|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)|
|Format||Hot Adult Contemporary|
|Callsign meaning||K Z ZOne (previous branding)|
|Former callsigns||KEBR (1958-1988)
|Owner||TDC Communications, LLC
(Entercom Divestiture Trust)
|Sister stations||KHTK, KNCI, KYMX|
KZZO (100.5 FM) is an Hot AC 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).
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 on April 16, 1988, re-branded it as The Point and changed its call letters to KQPT. It would last as The Point for the next seven years and a couple of ownership changes and format tweaks (mostly towards album rock). Brown Broadcasting changed the branding to "The Zone" in September 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 AAA, 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 changing KGBY to news-talk as KFBK-FM, simulcasting KFBK. However, the following week, KZZO no gained a competitor in KBZC, which flipped from rhythmic adult contemporary to hot AC; the competition would last until February 2017, when the station (now known as KUDL) flipped to Top 40, leaving KZZO as Sacramento's only hot AC station again.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom (which locally owns KKDO, KUDL, KSEG, KRXQ, and KIFM; the company formerly owned KDND until it shut the station down and turned in its license to the Federal Communications Commission two days later). On October 10th, CBS Radio announced that as part of the process of obtaining regulatory approval of the merger, KZZO would be one of sixteen stations that would be divested by Entercom, along with sister stations KYMX, KNCI, and KHTK (KSFM would be retained by Entercom). On November 1, Entercom announced that Bonneville will begin operating KZZO, KYMX, KNCI and KHTK via a local marketing agreement when the merger of CBS and Entercom closed on November 17, while their licenses will be place into a divestiture trust pending a sale to a different owner within 180 days.
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 four stations operated by Bonneville Communications in the Sacramento market (the other three including FM stations KYMX and KNCI and AM station KHTK).
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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.
- "KQPT promises a new age for jazz here", The Sacramento Bee, April 16, 1988.
- Alex Cosper's Sacramento Radio History
- "Entercom To Turn In KDND Sacramento License; Move CHR Format To 106.5 - RadioInsight". RadioInsight. 3 February 2017.
- CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
- Venta, Lance (October 10, 2017). "Entercom Narrows Down 16 Stations To Be Divested To Complete CBS Radio Merger". RadioInsight. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- Entercom LMAs Sacramento & San Francisco Stations to Bonneville
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- 916Blondie (April 30, 2008). "Winner". YouTube. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
- 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