|City||St. Louis Park, Minnesota|
|Broadcast area||Minneapolis-St. Paul|
|Branding||104.1 Jack FM|
|Slogan||"Playing What We Want"|
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||July 1, 1962 (as KRSI-FM)|
Adult Hits |
HD2: Adult contemporary "Lite FM"
|HAAT||315 m (1,033 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||KraZy JacK|
(The Audio House, LLC)
|Sister stations||KMNB, WCCO|
KZJK (104.1 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul radio market. The station is owned by Entercom and airs an adult hits radio format known as "Jack FM." Studios and offices are on Second Avenue South in Minneapolis.
Early Years as KRSI-FM
On July 1, 1962, the station signed on as KRSI-FM. It was co-owned with AM 950 KRSI (now KTNF) by Radio Suburbia. The two stations simulcast most of their programming, and were affiliates of the ABC Radio Network. AM 950 was a daytimer at that time, so KRSI-FM allowed the station to be heard around the clock, even when KRSI (AM) had to sign-off.
KRSI-FM had a limited range, broadcasting at 15,000 watts from a 250 foot (76 meter) tower, located east of the Twin Cities, in Somerset, Wisconsin. The result was a spotty signal in parts of the metropolitan area, even after the power was doubled to 30,000 watts in the late 1960s. Partly due to signal limitations and impatient management, the 104.1 FM frequency went through many format changes throughout its history.
In February 1968, KRSI-AM-FM was bought by Park Communications, a radio company with stations in New York City, Los Angeles and other cities. From 1968 until 1973, KRSI-AM-FM played a mix of Top 40 hits and oldies as "Request Radio." In Spring 1969, KRSI-AM-FM ranked as the #3 station in the Minneapolis ratings, behind AM 830 WCCO and AM 1130 WDGY. By 1971, KRSI-AM-FM moved away from oldies and toward contemporary hits.
Rock/Top 40 KFMX
In March 1973 950 AM became the first affiliate of Drake-Chenault’s automated “Great American Country” format. Both stations moved from their studios in St. Louis Park to new facilities in Eden Prairie (which today is still home to 950 AM). The FM station broadcast in stereo for the first time and moved to an album rock/Top 40 hybrid format, soon changing its call letters to KFMX.
KFMX went through a succession of different formats and transitions throughout the rest of the decade. For a brief time, it played free form rock, going up against 92.5 KQRS-FM. KFMX began playing disco music at night in 1978, soon adopting the format full-time and becoming "Disco 104." By this time, the AM station was playing rock/Top 40 and new wave music as "Musicradio I-95." KFMX gave up disco in February 1980 as the fad faded in popularity, and both stations switched to an adult standards/"Music of Your Life" simulcast, with KFMX becoming KRSI-FM once again. (The KFMX call letters would go to 94.5 in Lubbock, Texas later that year and they remain there to this day.)
In 1981, the FM station switched to country music, as "K-JO Country", adopting the KJJO call letters. It was up against established country stations in the Twin Cities, market leader 1130 WDGY, low-rated KTCR-AM-FM and soon, 102.1 KEEY-FM. KJJO was never very competitive as a country station.
In September 1983, after playing "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger for 48 hours straight, the station launched a new classic hits format, "Twenty Years of Rock and Roll." It was now calling itself "K-JO 104."
KJJO's ratings improved with the classic hits format, but the station was still not making much of an impact in the market. In 1986, KJJO transformed yet again and introduced a hard rock format, to go head-to-head with the classic rock-leaning KQRS-FM. The KJJO call letters were retained, with the station now calling itself "Hot Rockin' 104" (later "Rock 104"). At its peak, the hard rock format pushed KJJO into the top 10 in the local Arbitron ratings. KJJO was not very consistent with the harder format, though, as it went back and forth between heavy metal and mainstream album rock. In the fall of 1988, KJJO's AM counterpart became a network affiliate of the syndicated heavy metal "Z-Rock" format.
Modern Rock KJ104
By 1990, KJJO began adding more alternative rock songs to its play list. Eventually, KJJO ditched the heavy metal and mainstream rock altogether and became a full-fledged modern rock station. At first, KJJO called itself "104FM," but later used the moniker "KJ104."
During the station's modern rock run, the playlist became more adventurous. Over time, KJ104 garnered positive word of mouth in the Twin Cities area, though ratings were still mediocre. The station's manager complained in the local media that KJ104's listeners were not filling out the Arbitron ratings diaries, the results of which are used to measure a radio station's success.
Back to Country as "Thunder 104"
In the summer of 1992, KJJO announced it would switch back to country music, which was increasing in popularity. But that triggered an outcry from KJ104's dedicated modern rock fans. At 6 AM on September 8, after signing off the modern rock format by playing "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M., "Thunder 104" debuted. As a country station, ratings went up slightly, but the station could not compete with the established country leader K102 KEEY or a new country music station, WBOB Bob 100 (now KFXN-FM).
To set itself apart from the competition, KJJO evolved into a classic country format as "Classic Country 104," and ratings slightly improved. Meanwhile, several former KJ104 employees were working at bringing the much-missed modern rock format back to the local airwaves, which culminated with the debut of REV 105 in April 1994. A month prior to this, hard rocker 93.7 KRXX became KEGE "The Edge," and was soon the highest-rated modern rock station in the country, succeeding where KJJO, as KJ104, failed.
Smooth Jazz and Modern AC
With K102 and BOB 100 firmly establishing in the country format, KJJO gave up its classic country sound and flipped to smooth jazz on March 28, 1995. The KJJO call letters were retired and new call sign KMJZ was introduced, standing for Minneapolis JazZ. During this time, ownership transferred several times. Nationwide Communications, a subsidiary of Nationwide Insurance, bought both the AM and FM stations from the estate of longtime owner Roy H. Park. Nationwide Communications was bought by Jacor, which spun the station off to Infinity Broadcasting, which later merged with CBS Radio.
On September 24, 1998, at 4 p.m., the station changed format once again, to Modern AC as WXPT "104-1 The Point." The first song on "The Point" was "The Way" by Fastball. After gradually adding in songs from the 1980s throughout the course of 2000, WXPT shifted to a full-fledged '80s hits format on November 17, 2000, and rebranded as "Mix 104.1." The first song on "Mix" was "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. While never a dominant station, "Mix" was a modest ratings and financial success, as the station's transmitter woes were finally resolved by the move to KMSP-TV's antenna array in Shoreview, Minnesota, where most of the market's big FM stations have their transmitters.
In 2004, Infinity Broadcasting, which later merged with CBS Radio, bought WXPT and co-owned AM 950 KSNB for $3 million. At 9 a.m. on April 21, 2005, after a few hours of stunting, "Mix 104.1" flipped to "Jack FM." The first song on "Jack" was "Get The Party Started" by P!nk. On May 10, 2005, three weeks after the format change, the call letters were officially changed to KZJK.
At one time, CBS Radio had six FM stations carrying the "Jack" format, WCBS-FM in New York City, KCBS-FM in Los Angeles, WJMK in Chicago, KJKK in Dallas, KJAQ in Seattle and KZJK in Minneapolis. New York and Chicago have since dropped the format. KZJK has a large playlist. While many stations commonly have 200-400 songs in rotation, the Jack format has three or four times that number. The Twin Cities version of Jack plays an occasional current or recent hit, while most Jack FM affiliates stick with songs from the past, primarily 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.
On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom. The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.
KZJK Broadcasts An HD Radio Signal.
It’s HD2 Signal Originally Carried Smooth Jazz. But On December 26th, 2011. KZJK-HD2 flipped To Adult Contemporary Because It’s Sister WLTE Flipped To Country Music That Same Day. KZJK-HD2 Is Known As Lite FM.
During Christmastime KZJK-HD2 Flips To Christmas Music.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1963 page B-100
- St. Louis Park Historical Society - Twin Cities Music
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1974 page B-114
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1981 page C-127
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1982 page C-129
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1998 page D-239
- Radio & Records October 2, 1998
- Radio & Records Nov. 24, 2000
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 2006 page D-282
- Radio & Records April 29, 2005
- CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
- "Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio". Entercom. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Venta, Lance (November 17, 2017). "Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger". Radio Insight. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- 104.1 Jack FM KZJK official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KZJK
- Radio-Locator information on KZJK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KZJK
- Radiotapes.com Featuring historic airchecks of various formats heard in the past on 104.1 FM including KFMX-FM Disco, KJJO-FM, KRSI-FM along with other Twin Cities radio station airchecks dating back to 1924
- Rick Burnett's TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks.com More historical recording of 104.1 FM including KRSI and KFMX, and other Twin Cities radio stations.