WKZG

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For the Key West, Florida radio station that held the call sign WKZG at 88.3 FM from 2009 to 2012, see WYBX.
WKZG
City of license Seymour, Wisconsin
Broadcast area Green Bay-Appleton
Branding KZ Radio
Frequency 104.3 FM MHz
Translator(s) 103.5 W278AU (Green Bay)
Repeaters 92.9 WKZY (Chilton)
First air date 1998 (as WECB)
Format 80s/90s-based Adult Hits
ERP 5,600 watts
HAAT 104 meters
Class A
Facility ID 7120
Callsign meaning The KZ branding + Green Bay
Former callsigns WECB (1993–2009)
WCHK-FM (2009-2012)
Owner Woodward Communications, Inc.
Sister stations WAPL, WHBY, WKSZ, WKZY, WSCO, WZOR
Webcast Listen Live!
Website KZ1043.com

WKZG (104.3 FM) is a radio station licensed to Seymour, Wisconsin and serving the Fox Cities and Northeast Wisconsin. Owned and operated by Woodward Communications, WKZG airs an 80s/90s based adult hits format. The station can also be heard on two other area signals where its 104.3 signal can be hard to reach: W278AU (103.5 FM), which covers Green Bay (including its downtown area), and WKZY (92.9 FM) which covers the Southern portion of the Fox Valley, including Oshkosh and Fond du Lac.

History[edit]

The station launched in the spring of 1998 as WECB under the ownership of Earl Brooker and his wife, Carol (the namesakes of the call letters). Earl Brooker was a local businessman, politician, and long-time Fox Cities radio personality (he worked the 5:30–9:00 morning shift on WECB). Under the Brookers' ownership, WECB featured a 1970s music format, and also featured broadcasts of Green Bay Gamblers hockey and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball.

Logo as "104.3 The Breeze"

On April 1, 2003, the Brookers sold WECB to Dubuque, Iowa-based Woodward Communications, with the station joining Woodward's Northeast Wisconsin radio cluster (see Infobox). By July 2003, Woodward would change WECB's format to Soft Adult Contemporary as "104.3 The Breeze, Northeast Wisconsin's Lite Rock". "The Breeze" featured a schedule that included the John Tesh Radio Show (Monday–Saturday mornings), as well as all-Christmas music annually during November and December.

Logo as "Chuck FM" (2009-2012)

In December 2009, WECB continued its holiday music past Christmas, with the promise that "one more gift" would be presented at 3 PM on December 31; along with that announcement, cryptic advertisements asking "Hey! Where's Chuck?" appeared in local newspapers.[1] At 3 PM on December 31 (after Gayla Peevey's "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" finished playing), WECB became WCHK-FM and introduced a new adult hits format under the branding of "Chuck FM", with The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" the first song being played.[2] "Chuck FM" was patterned after the Jack FM-style of adult hits stations, in that the music playlist was generally wide-ranging, hard-edged voiceover liners were used in lieu of DJs, and the on-air presentation was irreverent; such irreverence was highlighted by WCHK's decision to "play nothing" but dead air during the Green Bay Packers' appearance in Super Bowl XLV in February 2011.[3]

KZ 104.3 logo before simulcast on WKZY started

On November 1, 2012, "Chuck FM" was dropped from WCHK, and the station began playing round-the-clock Christmas music (as "The Christmas Station"), a move not made by WCHK or any other Green Bay/Appleton radio station during the holiday season since the days leading up to "Chuck FM's" debut at the end of 2009. The all-Christmas stunting ended at midnight on the morning of December 26, when the station (which changed its call sign to WKZG on November 9) flipped to "KZ104.3", which features adult hits from the 1980s and 1990s and a core artist list that includes artists such as George Michael, Bon Jovi, and Madonna (the later artist's "Vogue" was the first song played).[4] Unlike "Chuck FM's" DJ-free format, "KZ104.3" features on-air personalities, including Mario Lopez's national show at nights and local staff including the husband-and-wife team of Doug Erickson and Mary Love, who host WKZG's morning shift after moving over from the morning slot at Top 40 sister station WKSZ.[5]

On September 16, 2013, "KZ104.3" began simulcasting on its Chilton-licensed sister station WKZY (92.9 FM), which as WXMM had aired a contemporary country music format since its September 2011 launch. The simulcast move allows "KZ104.3" to extend its reach to better cover the Southern Fox Valley, including the cities of Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, where its main 104.3 signal may be hard to reach. With the simulcast, 104.3 changed its name slightly to "KZ Radio" in early 2014.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WECB to become WCHK". wisconsinbroadcasting.com. December 31, 2009. 
  2. ^ From northpine.com: the 31 December 2009 launch of "Chuck FM"
  3. ^ "Green Bay Packers fan "Chuck FM" will play "nothing during the game" Sunday". Radio-Info.com. 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  4. ^ "Format Changes". Your Midwest Media. 26 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "KZ104.3 Debuts In Green Bay," from Radio Insight (original report 11/1/2012, updated December 26, 2012
  6. ^ "KZ 104.3 Expands to Appleton," from RadioInsight, September 16, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°31′26″N 88°19′55″W / 44.524°N 88.332°W / 44.524; -88.332