KIOZ, also known as Rock 105.3, is an active rock station in San Diego, California. It is licensed in San Diego, California, and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. The station's studios are located in San Diego's Serra Mesa neighborhood on the northeast side, and the transmitter is located in La Jolla.
105.3 was licensed in 1954 and started off as KITT, a beautiful music station. The transmitter was downtown on the Bank of America building. The station struggled financially for many years, the station was perpetually for sale, at one point for as low as $100,000.00. In the early 1980s KITT was bought by KCBQ and turned into a simulcast of 1170. KCBQ-FM 105.3 changed formats many times. KCBQ-FM signed on as "KCBQ Country" to compete with KSON, that failed and it switched to "The Eagle", the Eagle flopped, and KCBQ became an oldies station (which did well). KCBQ then hired back former program director Rich Brother Robbin, Rich changed the format to "Modern Oldies", it was at this point that Compass Media (owner of KCBQ AM/FM) sold the stations to Par Broadcasting.
Par immediately sold its stations to Jacor (now iHeartMedia, Inc.). It was under Jacor in 1996 that the "Rock" format on 102.1 KIOZ was moved from 102.1 to 105.3, and the KCBQ-FM call letters removed. KIOZ was chosen for the former 102.1 because KIOZ looks like 102.
Compass Media ended up with 102.1 and the format was changed to Sets 102.1 then later became KPRI 102.1 (KPRI was originally on 106.5)
Under Jacor, Rock 105.3 thrived. Howard Stern was on mornings, Shannon Leader on middays, B.C. and Woody afternoons, Mikey in the nights, and Mark The Shark in the over nights.
The "head up your ass" billboard caused quite a stir in San Diego in the late 1990s.
KIOZ or Rock 105.3 is the only hard rock station in San Diego, California, USA. The morning show was The Mikey Show, but after host Mikey Esparza did not resign and moved to KBZT, it was replaced with The Show, which began airing on January 4, 2010. Ashlee follows with, Missi doing afternoons. KIOZ will occasionally mix in classic rock, however, this is generally limited to tracks from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath.
The Mikey Show replaced Howard Stern on the KIOZ lineup in 2004 after Clear Channel Communications, KIOZ's current parent company forced the cancellation of Stern's morning show from the six Clear Channel-owned stations that carried it, owing to the "Nipplegate" incident at Super Bowl XXXVIII. (Stern would move to KPLN that summer, then ultimately out of all Federal Communications Commission (FCC) jurisdiction when he moved to Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006.)
In 2005, KIOZ became the flagship station carrying San Diego Chargers football events during the regular season. Staffing the microphones for the pre-game shows are Eddie "The Oracle" Pappani (from the KIOZ morning drive The Show) and former NFL players Lew Bush and Jim Laslavic, of San Diego's KNSD.