|City of license||Ottawa, Kansas|
|Broadcast area||Kansas City, MO-KS|
|Branding||95.7 The Vibe|
|Slogan||All The Hits!|
|Frequency||95.7 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|First air date||1962 (as KOFO-FM)|
|Format||Contemporary Hit Radio|
|Callsign meaning||K CHannel Z (former brand name)|
|Former callsigns||KOFO-FM (1962-1978)
|Owner||Cumulus Media, Inc.
(CMP Houston-KC, LLC)
|Sister stations||KCFX, KCJK, KCMO-FM/AM, KMJK, K279BI|
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KCHZ (95.7 FM), known as "95.7 The Vibe", is a Contemporary Hit Radio radio station serving the Kansas City metropolitan area with its city of license being Ottawa, Kansas. The Cumulus Media, Inc. outlet operates at 95.7 MHz with an ERP of 96 kW. Its transmitter is located near Linwood, Kansas, and studios are in Mission, Kansas.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
KCHZ first began as KOFO-FM, an FM simulcast for sister (and Ottawa-licensed) country music station KOFO (1220 AM) in 1962. The station's transmitter was located near Ottawa. In 1978, the station flipped to Top 40/AOR, branded as "96X" with the call letters KKKX. In 1986, the station flipped to easy listening/adult contemporary, branded as "96 HUM" with the KHUM call letters. The station relocated its transmitter to its current site near Linwood and upgraded its power to 100,000 watts, as well as relocating its studios, first to Lawrence, then to Topeka. In 1991, the station went silent. In 1993, the station signed back on as adult contemporary KZTO, "Z96." In January 1994, the station went silent again.
KCHZ began targeting Kansas City as a Modern Adult Contemporary outlet on January 16, 1997. The station was initially owned by Radio 2000, Inc. (founded & owned by "Super" Frank Copsidas), and was called "Channel Z95.7". It had several sister stations, including KHTO (Channel Z104.1 in Springfield, MO). On January 1, 1998, it flipped formats to Top 40/CHR, then shifting to slightly to Top 40/Rhythmic by 1999.
The station was sold to Syncom Radio in 1999. Syncom continued to adjust the station's image, including updating its logo. It once again migrated back to a Top 40/CHR format in 2000, followed by a return to Rhythmic in 2002, only to return to Mainstream by late 2003. Cumulus Broadcasting bought the station in 2003.
By November 2005, and after years of confusing listeners over what direction the station was taking, KCHZ was given a complete update, with a new name, logo and format. The former Z95.7 would finally make Rhythmic Top 40 the official format by changing its moniker and slogan to 95-7 The Vibe, "The Beat Of Kansas City".
KCHZ began stunting with all-Christmas music at Noon on November 1, 2005, and billed itself as "Jingle 95.7". The station jumped the gun a week before KUDL or KCKC would even start broadcasting Christmas music. However, the next day, the station shifted its stunting to a loop of "Swans Splashdown" by Jean-Jacques Perrey. At 5 PM on November 3, "95-7 The Vibe" debuted with The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" being the first song played.
KCHZ started their online streaming on October 18, 2007.
During its tenure as a Rhythmic station, KCHZ aired a few specialty shows, including "The Weekend Top 30 Countdown" with Hollywood Hamilton, as well as "Sunday Night Slow Jams" with R.Dub.
On January 27, 2009, KCHZ shifted the format to include Pop hits and dropped a lot of old school and hip hop music, but still maintained its Rhythmic format somewhat. This is gaining some criticism, as one of Kansas City's most listened to stations has almost completely lost its Rhythmic look and went back to Mainstream, just like before it transitioned to The Vibe in 2005. It is also being criticized for content limits, and for dropping Hollywood Hamilton's countdown and Sunday Night Slow Jams. Despite this, KCHZ continued to report to R&R/Nielsen BDS Rhythmic Airplay panel. This kind of direction has also sparked debate from radio message boards about stations that decided to add certain Pop and Dance tracks but stay within the Rhythmic realm.
On October 8, 2009, KCHZ fully shifted back to a Mainstream Top 40 format (with Kansas City already having KMXV as the existing top 40 station), including rock songs (which they originally left out), making the shift to a pop format complete. This is part of Cumulus' plan to launch Mainstream Top 40 stations in major markets across the country. With the change, morning hosts "Shorty & the Boyz", who hosted mornings since the flip to "The Vibe" in 2005, were let go.
In the latest Arbitron ratings (February 2011), KCHZ is not only beating KMXV with a 6.8 share (compared to Mix's 6.5 share), but also ranking as the #1 ranked station in the market for the first time in the stations entire history. However, it has since moved towards the middle of the ratings, currently ranked at #10.
- 95.7 The Vibe's Website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KCHZ
- Radio-Locator information on KCHZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KCHZ