Call Letters: KCHZ
City of License: Ottawa, KS
Format:Urban "95.7 the Vibe"
HD2: 90s hits
Owner: Cumulus Media Partners
KCHZ Channel Z 95, November 1997|
KCHZ July 1999 legal id
KCHZ "Vibe" sign-on, November 2005
1962-1978 - KOFO-FM - Country //KOFO
KOFO-FM signed on March 1, 1962, as an FM simulcast for the AM station serving Ottawa, Kansas. As the rules changed, the simulcasting gradually decreased.
1978-1986 - KKKX - Top 40/Rock - "96X"
96X was a combination of younger-skewing hits from the Top 40 and AOR charts. Some have described it as the area's first commercial modern rock station, but I don't think it was that way at all. The station still served Ottawa and could barely be heard anywhere else. Spin Magazine lists KKKX as a station carrying the syndicated "Radio Underground" show in early 1986.
1986-1991 - KHUM - Easy Listening - "96 Hum"
The KHUM call letters first appeared June 16, 1986. KHUM managed to get that upgrade to 100kw, covering much of Northeast Kansas. MARCOM of Kansas owned the station. The brand of soft music started off as more of an adult contemporary variety, then shifted to easy listening, and back to more popular soft music by the end. The studios and offices moved around from Lawrence to Topeka. The station went silent in the early 1990s.
1993-1994 - KZTO - Adult Contemporary - "Z96"
In a brief comeback on this frequency, KZTO was more of an 80s gold-based station. The studios were in Lawrence, with the tower southeast of the city. KZTO didn't broadcast at the wattage it theoretically could have; their only audience was probably in Lawrence and Olathe. The station went silent again in January 1994.
1997-1997 - KCHZ - Modern Adult Contemporary - "Channel Z95"
KCHZ signed on January 16, 1997, targeting Kansas City, with studios in Overland Park, and a legal ID that included Chicago for some reason. "Kansas City's Super Station" took advantage of the popularity of artists like Jewel, Sara MacLachlan, Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls...it was like "Modern Rock Lite." In fact it was Modern Adult Contemporary, which took off around that time. Radio 2000, operated by Frank Copsidas, owned the station.
1998-2005 - KCHZ - CHR - "Z-95.7"
By the beginning of 1998, KCHZ went full-blown CHR (KMXV had no competitors), which was probably a wise move. Syncom Radio bought the station in 1999. They solved the KC metro area signal problems the best they could. But a total lack of exposure and a refusal to advertise left them low in the ratings. However, KCHZ was the top-rated CHR station in Topeka... without even trying, and probably without ever setting foot over there. Z-95.7 had a rhythmic lean to it, and eliminated most rock hits in 2003. Cumulus bought the station near the end of 2003, and took the station back in a more mainstream direction.
2005-2009 - KCHZ - Urban "95.7 the Vibe"
On November 3, 2005, KCHZ became "95.7 the Vibe", following two days of stunting with both Christmas music, and other music that defied description. The station started out with either an Urban or CHR/Rhythmic lean. In late 2009, they became more mainstream CHR.
2009-current - KCHZ - CHR "95.7 the Vibe"
In October 2009, KCHZ shuffled their playlist to reflect a more mainstream CHR approach. The move paid dividends. KCHZ reached the top of the PPM ratings in early 2011. After one trend on top, KCHZ fell back to fifth place. This still marks the best ratings period for any station on the frequency.