|Broadcast area||Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Slogan||Cherry Blossom Station|
|First air date||October 18, 1963|
|Owner||Polynesian Broadcasting, Inc.|
KZOO (1210 AM) is a radio station catering to the Japanese community of Honolulu, Hawaii. The station offers a Japanese Variety and Pop music (aka J-Pop) format and is under ownership of Polynesian Broadcasting, Inc. KZOO also retransmits on Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital channel 888 for the entire state of Hawaii.
KZOO has been broadcasting continuously in Japanese since the station signed on October 18, 1963. It was not the first Japanese-language station in Honolulu (competitor KOHO/1170 signed on in 1959), but it is the only one still on the air today (KOHO changed in 1990).
The station has been owned by Polynesian Broadcasting since its beginning and managed by the Furuya family since 1967, when businessman Noboru Furuya took over KZOO's operations. Furuya's son David and his wife Robyn took over management of the station in the mid-1990s when Furuya's health began to decline. Noboru Furuya died in 2002 at the age of 82; David and Robyn Furuya (now the president and vice-president, respectively, of Polynesian Broadcasting) continue to run KZOO today.
Many of KZOO's current on-air staff have been with the station for decades, including Keiko Ura, host of an Okinawan language show on Sundays, who joined the station in early 1964; Maki Norris, one of the hosts of a popular daily talk show called "Moshi-Moshi Time," who has worked at KZOO since 1976; and Harumi "Danny" Oshita.
KZOO has a history of sponsoring Japanese speech (Nihongo Hanashikata Taikai, started by announcer Keiko Ura in 1965) and nodojiman and karaoke song contests in Honolulu, with winners going on to represent Hawaii at contests in Japan. The station's broadcast day also includes simulcasts of programs from Japan as well as local talk and advice shows on a variety of topics, from health to the law.
When KZOO was knocked off the air by the 2006 Hawaii earthquake, the station's assistant general manager, Kaoru Ekimoto, contacted English-language adult contemporary music station KSSK, who put her on the air with disaster relief information in Japanese; the station also set up a hotline to answer listener questions. The station has since added a backup power source for its transmitter.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KZOO
- Radio-Locator Information on KZOO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KZOO
- KZOO celebrates 45 years of serving Hawaii community - from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
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