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City Portage, Michigan
Broadcast area [1]
Branding Z96.5
Slogan Kalamazoo's Alternative
Frequency 96.5 MHz
First air date February 28, 1992 (as WUBU)
Format Modern Rock
ERP 6,000 watts
HAAT 76 meters
Class A
Facility ID 67775
Callsign meaning W KalamaZOo X
Former callsigns WLWJ (1988-1989, CP)
WUBU (1989-1992)
WFAT (1992-2008)
WYZO (2008-2010)
WKZO-FM (2010-2013)
Owner Duey E. Wright
(Midwest Communications, Inc.)
Sister stations WKZO, WNWN, WNWN-FM, WQLR, WVFM
Webcast Listen Live
Website z965fm.com

WZOX (96.5) is an FM radio station in Portage, Michigan. The station currently broadcasts a modern rock format branded as "Z 96.5".


Early history[edit]

96.5 FM signed on in December 1988 as WLWJ owned by Larry Langford, Jr.[citation needed] Langford owned stations in Chicago and South Bend such as WVON and WLLJ-AM 910 (now WGTO). WLWJ was mixed of a Rhythm leaning Oldies Rock station.

96-5 UBU[edit]

In February 1991 the calls were changed to WUBU, as "96-5 UBU" with an urban adult contemporary format. WUBU, owned by Larry Langford, Jr. (who owned a similarly formatted station in Cassopolis, WLLJ-AM 910, now classic hits WGTO and still owned by Langford) was Kalamazoo's first FM R&B station and was supported highly. There was support to maintain this only R&B station in the area, mostly from students on WMU's campus.

In June 1992 the station was bought out by Tri-State Broadcasting, Inc., after WUBU was unable to generate enough revenue to support itself. The WUBU calls were dropped as well as the urban AC format. The WUBU call letters and format were eventually picked up by 106.3 FM in South Bend, Indiana. Throughout the years there have been attempts for another FM R&B station. Today Midwest Communications operates WNWN 1560 AM The Touch with a similar format to that of WUBU; although it is daytime only its programming is available on FM 24/7 via a translator at 95.5. Coincidentally, 1560 AM is 96.5 FM's former sister station, as both were owned by Tri-State Broadcasting in the early-1990s.

96.5 The Fat One/WFAT (AC and Classic Rock)[edit]

On June 9, 1992, the station acquired the calls WFAT and switched its format to oldies, then all 1970s, then classic hits, and finally to Hot AC as 96.5 The Fat One. In the late-1990s the station flirted with a CHR/Pop format briefly in competition with WKFR. But by April 2000 the station decided to a move in a new direction and switched its format to mainstream AC with Rick Dees coming to the station for mornings and Delilah at night.

The mainstream AC format did not last long against WQLR and WOOD-FM, and on October 7, 2001 it became a classic rock station with the syndicated Bob and Tom Show in the morning drive. Around 2004 is when Midwest Communications would Purchase WFAT 96.5 FM, WNWN-1560-AM & WNWN-98.5 FM From Tri-State Broadcasting.


On February 15, 2008, at 5 pm the station abruptly changed format from classic rock to country music. The last song on WFAT was "Happy Trails" by Van Halen, after which the station became "Y96.5", with the first song of the new format being "It's Five O'clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. A couple of days later the station changed its callsign to WYZO after fifteen years as WFAT.

On March 31, 2010, the station underwent changes again, dropping the country format in favor of a simulcast of its sister station WKZO AM which airs a news/talk format. The call sign was also changed to WKZO-FM to mirror its AM counterpart on April 5, 2010.

On May 13, 2013, WKZO-FM changed their format from news/talk to modern rock, branded as "Z 96.5".[1] On May 15, 2013, WKZO-FM changed their call letters to WZOX.

Bronco Radio Network[edit]

After signing a five-year contract, the station will resume its relationship with Western Michigan University in the fall of 2010 as the flagship station for Broncos football, men's basketball and men's hockey. Previously, while operating as WFAT, the station was the flagship station for football and men's basketball from the 1996/1997 season to the 2006/2007 season.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°12′54″N 85°36′36″W / 42.215°N 85.610°W / 42.215; -85.610