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WNFZ-FM 2013.png
City of license Powell, Tennessee
Broadcast area Knoxville, Tennessee
Branding "KnoxTalkRadio 94.3 WNFZ"
Frequency 94.3 MHz
First air date February, 1967 (as WATO-FM)
Format News/Talk
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 144 meters (472 ft)
Class A
Facility ID 31837
Transmitter coordinates 35°57′58.0″N 84°04′6.0″W / 35.966111°N 84.068333°W / 35.966111; -84.068333
Former callsigns WATO-FM (1967-?)
WUUU (?-?)
WETQ (1982-1985)
WKNF-FM (1985-1994)
Owner John W. Pirkle
Webcast Listen Live
Website knoxtalkradio.com

WNFZ is a News/Talk formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Powell, Tennessee, serving Knoxville, Tennessee. WNFZ is owned by John Pirkle and operated under an LMA by Oak Ridge FM.[1]


WNFZ 94.3 signed on the air in February 1967 as WATO-FM where it broadcast an underground rock format. Students at the University of Tennessee would use their antennas to get the station.

94.3 later changed to an easy listening format as WUUU and their slogan was "The Station For You". It was off the air for a short time until January 18, 1982 when WUUU became WETQ, a country music formatted station as "Q-94FM".

On March 25, 1985, the station changed calls to WKNF-FM and became "Magic 94". This was Oak Ridge and Knoxville's only oldies station. In April 1993, they became a classic country station as "K-94". In September 1993, they became a heavily alternative leaning "Alt-40" CHR and changed the on-air position to "94Z". On July 1, 1994, WKNF-FM changed to their current calls to WNFZ to reflect on-air branding of 94Z and became an alternative rock station. In 2008, WNFZ refocused becoming an active rock format. Between 1994 and 2013 the station was branded variously "94Z", "The Planet", "94.3 Extreme Radio", and, "94-3 The X".

Ownership and format change[edit]

Past history is WNFZ simulcasted former sister station WVRX until October 31, 2013.[2] At 12:00am EDT on November 1, WNFZ was returned to its licensee, John Pirkle and the station's format switched to News/Talk, formerly broadcast on WNOX-FM, which was licensed to Oak Ridge FM, Inc. under the branding, "KnoxTalkRadio".[3]

Local programming on WNFZ consists of "The Rude Awakening" morning news/talk call-in show, hosted by Mike Howard with Terry West & Trey Darbonne, as well as "The Drive", an afternoon sports call-in show, hosted by Russell Smith.[3] The station also airs nationally syndicated programs hosted by Glenn Beck, the Sean Hannity Show, Herman Cain, Alex Jones, and George Noory.[3]


  1. ^ "WNFZ Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ Venta, Lance (September 30, 2013). "Knoxville’s X Makes Its Move to 95.7". RadioBB Networks. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Venta, Lance (November 3, 2013). "WNFZ Flips To News/Talk". Radio Insight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]