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1280 The Zone logo.png
CitySalt Lake City, Utah
Broadcast areaSalt Lake City metropolitan area
Frequency1280 kHz
Branding1280 The Zone
SloganThe Sports Leader
AffiliationsFox Sports Radio
Premiere Radio Networks
Utah Jazz Radio Network
Las Vegas Raiders Radio Network
San Francisco 49ers Radio Network
OwnerLarry H. Miller Communications Corporation
First air date
February 1945 (as KNAK)
Former call signs
KNAK (1945-1976)
KWMS (1976-1982)
KDYL (1982-2001)
Call sign meaning
K ZoNe Sports
Technical information
Facility ID60458
Power50,000 watts days
670 watts nights
Transmitter coordinates
40°51′7″N 111°58′4″W / 40.85194°N 111.96778°W / 40.85194; -111.96778
Repeater(s)97.5 KZNS-FM (Coalville)
WebcastListen Live
The radio towers for KZNS, north of the Salt Lake City International Airport

KZNS (1280 kHz The Zone) is a commercial AM radio station in Salt Lake City. It airs a Sports talk radio format and is owned by the Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation.

Programming is simulcast on co-owned KZNS-FM 97.5, licensed to Coalville, Utah. On weekdays, KZNS-AM-FM have local hosts discussing Salt Lake City and national sports. Nights and weekends, programming is supplied by Fox Sports Radio and Premiere Radio Networks. KZNS-AM-FM are the flagship radio stations for the Utah Jazz basketball team. (The Jazz had been co-owned with KZNS. Larry H. Miller's widow, Gail, is still on the Jazz board of directors.)

KZNS's transmitter is near the Jordan River in North Salt Lake.[1] It is a Class B radio station, running 50,000 watts by day, the maximum power for commercial AM radio stations in the U.S. But at night, to protect other stations on 1280 AM, it drops power to just 670 watts. It uses a directional antenna at all times.



The station first signed on the air in February, 1945, and held the call sign KNAK.[2] The station was owned by the Granite District Radio Broadcasting Company with studios in the Continental Bank Building on South Temple at Main Street.[3]

KNAK first broadcast on 1400 kHz at only 250 watts. By this time, KSL was powered at 50,000 watts. KNAK was not associated with any of the big radio networks. Salt Lake City had four other radio stations, network affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC and the Mutual Broadcasting System. In the 1950s, KNAK moved to 1280 kHz, accompanied by an increase in power to 5,000 watts by day, 500 watts at night.


On January 16, 1976, the station's call sign was changed to KWMS.[2] As KWMS, the station aired an all-news format.[4] It was an affiliate of NBC Radio's "News and Information Service" (NIS), a 24 hour all-news network.[5]

NIS was discontinued in 1977. KWMS began doing a local version of the all-news format using its own anchors and the services of the Mutual Broadcasting System.


On July 21, 1982, the station's call letters switched to KDYL.[6] In the early and mid 1980s, KDYL aired an all-news format.[7][8][9] By 1986, the station had begun airing the "Music of Your Life" adult standards format, featuring big band music and adult pop songs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.[10][11][12] The station continued airing this format until June 27, 2000.[13]

On June 27, 2000, the station switched to a talk radio format.[13] It primarily carried conservative talk programming.[14] Syndicated shows hosted by Michael Savage and Michael Medved appeared, along with "Imus in the Morning" hosted by Don Imus.[14]


In 2001, the station was acquired by the Simmons Media Group, which also owned popular adult contemporary station 100.3 KSFI. On November 12, 2001, KDYL's call sign was changed to KZNS.[6] That same day, Simmons Media changed the format of the station, airing CNN Headline News in the daytime and sports talk in the afternoon and evening.[14] Soon thereafter, sports talk programming occupied the station's entire schedule, calling itself "The Zone."[15]

When Simmons acquired the station, the KDYL call letters were assigned to a Tooele, Utah, station, then at 990 kHz, and the owner of that station, then Thomas Mathis, was compensated to release the KDYL call letters, changing the call sign of his station to KTLE. Prior to the Tooele station having the call sign of KDYL, those call letters were assigned to the 1320 kHz Salt Lake City station, now known as KNIT. Simmons wanted to call this station KDYL because those call letters had been in use for a long time in the Salt Lake City radio market.

As of February 1, 2011, KZNS' "The Zone" sports talk programming also began to be heard on co-owned KZNS-FM 97.5 licensed to Coalville, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb. Some time later, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed KZNS to increase its power to 50,000 watts by day and 670 watts at night.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b History Cards for KZNS, Accessed September 13, 2015
  3. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1946 page 180
  4. ^ Bob Hamilton, "Salt Lake City, Utah", Radio Quarterly Report '76, Jan. 1-June 30, 1976. p. 386. Accessed September 13, 2015
  5. ^ Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 page C-215
  6. ^ a b Call Sign History, Accessed September 13, 2015
  7. ^ "Fall '82 Ratings Reports for the Top 50 Markets", Radio & Records, April 1983. p. 124. Accessed September 9, 2015
  8. ^ "Across the Dial", Broadcasting Publications, (1983) p. 107. Accessed September 9, 2015
  9. ^ "Ratings Report", Radio & Records, April 1985. p. 123. Accessed September 9, 2015
  10. ^ "Arbitron Winter '86 Advances", Radio & Records, Issue Number 634, May 9, 1986. p. 7. Accessed September 9, 2015
  11. ^ "Radio Logs", Deseret News, January 26, 1986. p. 45. Accessed September 9, 2015
  12. ^ Lynn Arave, "AM Radio. When was the last time you listened to it?", Deseret News, February 10, 1989. Accessed September 9, 2015
  13. ^ a b "KDYL switches to all-talk format", Deseret News, June 27, 2000. Accessed September 8, 2015
  14. ^ a b c Renzhofer, Martin (November 14, 2001). "Salt Lake City AM Talk-Radio Station Changes Format and Call Letters". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2015 – via Highbeam Research.
  15. ^ Lynn Arave, "Radio dial: KFNZ loses James to KZNS", Deseret News, March 29, 2002. Accessed September 9, 2015

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