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KMBZ (AM) logo.png
City of license Kansas City, Missouri
Broadcast area Kansas City, Missouri
Branding Talk 980
Slogan THE Talk Station
Frequency 980 kHz
First air date April 5, 1922 (as WPE)
Format Talk
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 6382
Transmitter coordinates 39°02′17″N 94°36′55″W / 39.03806°N 94.61528°W / 39.03806; -94.61528
Callsign meaning K
Z (to differentiate from KMBC-TV)
Former callsigns WPE (1922-1923)
KLDS (1923-192?)
KFIX (192?-1928)
KMBC (1928-1967)
Affiliations ABC News
Owner Entercom Communications
(Entercom License, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live

KMBZ (980 AM; "Talk 980"), is a personality based talk radio station broadcasting in the Kansas City, Missouri market from its studios and broadcast tower in suburban Mission, Kansas.


KMBZ is the oldest surviving station in Kansas City,[citation needed] first going on the air on April 5, 1922, with the callsign WPE, and the second oldest radio station in the state of Missouri (behind only St. Louis' WEW).

In its history it has been owned by two rival branches of the Latter Day Saint movement although it has no church affiliation now. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS Church- based in Independence, Missouri) bought the station in 1923 and renamed the station KFIX and later KLDS.

In 1928, Midland Broadcasting bought the station and renamed it KMBC. Cook Paint and Varnish Company bought the Midland holdings in 1954. The AM radio and television station operated out of the Lyric Theatre.

In 1961, Cook sold the radio and television stations to Metromedia, who signed on KMBC-FM (later KMBR and KLTH, now KZPT) the next year. In 1967, Metromedia sold both radio stations to Bonneville International but kept the television station. Bonneville is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons based in Salt Lake City). They changed to KMBZ (with "Z" rhyming with "C"). In the 1970s and early 1980s, the station's nickname was "Z-98".

In 1997, Bonneville sold its entire Kansas City cluster, which by then consisted of KMBZ, KLTH, KCMO (AM) and KCMO-FM, to Entercom Communications. KMBZ consistently ranks as the most listened talk radio station in the Kansas City market.

Paul Henning, who created The Beverly Hillbillies, was a writer, actor, disc jockey and newsreader at the station early in his career.[1]

Rush Limbaugh got his start in political commentary on the station in 1983. He continues to be heard on KMBZ in his live time slot and for many years also had an overnight replay heard on the station.

The station now carries Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show along with those of Glenn Beck, as well as local hosts EJ Becker, Ellen Schenk, Jonathan Weir, Dana Wright & Scott Parks and Darla Jaye,[2] and George Noory's Coast to CoastAM, the highest rated overnight radio show.

Though KMBZ was the Kansas City Royals flagship station for some time, their format is currently mostly news and political talk. However, beginning in 2009 the Royals returned to KMBZ, as part of a partnership with KCSP. The station is also the western flagship for the Missouri Tigers radio network, broadcasting football, men's and women's basketball and the "Tiger Talk" coach's show.

In 2009, KMBZ began simulcasting its program on sister station KUDL's HD3 subchannel. On March 24, 2011, Entercom announced that on March 30, KUDL's analog FM broadcasts would become a full-time simulcast of KMBZ as KMBZ-FM. [1] On December 24, 2014, Entercom announced that the KMBZ simulcast will split on January 5, 2015. On that date, KMBZ-AM flipped to "Talk 980", carrying a mostly network lineup with the full Premiere Networks slate, with a local morning show hosted by Darla Jaye.

Former hosts[edit]


  1. ^ "Paul Henning". The Independent (London). April 19, 2005. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "In Brief - June 15, 2005". FMQB. 2005-06-15. Retrieved 2008-01-02. At KMBZ/Kansas City [...] Darla Jaye joins from WVNN/Huntsville for middays 

External links[edit]