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City Hamilton, Montana
Broadcast area Missoula, Montana
Branding The Blaze
Slogan "Missoula's Rock Station"
Frequency 96.3 (MHz)
First air date 2000
Format Mainstream Rock
ERP 53,000 watts
HAAT 637 meters
Class C
Facility ID 4700
Transmitter coordinates 46°48′8″N 113°28′51″W / 46.80222°N 113.48083°W / 46.80222; -113.48083
Owner Townsquare Media
(Townsquare Media Missoula License, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live
Website 963theblaze.com

KBAZ (96.3 FM, "The Blaze") is a commercial radio station in Hamilton, Montana, broadcasting to the Missoula, Montana, area. KBAZ airs a mainstream rock music format.


KBAZ started out as KBMG, a top 40/AOR hybrid originally licensed to Hamilton, Montana. The station increased its power to provide rimshot coverage of the Missoula area in the wake of its top 40 station XT93 flipping to Country music. It provided some coverage although the station met some interference from a station with the same frequency in Kalispell. In 2000, the station moved briefly to its present frequency before a period of stunting. The blaze was first heard in Missoula on March 27, 2000. At that time, it was an alternative station playing a mix of today's rock with 90s grunge. Over the first half of the 2000s it added harder titles and took shots at KZOQ, Missoula's other rock station, for playing too much old music and proclaiming themselves as the future of Missoula radio. Over the next ten years, "The Blaze" would slowly segue from an alternative to an active rock station. From day one blaze's mission was to not be confined to a format. Whether classified a rock or alternative format the Blaze proclaimed to be the hardest rocking radio station in Montana. For a long time the Blaze did not play any titles older than 1990. It all changed in the wake of their acquisition by Townsquare Media from Clear Channel. In the past year,[when?] Townsquare has changed their alternative stations into active rock, The Blaze being one of them. It was also at this time The Blaze along with The other radio stations in The Missoula cluster, started streaming online and tried to be more interactive with The listener. "The Blaze" is still a current's based rock station but occasionally plays classic AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, and Metallica. Most of the older selection involves classic metal and hard rock. The blaze has been through a number of local morning shows and at one time aired Mancow. They now air Free Beer & Hot Wings and are part of Townsquare's Loudwire Network of active rock radio. More recently town square has been readding Alternative radio stations to its portfolio. As of February cluster mate 101.5 KAMM will pick up the Alternative format the Blaze started out with. More recently town square has changed their active rock stations to be more compatible with its Ultimate classic rock brand.


In October 2007, a deal was reached for KBAZ to be acquired by GAP Broadcasting II LLC ( from Clear Channel Communications as part of a 57 station deal with a total reported sale price of $74.78 million.[1] What eventually became GapWest Broadcasting was folded into Townsquare Media on August 13, 2010.[2]


  1. ^ "Deals". Broadcasting & Cable. 2006-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Townsquare Media completes roll-up of GAP". Radio Business Report. August 13, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 

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