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KIOZ Rock 1053 logo.png
CitySan Diego, California
Broadcast areaGreater San Diego
BrandingRock 105-3
SloganSan Diego's Rock Station
Frequency105.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Repeater(s)105.3 KIOZ-FM1 (San Diego)
First air date1954 (as KSON-FM)
FormatHD1: Mainstream rock
HD2: ALT Rock
"ALT 105.3 HD2"
ERP26,000 watts
10 watts= KIOZ-FM1
HAAT210 meters
-68 meters= KIOZ-FM1
Facility ID13504
Callsign meaningIOZ looks like the number 102 (original frequency was 102.1, now KLVJ)
Former callsignsKSON-FM (1955-1957)
KFAY (July–September 1957)
KDFR (September 1957-1958)
KITT (1958-1981)
KCBQ-FM (1981-1996)
OwneriHeartMedia, Inc.
(Citicasters Licenses, Inc.)
WebcastListen Live
Listen Live (HD2)

KIOZ (105.3 MHz, "Rock 105.3") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to San Diego, California. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and broadcasts an Mainstream rock music format. KIOZ's studios are located in San Diego's Serra Mesa neighborhood on the northeast side, and the transmitter is located in La Jolla.


Early years[edit]

105.3 went on the air in 1954 as KSON-FM, co-owned with KSON (AM). It broadcast initially on 101.5 MHz and moved to 104.7 by the end of 1954. It changed call letters twice in 1957; the second call sign, KDFR, reflected its ownership in Dorothy and C. Fredric Rabell.

In March 1958, the newly renamed KITT, a beautiful music-formatted station, began broadcasting on 105.3 MHz. The transmitter was located in downtown San Diego atop the Bank of America building. The station struggled financially for many years; the station was perpetually for sale, at one point for as low as $100,000.

KCBQ-FM (1981-1996)[edit]

In 1981, KITT was bought by KCBQ and began simulcasting its new AM counterpart as KCBQ-FM. The station changed formats many times. First, following the end of the simulcast, KCBQ-FM signed on as "KCBQ Country" to compete with KSON. When that effort failed, it became "The Eagle", another flop.

KCBQ-FM found success as an oldies station. Owner Compass Media proceeded to rehire former program director Rich Brother Robbin, who adjusted the format to "Modern Oldies". In October 1995, Compass sold six stations, including KCBQ-AM-FM, to Par Broadcasting for $68 million.[1]

KIOZ - "Rock 105.3" (1996-present)[edit]

On April 1, 1996 at midnight, KCBQ swapped frequencies with KIOZ. KIOZ moved its call letters and active rock format from 102.1 (IOZ resembles the number 102) to 105.3 FM. Meanwhile, the KCBQ call sign was dropped in favor of a new identity on 102.1 FM: KXST, for "Sets FM", with an adult album alternative (AAA) format.[2][3] In October 1996, just one year after purchasing KIOZ, Par Broadcasting sold its four-station San Diego cluster to Jacor Communications for $72 million, part of a complex four-way swap of stations throughout California.[4]

The new "Rock 105.3" thrived under Jacor. KIOZ aired the syndicated Howard Stern weekday morning after it was pulled from Mexican radio station XETRA-FM, Shannon Leader was on middays, B.C. and Woody during afternoon drive, Mikey Esparza (later of The Mikey Show) evenings, and Mark The Shark in the overnights. It also had controversial moments, such as the "head up your ass" billboard of the late 1990s.

In 2004, The Mikey Show replaced Howard Stern on the KIOZ lineup. This change resulted from Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), which purchased Jacor, canceling Stern's morning show from the six Clear Channel-owned stations that carried it, owing to the "Nipplegate" incident at Super Bowl XXXVIII. (Stern would move to KPLN that summer, then ultimately off terrestrial radio altogether — and thus outside Federal Communications Commission (FCC) indecency regulation — when he moved to Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006.) The Mikey Show itself left KIOZ in 2010 when Esparza moved to KBZT.[5]

From 2005 until the team's relocation after the 2016 NFL season, KIOZ was the flagship station of the San Diego Chargers football team. Staffing the microphones for pre-game shows were Eddie "The Oracle" Pappani (from KIOZ morning drive program The Show), and former NFL players Lew Bush and Jim Laslavic of San Diego's KNSD.


  1. ^ "No Fish Story: Dodge's ARS Lands A $70 Million Marlin" (PDF). Radio and Records. October 27, 1995. p. 6. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Rumbles" (PDF). Radio and Records. April 5, 1996. p. 24. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Alt-rock radio station KPRI-FM sold". San Diego Union-Tribune. Tribune Publishing. September 28, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Van Slooten, Heather (October 25, 1996). "San Diego And Sacramento: Radio's Latest Swap Cities" (PDF). Radio and Records. p. 1. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "KBZT Hires The Mikey Show For Mornings". All Access Music Group. January 12, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2018.

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