|Broadcast area||Sacramento, California|
|Slogan||Today's Best Hits, without the Rap|
|Frequency||100.5 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
100.5 HD-2: Adult Album Alternative
|First air date||October 1958 (as KEBR)|
|Callsign meaning||K Z ZOne (previous branding)|
|Former callsigns||KEBR (1958-1988)
(CBS Radio Stations Inc.)
|Sister stations||KHTK, KNCI, KYMX, KSFM, KLLC (San Francisco)
part of CBS Corp. cluster with KOVR and KMAX-TV
KZZO (100.5 FM) is a hot adult contemporary radio station in Sacramento, California, known as Now 100 FM. KZZO's transmitter is located in Folsom. It is owned by CBS Radio with studios on Commerce Circle in Sacramento near the American River and the North Sacramento Freeway (Route 160). Co-owned CBS stations in Sacramento are Adult Contemporary 96.1 KYMX, Rhythmic contemporary 102.5 KSFM, country music 105.1 KNCI, sports talk 1140 KHTK, CBS affiliate KOVR TV, and CW affiliate KMAX-TV.
KZZO operates at 115,000 watts effective radiated power as one of the most powerful FM radio stations in Northern California, while most FM stations in the region operate at 50,000 watts. However, its tower is relatively short, at 330 feet, while most other FM stations in the area have 500 foot towers. So KZZO's coverage area is a bit more extensive than its competitors, audible north toward Yuba City and south toward Stockton.
The station signed on in October 1958 as KEBR, a religious station owned by Family Radio, an Oakland based organization. After a lengthy period broadcasting religious music and bible talks from radio evangelist Harold Camping, Family Radio sold 100.5 to commercial owners in 1988, with Family Radio eventually relocating to AM 1210 KEBR Rocklin, (now South Asian station KRPU), and FM 88.1, which now carries the KEBR (FM) call letters.
The new owners installed a smooth jazz format, re-branded it as The Point and changed its call letters to KQPT. It would last as The Point for seven years and a couple of ownership changes. Brown Broadcasting changed the branding to "The Zone" in 1995 and the format to a wide ranging AAA mix it promoted as "bands you've never heard of."  Brown sold KQPT, KXOA (AM) and KXOA-FM (K-108) to American Radio Systems in 1996, and a change in call letters to KZZO happened in 1997. There was a three-way battle for rock listeners during this period between KWOD, KRXQ (93 Rock) and "The Zone."
However, after a year as a Triple-A, KZZO began evolving to Hot Adult Contemporary, later moving to Modern Adult Contemporary (after the shift of KGBY to Hot Adult Contemporary in 2007) where it would remain in that direction until June 22, 2010, when it shifted to a broader Adult Top 40 direction and adopted the "Now" approach. They are the first Adult Top 40/Hot AC station in the CBS Radio stable to use the slogan, as "Now" is more associated with being a Rhythmic pop-leaning Top 40/CHR brand. But unlike other "Now" stations, KZZO, due being an Adult Top 40 and having Rhythmic Top 40 KSFM as a sister station, will not play any Hip-Hop or Rap songs, although it does share some artists (i.e. Kesha and Lady Gaga) at both stations. In addition, KZZO has vowed not to play any gold or recurrent songs from the 80s or 90s, a message aimed directly at rival KGBY, whose Adult Top 40 direction features that approach. The second hot AC station with the Now branding owned by CBS Radio is WPBZ in West Palm Beach, Florida (this station would later flip to Sports, as WAXY-FM was sold by CBS and relocated into the Miami market).
By December 2011, KZZO became the only hot adult contemporary radio station in Sacramento due to Clear Channel Communications changing KGBY from hot adult contemporary to news-talk as KFBK-FM, simulcasting KFBK, but its playlist largely resembles a contemporary hit radio station despite higher-charting songs getting more than 100 plays per week, while it continues to report as hot adult contemporary per Mediabase & Nielsen BDS. However, the following week, KZZO no longer became Sacramento's only hot AC after the flip of KBZC from rhythmic adult contemporary to hot adult contemporary on December 9, which has since flipped to Top 40 on February 6, 2017, leaving KZZO as Sacramento's only hot AC station again.
The stations serves the Sacramento, California community, with a strong signal that can be heard as far north as Chico and to the south in parts of the San Francisco Bay area. KZZO is one of five stations owned and operated by CBS Radio in the Sacramento market (the other four including FM stations KYMX, KSFM, KNCI and AM station KHTK) and one of eight broadcast stations owned by CBS Corporation in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto market (the other two being KOVR and KMAX).
The station is host to several community events, including A Day In The Zone (a concert held during the summer months featuring outdoor performances by hot artists) and Exotic Zone Ball (an adult themed Halloween party held annually).
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In April 2008, The Zone began a contest in which a listener would be required to correctly identify an individual as "The 100.5 The Zone $25,000 Outlaw" in order to receive a monetary prize of $25,000 cash. This was a variation of the popular radio promotion called "The $10,000 Fugitive" done on numerous stations across the country such as WBLI in Long Island.
The Zone originally posted contest rules which stated that the prize was a share certificate valued at $3,400 from the Sacramento Credit Union, that matured to the total reward value of $25,000 after 10 years. This was only temporary rules set in place while the credit union gathered the funds for the entire $25,000 cash. Only if the "Outlaw" was caught in the first few days would these rules be put into place. By the 2nd week of the promotion, the entire $25,000 cash was value of the prize, and the rules reflected that change.
On April 14, 2008, the morning show of rival radio station KDND began to advertise on their station that they were going to give away the location of the $25,000. KDND, owned by Entercom, not CBS like The Zone, used a full day worth of advertising promoting a contest on another radio station. The following morning, April 15, KDND's morning show spent the entire 7:00am hour reading the then-expired contest rules on the air. The reasons for doing this were not completely clear.
The outlaw was "caught" outside of the Nugget Market in Rocklin, California on April 29, 2008 at noon. The winner was greeted by Zone Staff with the letter from Sacramento Credit Union redeemable for $25,000. The video can be seen on YouTube..
- KZZO Website
- 100.5 The Zone on Radio Station Zone - ratings, comments and listen live links
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KZZO
- Radio-Locator information on KZZO
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KZZO