|City||Grand Junction, Colorado|
|Broadcast area||Grand Junction, Aspen|
|Slogan||In Defense of Liberty|
|Translator(s)||92.7 K224FE (Grand Junction, Colorado)|
93.5 K228EV (Montrose)
97.1 K246CC (Delta, Colorado)
|First air date||May 1, 1926 (in Edgewater, moved to Grand Junction on January 31, 1931)|
|Power||50,000 watts day|
36,000 watts critical hours
10,000 watts night
|Former callsigns||KFXJ (1925-1956)|
|Owner||MBC Grand Broadcasting, Inc.|
They are an affiliate of the BYU Cougars Sports Network.
KNZZ was first licensed on September 16, 1925 as a portable broadcasting station, with the sequentially assigned call letters of KFXJ, to Mountain States Radio Distributors, Inc. in Denver. 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. 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.
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. For all intents and purposes, though, it was a Denver station, and quickly established itself as one of the city's leading stations.
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.
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. The television station still has the KREX-TV calls, and still operates out of the building Howell originally built for its former radio sister.
- "KNZZ Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Date First Licensed", FCC History Cards for KNZZ.
- "Portable Radio is Granted Permit", Denver Post, September 18, 1925, page 13.
- "New Stations", Radio Service Bulletin, October 1, 1925, page 3.
- "Horn Funeral Services to be Held Monday", Denver Post, October 31, 1925, page 13.
- "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.
- "Alterations and Corrections", Radio Service Bulletin, September 30, 1926, page 8.
- "25th Birthday Celebrated at Station KFXJ", The Palisade (Colorado) Tribune, May 18, 1951, page 14.
- "KNZZ Call Sign History". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KNZZ
- Radio-Locator Information on KNZZ
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KNZZ
- FCC History Cards for KNZZ (covering KFXJ / KREX for 1927-1980)
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K224FE
- Radio-Locator information on K224FE
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K228EV
- Radio-Locator information on K228EV
- Query the FCC's FM station database for K246CC
- Radio-Locator information on K246CC