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City of license Eugene, Oregon
Broadcast area Eugene-Springfield, Oregon
Branding 96.1 KZEL
Slogan "Oregon's Quality Rock"
Frequency 96.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1969
Format Classic rock/AAA
ERP 100,000 watts (horiz)
43,000 watts (vert)
HAAT 333 meters
Class C
Facility ID 49822
Callsign meaning George ZELlner, station founder[1]
Owner Cumulus Media
Sister stations KUJZ, KNRQ, KEHK, KUGN, KSCR
Webcast Listen Live

KZEL-FM (96.1 FM) is a commercial radio station in Eugene, Oregon. The station airs a classic rock/adult album alternative hybrid music format.[2]



KZEL-FM programming is also carried on a series of broadcast translator stations to extend or improve the coverage area of the station.

Callsign MHz City of license Power
Additional Information
K243BG 96.5 FM Corvallis, Oregon 250 D FCC
K244DL 96.7 FM Cottage Grove, Oregon 250 D FCC
K271BL 102.1 FM Roseburg, Oregon 62 D FCC
K276IH 103.1 FM Florence, Oregon 22 D FCC


KZEL-FM was founded and funded in 1969 by George "Tirebiter" Zellner. KZEL's glory days were under the leadership of Jay West in the 1960s and 1970s. The format was free form, the location was Glenwood, just outside of Springfield, Oregon, and the master of free form radio was John Napier. Any given moment, you could always count on Napier to arc off onto a "rant" about how 'I think someone's watching me...." and then drift off and segue into something by Gil Scot-Heron or maybe a little, Little Feat. Other DJs during the heyday included Gary 'The Wasted Potato' Palmatier, Stan 'Harry 'Til 6' Garrett, Michael Waggoner, Sleepy John (Cuthbertson),JET, Tom Krumm, Chris Kovarik ,Magic Mike, Peyton Mays...Anyone remember "Jaimie"?... KZEL was known for doing basically, whatever it wanted to do....Remember the time the legendary FIRESIGN THEATRE took over the afternoon drive news and did it all impromptu? Or how about those live concert broadcasts from "The Place" (could you believe you heard PATTI SMITH fact Patti recorded those shows, and has released the KZEL show on several b-sides. Additionally, KZEL distinguished itself with its alternative news presence with the long-form story format of "Daybreak" in the morning and "News & Information" in the afternoon. Notable news anchors included Melinda Coates, Rosemary Reed, Cal Turlock (real name Phillip Johnson) and Bryce Zabel.

KZEL-FM is currently owned by Cumulus Broadcasting, a major owner of radio stations across the country. In Spring 2006, the program director, Mark Raney, locked himself in the station's control room for ten days in protest of the station's management's decision to scrap KZEL's classic rock format and replace it with a country station. Raney, with support of its listeners, was able to persuade the station's management to keep KZEL and its classic rock roots.

KZEL-FM has been slowly evolving from a classic rock format into an adult album alternative music format, adding music like Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jack Johnson to the playlist.


  • Mark Raney & John Frederick, mornings
  • Emma, mid-days
  • C.Y.D., afternoons
  • Ray Wilson weekends


  1. ^ Nelson, Bob (June 2, 2009). "Call Letter Origins". 238. The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved June 21, 2009.  
  2. ^ "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved June 21, 2009.  

External links



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