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KUZZ/KUZZ-FM
KUZZ logo.png
City of license Bakersfield, California
Slogan "Bakersfield's Best Country Music Station"
Frequency FM: 107.9 MHz
AM: 550 kHz
First air date 1966 (FM 107.9)
1986 (AM 550)
Format Country
Power AM: 5,000 watts
ERP FM: 6,000 watts
HAAT FM: 416 meters
Class FM: B
AM: B
Callsign meaning after "Cousin" Herb Henson, local TV star and station manager prior to Buck Owens' purchase of station [1]
Former callsigns For 107.9 FM:
KKXX-FM (1977-1988)
KZIN-FM(1969-1977)
KBBY-FM(1966-1969)[2]
For AM 550:
KCWR (7/2/90-1/1/97)
KUZZ (1/13/86-7/2/90)[3]
Owner Buck Owens Production Company
(Owens One Company Inc.)
Sister stations KCWR
Webcast Listen Live
Website kuzzradio.com

KUZZ (550 AM) and KUZZ-FM (107.9 FM) are radio stations licensed to serve Bakersfield, California, USA. The stations are owned by Buck Owens Production Company (which is controlled by the estate of the late Buck Owens) and the licenses are held by Owens One Company Inc.[4]

They broadcast a simulcast country music format to the inland central California region.[5] KUZZ's radio signals can extend over 100 miles, from Los Angeles on some nights to Fresno with a little better audio in the north, all away to Barstow in the Mojave Desert and to Santa Maria by the Pacific Ocean.

KUZZ was also the call sign of television station channel 45 which Owens owned at one time. It is now MyNetworkTV affiliate KUVI.

Contents

History

In 1958, KUZZ (then KIKK) first began broadcasting a country music format on 800 AM. In 1960, the station manager, a local country and western star named "Cousin" Herb Henson, changed the calls to KUZZ. In 1966, country music singer Buck Owens purchased the station, but kept the country format. One year later in 1967, Owens also purchased the 107.9 frequency. When Owens purchased the frequency, he did not actually start playing country music. He started it out as an alternative rock station. The calls letters for the new 107.9 would be KBBY-FM.[6]

In 1969 after low ratings at 107.9, Owens flipped the station to country and western and changed the call letters to KZIN-FM. KUZZ and KZIN were sister stations and both played a country format but KZIN differed from KUZZ by playing more new country than KUZZ. In 1977, plans were made to purchase rival country station AM 970 KBIS-AM. During that same time 800 AM was being sold to Four Square Gospel Church which was headquartered in Los Angeles. The plan for 800 AM was to flip the format from country to a Christian format.

In January 1977, 107.9 KZIN-FM flipped formats from country to an album oriented rock station. The first song on the new 107.9 was "New Kid In Town" by the Eagles. The new calls letters were KKXX-FM. At this time, 970 AM KUZZ became a full time 24-hour country station (before then, it had been known as a "daytimer" and would only broadcast during the day and turn off at night). In 1984, Buck Owens increased the power of KUZZ to 5,000 watts and also purchased another AM country radio station, 550 KAFY.[7]

A couple years later, management at the station 970 AM KUZZ and 550 KAFY, decided to exchange dial positions. With music formats on the decline on the AM band, in 1988, after competitors were saying they would bring country music to the FM dial, Owens decided to do that as well. He flipped rock station 107.9 KKXX to now country KUZZ.[8] The logo of the station is an artist impression of Owens' famous red, white, and blue guitar, which he used throughout most of his career.

Programming

The programming on this station features local personalities, most notably the locally-produced morning show Gradowitz in the Morning which includes host Steve Gradowitz and Geoff Emery.[9] Other weekday programming includes Casey McBride on mid-mornings and program director KC Adams on mid-days.[10] KC's show features "KC's Cafe" on during the lunch hour. Chris Conner is on afternoons and Toni Marie is on nights. Toni's show features an all-request show and "The Top 8@8". Overnights feature Blair Garner and the syndicated show After Midnite with Blair Garner. Weekend and fill-in hosts include Cori McGinty, Brent Michaels, Jenna Jackson, Tom Jackson, and Jim Diamond.

References

External links

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