KBZU

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KBZU
963nashicon logo.png
City of license Albuquerque, New Mexico
Broadcast area Albuquerque, New Mexico
Branding 96.3 Nash Icon
Frequency 96.3 MHz
First air date November 1954 (as KHFM)
Format Country music
ERP 20,000 watts
HAAT 1,260.0 meters (4,133.9 ft)
Class C
Facility ID 48596
Transmitter coordinates 35°12′44″N 106°26′58″W / 35.21222°N 106.44944°W / 35.21222; -106.44944Coordinates: 35°12′44″N 106°26′58″W / 35.21222°N 106.44944°W / 35.21222; -106.44944
Callsign meaning Jumbled "BUZZ" or "Buzzard"(former branding)
Former callsigns KHFM (1954-2001)
KRIF (4/09/2001-4/16/2001)
Owner Cumulus Media, Inc.
(Radio License Holding CBC, LLC)
Sister stations KDRF, KKOB (AM), KKOB-FM, KMGA, KNML, KRST, KTBL
Webcast Listen Live
Website 963nashicon.com

KBZU (96.3 FM, "96.3 Nash Icon") is a commercial radio station airing a country music format. The station shares the "Nash" brand with current-based country sister station KRST.

"Nash Icon" is a new format developed by Cumulus Media that will be used on numerous Cumulus Media stations across the country as well as some non-Cumulus stations. Described as a "Hot AC for Country", the format focuses on popular country hits from the mid-1980s to early 2000s from the biggest artists of that time (the "Icons") such as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Shania Twain and Alan Jackson along with any of their new material some of which to be released on the new "Nash Icon" record label. Nash Icon plays about 25-40% new material without some current trends such as "Bro-country" heard on current based country stations. A national morning show should launch by the end of the year.[1]

Licensed to Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, the station serves the greater Albuquerque area. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media, Inc., through licensee Radio License Holding CBC, LLC. Its studios are located in Downtown Albuquerque and the transmitter tower is located atop Sandia Crest east of the city.

History[edit]

96.3 launched in November 1954 as the second FM and first commercial FM station in Albuquerque.[2] It was the longtime home of classical music station KHFM for over 46 years. In 2001, Citadel Broadcasting had made an agreement with American General Media to move the format to its current home on 95.5 FM while Citadel would continue to handle advertising for the station. That agreement ended in 2005 and KHFM is now fully operated by American General Media.

96.3 became a classic rock station branded as "The Buzzard" which started in early April 2001. The callsign would change to KBZU. The Buzzard had challenged area rock radio rivals KIOT and KZRR. The station used the slogan which claimed to play "Real Classic Rock," featuring a mix that was somewhat harder than most classic rock stations at the time by avoiding "wimpy" songs, but also played only classic bands and no modern stuff that it dubbed as "weird." That format also included Bob & Tom in the morning and in late 2006 it added Opie and Anthony in the afternoon. Nights with Alice Cooper also aired on The Buzzard at night in the last couple of years. Some local personalities had also been featured as well throughout its run. But over the years the station consistently lagged behind its competitors in the Arbitron ratings. The Buzzard ran until February 12, 2007.

Logo through August 2008

The station was a Talk/Personality format, titled "96.3 The Buzz", from February 12, 2007 until August 2, 2008. The talk format featured Bob & Tom in morning and Opie and Anthony in the afternoon, along with Dennis Miller, Mike O'Meara (before that, Don & Mike), and Tom Leykis. The station also featured a short-lived locally produced program. Citadel Broadcasting also divested KBZU to Last Bastion Station Trust on June 12, 2007, but it was reclaimed by the now-Cumulus Media effective April 30, 2013.

96.3 aired a Spanish language sports talk format broadcasting the national ESPN Deportes Radio network from August 2, 2008 until May 15, 2009. This format generated no Arbitron ratings at all during its nine month run.

On May 22, 2009, KBZU returned to a classic rock music format branded as "96-3 The Mountain" with the slogan "Duke City's Classic Rock". All music and disc jockeys came from a satellite feed of The Classic Rock Experience, which was provided by Citadel Media (now Cumulus Media). There was not any local content, excluding commercials.

On August 15, 2014, at 5 pm, KBZU became one of the first affiliates of the new "Nash Icons" network as 96.3 Nash Icon. KBZU was one of thirteen stations Cumulus had flipped to the new format.[3]

References[edit]

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