Call Letters: KRBZ
City of License: Kansas City, MO
Format: Modern Rock "96.5 the Buzz"
HD2: Sports //KCSP
KXTR leaves 96.5, August 17, 2000|
96.5 the Buzz sweepers, August 17, 2000
K-Gay stunt, April 1, 2002
KRBZ September 2004 montage
1959-2000 - KXTR - Classical
The authority on classical music was KXTR. Key word - was. KXTR signed on September 3, 1959, under the ownership of Telesound Broadcasting; it was one of two commercial classical music stations in the market in the 1950s. KXTR operated at 58,500 watts. KXTR broadcasted from a building just east of Shawnee Mission North High School, in Mission, Kansas. Stereo Broadcasters, Inc., bought KXTR in 1962, and ownership transferred to Senthesound Broadcasting in 1965. KXTR moved out to Independence, near Hwy. 291 and Swearingen Rd. A group headed by Robert Ingram took over the station in 1976. KXTR upgraded to 100,000 watts in 1981. The station moved back across the state line, setting up at 1701 S. 55th St. in Kansas City, Kansas. In its later years, KXTR only had a few employees, and was mostly satellite-based (they changed providers multiple times). Only the mornings were local, plus "Night On the Town" on Saturdays. Ingram held onto KXTR for 21 years, selling to Heritage Broadcasting, which in turn was sold to Sinclair Broadcasting in 1997. Entercom then bought the station in 1999. Faced with low ratings and low revenue, Entercom moved KXTR to 1250 on the AM dial, and then to 1660.
2000-2002 - KRBZ - Rock/Top 40, Hot AC - "96.5 the Buzz"
With KXTR pushed out, and two hours of clock-ticking stunting, "The Buzz" came on the scene August 17, 2000, as a Top 40 station playing only the rock hits. I first classified it as Top 40/Rock. Initially unpopular, KRBZ saw a ratings spike, but fell to the back of the pack. They also burned through several morning shows. The addition of artists like Madonna, Pink and Celine Dion forced a brief reclassification to Hot AC.
2002-2002 - KRBZ - Modern Adult Contemporary - "96.5 the Buzz"
On April Fool's Day, 2002, KRBZ stunted with an "all-gay" format. After the stunt, the playlist took more of a Modern AC approach afterward (apparently they were testing music beforehand). The Buzz called it "Version 2.0."
2002-current - KRBZ - Modern Rock - "96.5 the Buzz"
Another shift in the playlist eliminated pretty much all female artists in favor of more hard alternative acts in 2002. By 2004, the playlist had shifted again to a more balanced modern rock format. KRBZ repositioned itself as "Kansas City's Only Alternative." They added a techno/groove show "Liquid Buzz" on Saturday nights, and the syndicated lifestyle show Loveline for late weeknights. KRBZ has come up with some humorous imaging, often targeting Top 40 station KMXV.
KRBZ has burned through a lot of morning shows. As of now, they are on their second go-around with Afentra. For afternoon drive, the Church of Lazlo is also on its second run. Ironically, classical music returned to the frequency as an HD subchannel in 2011. When the AM station dropped classical music, the subchannel followed suit. The HD2 channel currently simulcasts KCSP. KRBZ dropped Loveline in 2013, along with some speciality shows. KRBZ is hugely active on social media with its "listen longer" campaign to improve ratings.