|City of license||Empire, Louisiana|
|Broadcast area||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|First air date||2001 (as KNOU)|
|HAAT||259 meters (850 feet)|
|Former callsigns||KBIL (1998-2001, CP)
|Owner||Michael A. Costello
(M.A.C. Broadcasting, LLC)
This station received its original construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission on May 15, 1998. The new station, intended for Grand Isle, Louisiana, was assigned the call letters KBIL by the FCC on July 17, 1998.
The station signed on the air as a Rhythmic Contemporary Hit music formatted station branded as "U104.5" on June 5, 2001 using the call sign KNOU. KNOU had evolved to an urban contemporary/hip hop music format by December 2001.
JP Broadcasting, LLC agreed in July 2002 to sell KNOU to On Top Communications of Louisiana, LLC for a reported $8.5 million. The deal was approved by the FCC on September 6, 2002, and the transfer was completed on December 6, 2002.
Hurricane Katrina and silence
In September 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, KNOU applied to the FCC for permission to temporarily broadcast from another site and tower. They noted in their application that the current city of license and the broadcast tower were "destroyed" and that it would be "many months" before a new tower could be constructed. The FCC twice denied their request to continue operations at the temporary site.
In January 2006, On Top Communications of Louisiana's filed for bankruptcy, and the license was transferred to the debtor in possession handling the bankruptcy proceedings.
On February 6, 2006, the FCC granted KNOU a special temporary authority to broadcast from a facility near Diamond, Louisiana. On March 23, 2006, the station fell silent again. Although no longer broadcasting, Hot 104.5 maintained an internet radio stream in order to "keep New Orleans' hip-hop community united."
Hurricane Gustav and silence
On August 29, 2008, KNOU went off the air due to the approach of Hurricane Gustav. When Gustav made landfall on September 1, 2008, KNOU's temporary site at Buras, Louisiana, was hit with storm surge and rain which damaged the facilities and flooded the studio facilities trailer with roughly five feet of water. The equipment and transmitter were deemed a total loss so on September 24, 2008, KNOU filed for a new "remain silent" authority from the FCC.
On October 6, 2008, the Debtor-In-Possession reached an agreement to transfer the license and equipment leases for KNOU to Power Broadcasting, LLC. According to the Asset Purchase agreement filed with the FCC, Power Broadcasting had a secured loan for $8 million that it presented to the bankruptcy court and was awarded the station's assets, subject to FCC approval. The transfer was completed on December 1, 2008..
On June 30, 2011, KNOU returned to the air with a classic rock format.
Effective August 15, 2012, KNOU was sold to Michael A. Costello's M.A.C. Broadcasting, LLC for $350,000. Coincident with the consummation of the sale, the station's call sign was changed to the current KWMZ-FM. On September 10, 2012 KWMZ-FM went silent.
On February 5, 2013 KWMZ-FM returned to the air with an 80's hits format as "Z104.5". The station uses the correct call letters in its legal ID, but otherwise drops the K in its calls, referring to itself as "WMZ-FM".
- "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database.
- "Application Search Details (BPH-19971106MB)". FCC Media Bureau. May 15, 1998.
- "Changing Hands - January 21, 2002". Broadcasting & Cable. January 21, 2002.
- "Application Search Details (BALH-20020725AAW)". FCC Media Bureau. December 6, 2002.
- Hall, Dana (March 28, 2003). "Back In The PD Seat, Lamonda Williams Sets A Course For KNOU". Airplay Monitors.
- "Application Search Details (BSTA-20050919ABN)". FCC Media Bureau. September 27, 2005.
- "Application Search Details (BSTA-20060201AOD)". FCC Media Bureau. February 6, 2006.
- "Application Search Details (BLSTA-20060321AEV)". FCC Media Bureau. March 23, 2006.
- "Application Search Details (BLSTA-20080923AAR)". FCC Media Bureau. September 24, 2008.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KWMZ
- Radio-Locator information on KWMZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KWMZ