back in the early 1990s, today's Cities 97 is still similar to the version that debuted in the fall of 1983, though the influence of its current owner can be felt heavily. Until recently, the station carried the syndicated talk show "Loveline", which had gotten strong ratings on the former KEGE. This was considered to be an odd move, since "Loveline" is geared toward a much younger demographic than KTCZ's, and conflicted heavily with their "more music" mandate.

On Sunday nights, Cities 97 airs a specialty show featuring local music. Some local music does make its way into fairly regular rotation, but many consider some of the area's public radio stations to be better sources of music by local artists.


On April 25, 2006, Clear Channel announced that KTCZ's HD2 subchannel will be "Studio HD," featuring original acoustic rock and chill music.


External links



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