KRBZ, 96.5 FM in Kansas City, is an alternative rock station. The station uses the brand name 96-5 The Buzz. The station is owned by Entercom Communications, with studios located in Mission, Kansas and a transmitter site in Kansas City’s East Side.
KRBZ began broadcasting on September 3, 1959, as classical music station KXTR, and was owned by Telesound Broadcasting, and initially operating at 58,500 watts. Stereo Broadcasters, Inc. bought the station in 1962, and Senthesound Broadcasting bought it three years later. Robert Ingram took over the station in 1976, and KXTR upgraded to 100,000 watts in 1981. Ingram would then sell the station to Heritage Broadcasting (and then Sinclair) in 1997, followed by Entercom in 2000. By the mid-1990s, KXTR replaced much of its live, local airstaff with satellite-fed programming; only mornings were local, as well as “Night on the Town” on Saturdays (which would become syndicated). By the Spring of 2000, KXTR’s ratings were tied in 12th place 12+, with a 3.8 share of the market (and ranked even lower in the 25-54 age demographics, though ranked 9th 35-64).
On August 17, 2000, at 10 a.m., KXTR was moved to 1250 AM, displacing sports talk station KKGM (now KYYS), and 96.5 began stunting with a ticking clock. At noon, 96.5 flipped formats to a Top 40 format that emphasized on modern rock (also known as a “Rock 40” format), taking aim at rival station KMXV, and was branded as “96.5 The Buzz.” The first song played on “The Buzz” was “Learn To Fly” by The Foo Fighters.
By 2002, the Buzz moved towards a Hot AC format, most likely due to low ratings with its “Rock 40” format. However, this failed, as the station fell to a 3.1 share of the market (15th place) by the Spring of 2002.
On April 1, 2002 (April Fool’s Day), the station stunted as an “all-gay” radio station known as “K-Gay 96.5”, playing mostly dance music targeting the LGBT community. The next day, the station refocused as a Modern AC station, as well as introducing a new morning show (titled “The Kenny & Afentra Showgram”). Scott Geiger, known on the radio as Lazlo, was also hired in September 2002 to work nights. “The Kenny & Afentra Showgram” morning show lasted until July 2003, when Kenny left the show and Afentra began The Buzz’s well-known morning show “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”. By September of that year, the station completely shifted to a full-fledged modern rock format, which it continues with today. It returned the alternative rock format to Kansas City for the first time since 1999, when KLZR dumped alternative rock for Top 40/CHR and when KNRX dumped its alternative format for urban oldies. KLZR later changed to an adult top 40 format when KRBZ dumped modern AC.
Also in 2003, KRBZ was nearly pulled off of the air when plans for sports station KCSP forced longtime country station WDAF to look for an FM home. Fans gathered to “Save The Buzz”, showing a huge turnout and solidified the station’s alternative format. Instead, WDAF moved to 106.5 FM, displacing KCIY, a Smooth Jazz station.
On June 1, 2006, afternoon host/program director Lazlo announced that he was leaving the station to become program director of KNDD “The End” in Seattle, KRBZ’s sister station. His wife, Afentra, host of morning show “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz,” worked her last day from the studios in Kansas City on August 4, 2006, but continued hosting mornings at KRBZ via satellite from her home in Seattle until November. Her co-hosts remained in Kansas City. Operations Manager Greg Bergen took over as program director in the wake of Lazlo’s exit. On September 8, 2006, morning co-host Danny Boi announced plans to leave the show and the station. He was replaced as co-host by Slimfast.
On November 10, 2006, it was announced that Lazlo, Afentra, and SlimFast reunited on air for The Church of Lazlo, which broadcast from Seattle on KNDD and simulcast on KRBZ. On February 12, 2007, The Dick Dale show with Jessica Chase debuted as the new morning show. Less than a month later, Chase quietly departed the station ultimately being replaced by Kevin Quinn. On July 9, 2008, the morning show was disbanded with Dick Dale being fired from the station.
On July 17, 2008, Lazlo, Afentra, and Slimfast announced plans to end The Church of Lazlo’s run on KNDD. This came shortly after the announcement that former KRBZ Program Director Mike Kaplan would take over programming duties at KNDD.
On August 25, 2008, both “Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz” and “The Church of Lazlo” returned live to Kansas City.
Afentra abruptly left the station August 1, 2018, due to her contract not being extended. Her co-hosts, Danny Boi and Mark Van Sickle, continued the morning show as “Danny and Mark in the Morning”.
On September 24, 2018, Jordin Silver joined Danny Boi and Mark on the morning show, and it was renamed to “Mornings with Jordin Silver and Friends”. Jordin previously worked at KYSR and KNDD.
Coordinates: 39°01′19″N 94°30′50″W / 39.022°N 94.514°W / 39.022; -94.514