WNFZ
Broadcast areaKnoxville metropolitan area
Frequency94.3 MHz
Branding94.3 Jack FM
Programming
FormatAdult hits
Ownership
Owner
WDKW, WIMZ-FM, WJXB-FM
History
First air date
February 1967 (as WATO-FM)
Former call signs
WATO-FM (1967-?)
WUUU (197?-1982)
WETQ (1982-1985)
WKNF-FM (1985-1994)
Call sign meaning
Ninety Four Z (The Z=3)
Technical information
Facility ID31837
ClassA
ERP2,950 watts
HAAT144 meters (472 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
35°57′58.0″N 84°04′6.0″W / 35.966111°N 84.068333°W / 35.966111; -84.068333
Links
WebcastListen live
Websitejackfmknoxville.com

WNFZ (94.3 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Powell, Tennessee, and serving the Knoxville metropolitan area. WNFZ is owned by Midwest Communications.[1] It airs an adult hits radio format, subscribing to the nationally syndicated JACK-FM service. It uses the slogan "Playing What We Want!" The General Manager is Randy Ross.

The studios and offices are on Sharps Ridge Memorial Park Drive in Knoxville.[2] The transmitter is on the west side of Knoxville, off Sands Road.[3]

History

Rock WATO-FM

In February 1967, the station signed on as WATO-FM.[4] The station's city of license was originally Oak Ridge, Tennessee. At first, it simulcast co-owned AM 1290 WATO (now off the air). By the late 1960s, WATO-FM began carrying a progressive rock format.

Easy Listening, Oldies, Country and Alternative

94.3 later changed to an easy listening format as WUUU. The slogan was "The Station For You". It was off the air for a short time until January 18, 1982 when it switched its call sign to WETQ. It carried a country music format known as "Q-94FM".

On March 25, 1985, the station changed to WKNF-FM and became "Magic 94," flipping to an oldies sound. In April 1993, it became a classic country station as "K-94". In September 1993, the station shifted to CHR/Top 40 and changed the on-air position to "94Z".

On July 1, 1994, WKNF-FM switched to WNFZ to reflect on-air branding of 94Z and became an alternative rock station. Then in 2008, WNFZ refocused, becoming an active rock outlet. Between 1994 and 2013 the station was branded variously "94Z", "The Planet", "94.3 Extreme Radio" and "94-3 The X."

Switch to Talk, Then Jack-FM

Logo as 94.3 WNFZ, 2013-2015
Logo as 94.3 WNFZ, 2013-2015

WNFZ simulcast former sister station 95.7 WVRX until October 31, 2013. At that point, The X alternative rock format moved to 95.7.[5] At Midnight on November 1, WNFZ flipped to a Talk format, formerly broadcast on WNOX-FM. The ownership switched to Oak Ridge FM, Inc. under the branding, "KnoxTalkRadio 94.3 WNFZ".[6]

At noon on October 21, 2015, WNFZ returned to alternative rock as "94Z".

On March 21, 2019, WNFZ was sold to Midwest Communications and changed its format from alternative rock to adult hits, branded as "94.3 Jack FM".[7] It began carrying the JACK-FM format, similar to co-owned WCJK Nashville, one of that market's highest rated stations. The sale closed on June 4, 2019, at a price of $2 million.

References

  1. ^ "WNFZ Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ JackFMKnoxville.com/contact-us
  3. ^ Radio-Locator.com/WNFZ
  4. ^ Information from the Broadcasting Yearbook 1969 page B-161
  5. ^ Venta, Lance (September 30, 2013). "Knoxville's X Makes Its Move to 95.7". RadioBB Networks. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Venta, Lance (November 3, 2013). "WNFZ Flips To News/Talk". Radio Insight. RadioBB Networks. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  7. ^ WNFZ Sold to Midwest; Flips to Jack FM Radio Insight - March 21, 2019