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KNZZ (1100 AM) is a radio station licensed to Grand Junction, Colorado and serves the Grand Junction area. The station is owned by MBC Grand Broadcasting, Inc.[1]

KNZZ 1100AM logo.png
CityGrand Junction, Colorado
Broadcast areaGrand Junction, Aspen
BrandingNewsradio 1100
SloganIn Defense of Liberty
Frequency1100 kHz
Translator(s)92.7 K224FE (Grand Junction, Colorado)
93.5 K228EV (Montrose)
97.1 K246CC (Delta, Colorado)
First air dateMay 1, 1926 (in Edgewater, moved to Grand Junction on January 31, 1931)
Power50,000 watts day
36,000 watts critical hours
10,000 watts night
Facility ID39465
Transmitter coordinates38°57′6″N 108°25′10″W / 38.95167°N 108.41944°W / 38.95167; -108.41944
Former callsignsKFXJ (1925-1956)
KREX (1956-1984)
KVEE (1984-1989)
KJYE (1989-1990)
OwnerMBC Grand Broadcasting, Inc.
WebcastListen Live
KNZZ's broadcast towers outside of Grand Junction

They are an affiliate of the BYU Cougars Sports Network.


KNZZ was first licensed on September 16, 1925[2] as a portable broadcasting station, with the sequentially assigned call letters of KFXJ, to Mountain States Radio Distributors, Inc. in Denver.[3][4] However, Mountain States' 26-year-old president, Elden F. Horn, was electrocuted the next month while working on the installation of radio station KFBU at St. Matthew's cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming for the University of Wyoming.[5][6] In 1926, as part of the settlement of Horn's estate, KFXJ's license and equipment were transferred to R. G. "Rex" Howell, a recent high school graduate from Denver and early employee of one of that city's early radio stations, KFEL.[7][6]

Howell ran the station himself—including the advertising. He originally intended to base the station in Denver. However, under the regulations of the day, since the equipment had been licensed for portable use, KFXJ could not operate in any city with a fully licensed radio station. To solve the problem, Howell built his studios at a house in Edgewater, just two blocks from the Denver city limits, and signed it on the air on May 1, 1926–the date now traditionally dated as the station's founding.[8][6] For all intents and purposes, though, it was a Denver station, and quickly established itself as one of the city's leading stations.[6]

It developed such a strong reputation that it was widely expected to garner the CBS Radio affiliation for Denver. When it lost out to KLZ, Howell decided to move the station to Grand Junction, which didn't have any radio stations at the time. KFXJ signed on from Grand Junction on January 31, 1931 from an Art Deco and block glass building on Hillcrest Manor.[6]

Howell added a television station in 1954, KFXJ-TV. However, searching for a more distinctive callsign, in 1956 he changed the call letters to KREX-AM-TV—after his first name. He added KREX-FM in 1960. He sold the stations to a Cincinnati group in 1966, but reclaimed control after several missed payments in 1969. Howell died in 1978, and his estate broke up his empire in 1984, earning a handsome return on Howell's original investment of 58 years prior.[6] The television station still has the KREX-TV calls, and still operates out of the building Howell originally built for its former radio sister.

The AM station changed its calls to KVEE after the sale.[6] On November 15, 1989, the station changed its call sign to KJYE and on April 30, 1990 to the current KNZZ.[9]


  1. ^ "KNZZ Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ "Date First Licensed", FCC History Cards for KNZZ.
  3. ^ "Portable Radio is Granted Permit", Denver Post, September 18, 1925, page 13.
  4. ^ "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, October 1, 1925, page 3.
  5. ^ "Horn Funeral Services to be Held Monday", Denver Post, October 31, 1925, page 13.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "The KREX Story: A History of Broadcasting in the Grand Valley" by Kenneth L. Schweitert, Journal of the Western Slope, Spring 1991, pages 19-31.
  7. ^ "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, September 30, 1926, page 8.
  8. ^ "25th Birthday Celebrated at Station KFXJ", The Palisade (Colorado) Tribune, May 18, 1951, page 14.
  9. ^ "KNZZ Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.

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