KRZY
CityAlbuquerque, New Mexico
Frequency1450 kHz
BrandingTUDN Radio Albuquerque
Programming
FormatSpanish Sports
Ownership
OwnerEntravision Communications
(Entravision Holdings, LLC)
KRZY-FM
History
First air date
May 9, 1956 (1956-05-09)
Former call signs
KLOS (1956–1964)
Technical information
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID12634
ClassC
Power1,000 watts unlimited
Transmitter coordinates
35°07′56″N 106°37′18″W / 35.13222°N 106.62167°W / 35.13222; -106.62167Coordinates: 35°07′56″N 106°37′18″W / 35.13222°N 106.62167°W / 35.13222; -106.62167
Links
Public license information
Profile
LMS
Websitewww.tudn.com

KRZY (1450 AM) is a radio station licensed to Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, serving the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The station is owned by Entravision Communications.[1] KRZY broadcasts a Spanish-language Sports format.

History

Early years as KLOS

On February 24, 1956, E. Boyd Whitney and D. K. McGregor, doing business as B and M Broadcasters, obtained a construction permit for a new radio station at 1450 kHz in Albuquerque, which would broadcast with 250 watts.[2] With a country music format, KLOS began broadcasting on May 9.[3] Ownership shifted several times in the station's first few years on the air, and by 1960, the station was owned by Whitney and George Oliver.[2]

Going KRZY

On August 2, 1964, Whitney and Oliver's KLOS—by this point airing Top 40—traded frequencies and facilities with KRZY, a country music station owned by Burroughs Broadcasting, a company owned by former governor John Burroughs. For $50,500, Burroughs paid to move KRZY's programming from 1580 kHz to 1450 kHz, where it could broadcast at night; KLOS became a daytime-only station on 1580.[4]

In its first fall on 1450 kHz, KRZY got into a heated dispute over the rights to broadcast University of New Mexico football games. After KRZY had broadcast coverage of a game against the University of Utah, the UNM board of regents had awarded an exclusive three-year contract for Lobos football and basketball to KOB—a move KRZY contested, claiming that, as a public institution, the university could not award exclusive rights to cover games. Undeterred, station manager Ray Moran and a salesman traveled to Provo, where the Lobos would play the BYU Cougars. Moran and a salesman set up shop in a nearby motel, while the announcers—one wearing a BYU sweatshirt and sitting in the BYU student section—brought equipment, covered by a blanket, into the stadium and relayed their commentary using wireless microphones to the motel, where it was sent by telephone back to Albuquerque.[5] In response, the university and KOB obtained an order against the station, blocking it from any further game broadcasts.[6]

Beyond the controversial football broadcasts, Burrough set out to improve the new KRZY. A new circular studio building was constructed at 2401 Quincy NE late in 1964,[7] and a companion FM station, KRST 92.3, was launched the next year, from a transmitter atop Sandia Crest.[8] While KRST changed formats to album-oriented rock in 1968,[9] KRZY remained a country station throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, adding CBS Radio programming in 1974.[10] By Burroughs's death in 1978, KRZY and KRST were his last remaining radio properties.[11][9]

Ratings decline and sales

In 1980, at the height of the "Urban Cowboy" trend, Burroughs flipped KRST to country.[9] KRZY differentiated itself from its FM sister by playing a more traditional mix of country music.[12] KRZY's ratings steadily slid during the course of the decade, going from a 6.4 percent share of the market in 1980 to a 2.4 in 1987—even as KRST became one of the market's top radio stations.[13]

It was not until 1987, nearly a decade after the death of John Burroughs, that Burroughs Broadcasting sold KRZY and KRST, with Wagontrain Communications, owner of the Drake-Chenault syndication company, acquiring the pair for $5.25 million.[9] Wagontrain owned the stations for a year, selling them for $8.1 million to Commonwealth Broadcasting of San Diego in late 1988.[14]

"The Sports Animal"

After 30 years of country music on 1450 AM, a new format launched on the frequency in 1994. The station became known as "Sports Radio 1450 AM" and added several new sports talk programs and Colorado Rockies baseball.[15] On July 1, the station went all-sports and adopted a now-familiar moniker in Albuquerque radio: "The Sports Animal".[16] In addition to several local shows, KRZY was the Albuquerque home for Imus in the Morning and Jim Rome; the station made an attempt to pursue UNM athletics rights, which were still held by KOB.[16]

Rapid consolidation in the broadcasting industry in the mid-1990s would see KRZY get several new owners. In 1995, Commonwealth sold its two Albuquerque stations and an FM outlet in the Las Vegas market to Crescent Communications for $25.73 million.[17] In 1996, Citadel Communications acquired Crescent's three New Mexico properties—KRZY, KRST, and KRZY-FM 105.9—in a $23 million transaction.[18] For Citadel, the prize was KRST, which had become Albuquerque's top-rated and top-billing station in the 1990s.[13] Citadel did not want or need KRZY-AM-FM, and it could not keep them, because KRST alone pushed the company past the eight-station limit in the Albuquerque market, and at least one FM needed to be divested.[19]

Spanish-language era

Citadel's immediate spin-off of KRZY-AM-FM brought as its buyer EXCL Communications of California, marking its first purchase of broadcasting properties in the state of New Mexico.[19] EXCL programmed exclusively Spanish-language stations and immediately announced plans to flip its purchases to Hispanic-oriented formats.[19] Citadel retained the Sports Animal format and name and moved it to KHFN (1050 AM), which changed call letters to KNML, on October 9, 1996.[20]

When EXCL took over, KRZY AM became "Radio Tricolor", airing a Regional Mexican format. Entravision acquired EXCL in 2000. In 2002, Radio Tricolor moved to KRZY-FM, and KRZY AM took on a Spanish oldies format as "La Consentida".[21] The 2002 format changes also brought with them more extensive use of satellite-fed formats from Entravision, replacing local DJs and news updatest.[22] The station then shifted to "Radio Visa", a talk-based format.[23]

In 2005, KRZY AM was one of five Entravision stations that adopted the then-new José format, a Spanish-language version of adult hits.[23] "La Tricolor" returned to 1450 in November 2008, when the station swapped formats with KRZY-FM, and was replaced three years later with ESPN Deportes Radio, including Spanish-language play-by-play of UNM athletics.[24]

In September 2019, with the looming shutdown of the ESPN Deportes Radio network, all six of its Entravision-owned affiliates flipped to José—the brand having been recycled for a format of norteño and ranchera music.[25] It has since returned to Spanish sports with programming from TUDN Radio as of August 2020.

References

  1. ^ "KRZY Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ a b FCC History Cards for KRZY
  3. ^ "New Radio Station Takes To Air Here Wednesday". Albuquerque Journal. May 6, 1956. p. 5. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Radio Stations Here To Trade Frequencies". Albuquerque Journal. July 31, 1964. p. A-2. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "KRZY Smuggles In Equipment, Airs Lobo Game". Albuquerque Journal. Associated Press. October 3, 1964. p. A-1. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "KOB, University Obtain Order Against KRZY". Albuquerque Journal. October 10, 1964. p. A-1. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  7. ^ "KRZY To Move". Carlsbad Current-Argus. UPI. November 9, 1964. p. 3. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "New FM Station On Air Aug. 15". Albuquerque Journal. July 22, 1964. p. B-6. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Nathanson, Rick (May 9, 1987). "Burroughs Plans Sale Of KRZY and KRST". Albuquerque Journal. p. A-13. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Bouffard, Art (March 24, 1974). "Business...In New Mexico". Albuquerque Journal. p. E-12. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  11. ^ "Ex-Gov. Burroughs Dies at 71". Albuquerque Journal. May 22, 1978. pp. A-1, A-2. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  12. ^ Nathanson, Rick (March 14, 1985). "KRZY Fights Country Music Doldrums". Albuquerque Journal. p. A-17. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Duncan, Jr., James H. (2004). "Albuquerque" (PDF). An American Radio Trilogy, 1975 to 2004, Volume 1: The Markets. Retrieved January 24, 2021 – via World Radio History.
  14. ^ Nathanson, Rick (November 15, 1988). "Country Radio Stations Sold". Albuquerque Journal. p. C-5. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  15. ^ "Fader Returning to Sports Radio in May". Albuquerque Journal. March 26, 1994. p. C-2. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  16. ^ a b McAfee, Sean. "Animals on the Airwaves: Sports Talk Radio Discovers A Home on Dial at 1450 AM". Albuquerque Journal. pp. H1, H5. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. April 7, 1995. p. 8. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  18. ^ "Transactions" (PDF). Radio & Records. April 26, 1996. p. 8. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  19. ^ a b c Rathbun, Elizabeth A. "Jacor, Gannett ponder TV-radio exchange" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. p. 38, 40. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  20. ^ Dingmann, Tracy (October 9, 1996). "Probe Won't Stop KRST Purchase: Citadel To Buy 8th Local Radio Station". Albuquerque Journal. p. D5. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Entravision radio stations undergo format changes". Albuquerque Journal. November 2, 2002. p. Television 5. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  22. ^ Chavez, Barbara (January 24, 2003). "Off the Air: Format changes silence local Spanish-language radio voices". Albuquerque Journal. pp. D1, D2. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Krza, Paul (October 17, 2005). "Albuquerque Spanish radio station unveils new music format". Albuquerque Business First. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Scott, Damon (August 13, 2012). "UNM, Entravision to offer sports broadcasts in Spanish". Albuquerque Business First. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  25. ^ Venta, Lance (September 3, 2019). "Entravision Flips Its Six ESPN Deportes Affiliates". RadioInsight. Retrieved September 3, 2019.