KENZ

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For the German village, see Kenz-Küstrow.
KENZ
City of license Ogden, Utah
Broadcast area Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo
Branding Trax 101.9
Slogan Salt Lake City's Variety Hits Station
Frequency 101.9 MHz
First air date 1984-01-11 (as KKAT)
1996-01-01 (as KENZ)
Format Variety Hits
ERP 25,000 watts
HAAT 1,140 meters (3,740 ft)
Class C
Facility ID 2444
Transmitter coordinates 40°39′34″N 112°12′5″W / 40.65944°N 112.20139°W / 40.65944; -112.20139
Former callsigns KKAT (1984-2004)
KPQP (2004-2005)
Owner Cumulus Media
Sister stations KBEE, KBER, KFNZ, KHTB, KJQS, KKAT, KUBL
Webcast Listen Live
Website trax1019.com

KENZ (101.9 FM, "Trax 101.9") is a Salt Lake City, Utah-based radio station. Owned by Cumulus Media, the station airs a variety hits format. The station's studios are located in South Salt Lake (behind the I-15/I-80 interchange) and its transmitter site is located southwest of the city on Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains.

History[edit]

What is now KENZ first started as "107.5 The End" January 1, 1996 with R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", and aired an adult album alternative format. Originally owned by The Slaymaker Group dba Monarch Broadcasting, the station was sold to Citadel Broadcasting in 1998. After a 14-year run, on April 21, 2010, KENZ flipped formats to a 90's Hits format, before reverting to "The End" and alternative music in December of that year.

Much of the original staff came from now cross town rival KXRK. Jimmy Chunga, a weekender and Producer of The Radio from Hell Show at X96 was hired to lead the morning show. Chunga first did the show solo, then was teamed up for a short time with a female co-host. He was joined by Marcus soon afterward. Andrea was hired away from X96 to work the midday shift. Biff Raff returned to the Salt Lake market after spending time in Austin, TX and Denver, CO to be the program director. He also did an afternoon on-air shift. Dom Casual was the station's first Music Director and afternoon drive jock. Barb Thomas worked the night shift. Mister West left X96 as well and brought the "Saturday Night Cold Case" to the station. Norm Church also left X96 to work on-air, as well as take over marketing responsibilities for the station.

In 1999, "Chunga and Marcus" hosted a contest titled "The Cruise of Dreams," after which Marcus did not return to the show. Shortly after the departure of Marcus, Mister West joined the morning show as Chunga's partner. This was a role reversal of sorts as Chunga had been West's partner on the "Saturday Night Cold Case," a call-in request show during West's weekend shift dating back to their days at X96.

At the end of 2005, Citadel Broadcasting moved the station from the 107.5 MHz frequency to the stronger and farther reaching 101.9 MHz frequency. Even though they were no longer at the "end" of the dial, they retained the name.[1]

In 2006, Bruce Jones ("Biff Raff"), the End's first and only Program Director at the time, announced he would be leaving KENZ and radio in general. Mike Peer, of WXRK in New York, was selected at the end of 2006 to become the new Program Director of KENZ. Peer had actually worked for Bruce Jones in Austin, Texas before Jones headed to Denver and then returned to Utah to start the End.[2]

On December 6, 2007, Chunga announced that Mister West had left the station and the Chunga and Mister show. Chunga explained that both his and Mister's contracts were up this year and he had planned to retire at the end of the year. Citadel Broadcasting gave him a good deal and he chose to stay. Citadel management decided not to renew Mister's contract. However, according to the February 22, 2008, edition of the Deseret Morning News, Mister claims that Chunga demanded Mister be fired (as part of Chunga's own contract negotiation).[3]

On November 18, 2008, during the Tuesday CD Review, it was announced that the Parker Show would air for the final time on November 26. Parker later said that the only reason was budget cuts and that he feels no resentment towards management for the decision. Dallan, as part of the Parker Show, was laid off at the same time.[4]

On January 1, 2010, Chelsea Earlewine announced on her Facebook page that she was moving to California.

On April 21, 2010, KENZ changed format and adopted a jockless "Gen X" format that focused largely on ‘90s music[5] and let go of their on-air staff, with the exception of Cort Johnson, who ran all station promotions and acted as the station's sole on-air personality. This was an incredibly unpopular change, as ratings for the station tanked. On December 21, 2010, the station reverted back to the more familiar "101-9 The End", returning to an Alternative format, with a music focused morning show, "The Morning Alternative with Cort."

On July 5, 2011, Chunga returned to KENZ to join Cort for the "Chunga & Cort" morning show.

On Monday, August 29, 2011, after 11 years at The End, Cort announced that he would be leaving The End and moving to Portland, Oregon. His last show was August 31.

Citadel merged with Cumulus Media on September 16, 2011.[6]

KENZ Morning Shows

  • Chunga & Marcus (1996-1999)
  • Chunga & Mister (1999-2007)
  • Chunga Show with Chelsea and Cort (2007-2009)
  • The Morning Alternative with Cort (2010-2011)
  • Chunga & Cort (2011)
  • Chunga & Tysen (2011-2012)
  • Chunga & Chad (2012-2013)

At 10 AM on August 16, 2013, following their morning show, KENZ began stunting with a sound similar to that of Hypnotoad from Futurama. This was interspired with an announcer saying this message: "Listen today at 12 noon for your new favorite radio station. KENZ Ogden-Salt Lake City." At Noon, after a brief launch package, KENZ flipped to classic hits as "Classic Hits 101.9". The new station focuses on classic rock, mostly from the 1970s.[7] The first song on "Classic Hits" was The Doobie Brothers' Listen to the Music.

On June 20, 2014 at 3 pm KENZ changed their format to variety hits, branded as "Trax 101.9". The last song on Classic Hits 101.9 was, according to the website, Money by Pink Floyd, while the first song on Trax 101.9 was What I Like About You by The Romantics. [8]

Former airstaff[edit]

  • "Tysen" Program Director/Afternoon Drive

Tysen joined the morning show full-time in August 2011 in addition to responsibilities as the station's Promotions guy. Chunga and Tysen were joined by Chad in early 2012. In August 2012, Tysen moved to Afternoons and announced on August 16 that the morning show was officially the "Chunga and Chad Show."

  • Jimmy Chunga (Brett Smith) and Tysen (Tysen Webb) - Morning Show (1996–2010, July 2011 – August 2012): Chunga had been the morning show producer and a weekender at X96 before being offered his own morning show when KENZ was starting up. Chunga did voice over work on the side as well as some acting ("The Singles Ward"). Chunga is an older brother to Jon Smith.
  • Molly Norman joined The End air staff in 2012 [date?] and contributes to various time slots including afternoons, weekends, evenings, etc.
  • Zack Shutt - Evenings (2012–Present)
  • "Cuzzin Brad" - Mid-days (2011–2012)
  • Mike Summers - Afternoons/Program Director (2011–August 2012)
  • Cort Johnson - Morning Show Host/Assistant Program Director (2010–2011), Morning Show Co-Host, Executive Producer (2005–2010), Promotions/Marketing Director (2001–2007)
  • Grant Ruby - Music Director/Promotions Director/Afternoons (2007–2010): Came to KENZ at the end of the year from KEDJ (The Edge 103.9) in Phoenix, Arizona. Originally took over Midday shift, was promoted to afternoons when Parker left the station at the end of 2008. Added Promotions Director at the end of 2008.
  • "Mister West" (Brian West) - Morning Show co-host (1999–2007)/ Weekender (1996–1999): A weekender at X96 and then at The End, West had done a weekly request show with Chunga before being asked to replace Marcus in 1999. He left the show in 2007 after management chose not to renew his contract.
  • "Producer Casey" (Casey Scott) - Morning Show Producer (1998–2006): Currently working in real estate, and as a Gonzo reporter on KUTV Channel 2's morning show.
  • "Announcer Boy" (Pete May) - Production (1996–2004): Sassy on-air comic foil to Chunga. Now Creative Director for Simmons Media/Salt Lake City
  • "Biff Raff" (Bruce Jones) - Program Director/Afternoons (1996–2006): Program Director and afternoon jock. PD for KBER 101 as well as The End. Jones announced his retirement in August 2006.
  • Dom Casual - Music Director/Afternoons (1996–1999): Had been part of the original X96 morning show with Bill Allred. Left The End to PD a station in Spokane, Washington. Once there he hired Kari Bushman who had been doing weekend shifts at X96. Returned to the Salt Lake market to work at the new incarnation of KJQ.
  • Andrea - Music Director/Middays (1996–2000): Another former X96 jock. Hosted the weekly advice call-in show "Bitch & Moan" with various co-hosts. She left KENZ after landing her own morning show in Pennsylvania. Returned to Salt Lake and worked for a time at the new KJQN.
  • Barb Thomas - (1996–2002) Hired as part of the original staff in 1996 working Nights. In 1999 when Biff Raff stopped doing an on-air show in the midday, she was shifted to afternoons until she was laid off due to budget cutbacks in 2002.
  • Kari Bushman - Music Director/Middays (2000–2007): Had been a weekender at X96 before taking a job in Spokane, Washington working for Dom Casual. Returned to Salt Lake to take the midday shift vacated by Andrea. Kari resigned from KENZ in 2007 due to a conflict with new management. In 2008 Kari Bushman joined fellow former KENZ staffer Jon Smith as a morning show co host on Sunny 106 in St. George, Utah.
  • "Norm Church," a.k.a. "Normon Church" (Brad Davis) - Promotions & Marketing Director, Morning Show Man-on-the-Street, Weekender (1996–1997)
  • "Sticker Boy" (Tyler Ware) - Promotions, Man-on-the-Street (1996–1997)
  • "Little Ricky" (Rick Pollock) - Promotions & Marketing Director, Morning Show Man-on-the-Street (1997–2001)
  • Jon Smith - Weekender/Nights (1999–2004): After weekends and nights at KENZ did afternoon drive at KJQN. Jon left the Salt Lake City market in 2005 to program KPLD 94.3 The Planet (alternative) in St. George, Utah. Jon Smith returned to Salt Lake City in 2013 and is now middays on X96.
  • Mike Lindsay - Weekender/Nights (1997–2002):
  • Vince Klortho - Weekender (1996–2003):
  • Chris Howey - Weekender (1999–2000):
  • Jay Johnson - Weekender (2000–2007):
  • Marcus - Morning Show co-host (1996–1999): Chunga's first co-host. Left amid accusations of sexual misconduct on a cruise sponsored by the radio station; Marcus denied the accusations and filed a defamation lawsuit against Chunga, Little Ricky (Rick Pollock), Biff Raff (Bruce Jones) and Citadel Broadcasting. He was later a member of the morning show on Star 102.7 and now works for 94.9 Z-Rock.[9]
  • Parker (Mike Peer) - Program Director/Afternoons (2007–2008): Came to KENZ in January from WXRK (K-Rock) in New York to replace Biff Raff.
  • Dallan - Afternoon co-host, End Zone Producer, and on-air Mix Engineer. (2005–2008)
  • Chelsea - Morning Show Co-Host (2005–2009), Traffic (2003–2009)
  • Randy Jetsen - Nights (2007–2008)
  • "Zeek" - Weekender/Overnights (2006-2008)
  • "Cellular Bagel Guy" (Rob Hill) - Promotions & Marketing Director (1996): Delivered bagels to the masses live each morning.
  • "Mike The Janitor" (Mike Millen) - Weekender (2012) Had also previously worked on the 101.9 FM frequency (prior to KENZ FM being assigned the signal) under Citadel Communications doing mornings at the then KPQP FM (known as 101.9 Pop FM - Utah's Pop Music Channel). He joined with Citadel alumni and production guru, Mike Stalker and Mike Stalker's wife, Tiffany Stalker, a former Miss Utah. Together, the trio were called "The Morning Pop Squad with Mike, Tiffany & The Janitor".

[edit]

KENZ (Classic Hits 101.9) logo.png

References[edit]

External links[edit]