Our next Station of the Month is KLZ-AM, 560 kHz, another historic radio station, hence the three-letter call sign. KLZ is owned by Crawford Broadcasting and covers the Denver-Boulder-Longmont and Northern Colorado areas. It happens to have the lowest position on the dial, which means it is the first station that is heard when scanning the radio. With its 5kW operating power and directional antenna system, it reaches seven states at night and most of Colorado during the day.
KLZ was the first radio station in Colorado, so it has almost a 100-year history. It was first licensed to Reynolds Radio Company in Denver, CO in March of 1922, but before that the frequency was being used for experimental broadcasts by Dr. William D. “Doc” Reynolds Jr. It was not until 1992 that Crawford Broadcasting acquired KLZ, after several ownership changes. Today, the current owner, Don Crawford, has his own on-air editorial called “The Crawford Stand” that airs weekly. Listeners often express their appreciation that the station owner takes the time to express his own thoughts each week.
According to Chief Engineer Amanda Hopp, KLZ prides itself on “having the best, state-of-the-art equipment, helping to create an amazing, crystal-clear sound.” This emphasis on sound quality is crucial for listeners tuning in to the AM dial. KLZ produces conservative talk programming, drawing in, as the KLZ staff describe them, “the good old-fashioned radio listener who wants to learn more and defend their values.” 560 kHz KLZ is 90% live and interactive sunup to sundown, and they strive to create content that is relevant to their listeners.
Their most popular show is “Rush to Reason,” which airs, ironically, during the rush hour
drive home. A major reason for the success of the show is the host John Rush’s knack for relating to the everyday Colorado conservative. Rush’s guests range from Congressmen to economists to authors and even fitness experts, making sure to include the Millennial perspective on today’s issues as well. Through engagement with callers and discussion with the guests, the goal of the program is to bring common sense back into today’s social and political issues.
Part of KLZ’s local programming is highlighting small businesses whenever possible. A unique feature of KLZ is that all of their radio hosts are present and past small business owners. KLZ provides a great platform for applying their business acumen to everyday issues of their listeners. For example, Scott Whatley hosts a weekday program called “Haystack Help,” where Whatley helps consumers find reputable local businesses for all kinds of services, alerts listeners to consumer scams, and helps the senior community find trustworthy service providers. Furthermore, KLZ airs the 100% small business-sponsored “Saturday Drive Radio Program” that is geared towards helping listeners with auto repair needs.
From political discussion to consumer advocacy to auto repair, KLZ is living up to its purpose as a public service to the community.