KFNZ Salt Lake City Update

1320 KFAN KFNZ Salt Lake City Gunther Ben After originally telling the FCC that it wished to surrender the license for 1320 KFNZ Salt Lake City, Cumulus Media has requested instead for a Silent STA as it negotiates a sale of the station license to an unnamed bidder.

Cumulus will proceed with a separate sale of the station’s real estate and tower site so any buyer will only receive the license of the station and need to build new transmission facilities.

Original Report 2/28: Cumulus Media has pulled the plug on Sports “1320 KFAN” KFNZ Salt Lake City and taken the station dark.

The station had been carrying the syndicated Bob & Tom show in mornings, a local afternoon show hosted by Kyle Gunther and Ben Anderson in afternoons, and CBS Sports Radio in other dayparts. Gunther and Anderson have exited the company.

KFNZ had carried Sports programming since 1996. For much of that time, Larry H. Miller Communications had leased the station from first Citadel Media and then Cumulus until it purchased 1280 KZNS and 97.5 KZNS-FM and moved all of their programming to the then-competing Sports station in 2012. Cumulus retained the “KFAN” moniker and relaunched the station with a new lineup.

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  1. Joseph_Gallant says

    I’m kind of stunned that no one ever approached Cumulus about buying KFNZ-1320.

    I’m sure someone could have bought the station and perhaps programmed something unique that would at least broken even.

    1. davidw9819 says

      Not likely–KFNZ only had 16K in sales last month and Cumulus was offered somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 million for the tower site land. Unfortunately, many AM stations are going dark because they’ve either sold their transmitter site land or lost their lease. KWDZ (910 AM Salt Lake) has been off the air for 2 years now because the land where the station’s towers formerly stood was sold to a developer who is building a housing development at KWDZ’s former transmitter site. AM stations require a lot of land for antenna towers, and in areas like Utah where growth is accelerating at an almost frantic pace, most broadcasters can make more money by selling the land than by keeping AM stations on the air. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the reality of AM broadcasting in the 21st century.

  2. Charles Everett says

    The AM 1320 facility provided full-market coverage from a 2-tower site in a close-by suburb. Old-timers remember it as KCPX, pumping out the hits during the 1960s and 1970s.
    What killed KFNZ was its being on AM in a region filled up with full-market FM signals. KSL, Rush Limbaugh, even the Utah Jazz are all on FM. It’s a clear case of more terrestrial signals than the Salt Lake Valley can support.

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