KKLZ is a commercial radio station located in Las Vegas, Nevada, broadcasting on 96.3 FM. KKLZ airs a classic hits music format branded as "96.3 KKLZ". The station's studios are located in the unincorporated Clark County area of Spring Valley, while its transmitter is on Black Mountain in Henderson.
KKLZ signed on in September 1983 under the original call letters of KITT. KITT aired a Top 40 music format that lasted three years. On January 1, 1986, KITT adopted a classic rock music format originally branded as "The New Z96 FM". It became known on-air as "The All New 96.3 KKLZ" about a year and a half later.
KKLZ was Las Vegas' heritage Classic Rock station between 1987 and 2007. A station that prided itself on being cooler than the rest, KKLZ thrived through the 1990s by playing a wide variety of classic rock music and artists, featuring a lineup of personalities that included The O Brothers in the morning (who were replaced by Butz And Tucker, who lasted a year, then Johnson And Tofte in early 1990), Danny Lea, Jeffrey "Professor Jeff" Anderson, Dennis Mitchell, The Warrior, Kimberly Kelly, Backseat Beth, Bruno And The Big Kahuna, among others. It was listener-active with a large playlist, and home to locally-produced programs such as "The Poorman's Concert", "The Night Of The Living Dead", "Cruisin' for a Bluesin'" and one of the original Breakfast with the Beatles programs, which is still hosted by Mitchell on another station.
From 1993 to 2002, KKLZ presented an annual concert festival known as "Junefest." It was held the first Saturday of every June on soccer fields just outside Silver Bowl Stadium, and the ten concerts featured a long roster of some of the greatest artists in the history of the classic rock genre. Listeners besieged the station with suggestions for band lineups all year and requests for information about the show as it approached each year. Attendance ranged between 20,000 and 40,000.
KKLZ reached its creative zenith, as a classic rock station, in the mid-to-late 1990s when its studios were located on Industrial Road in Las Vegas. The trail-blazing and innovative morning show, Johnson & Tofte, enjoyed unprecedented local popularity in Las Vegas during the 1990s until they were unceremoniously fired when their program content rubbed management the wrong way one time too many. Having endured several ownership changes since the Telecommunications Act was passed in 1996, the station enjoyed a resurgence starting in 2003 and was the #1 rock music station in Las Vegas among males between the ages of 25 and 54 during the Spring 2005 ratings period. However, owner Beasley Broadcasting wasn't keen on the classic rock format, and management failed to capitalize on the strong ratings, choosing instead to modify the music playlist.
On May 24, 2007 KKLZ changed its format to classic hits, which has been extremely beneficial for the station and has become a market leader with PPM methodology. In March 2010, KKLZ had the #1 position among all stations with Adults 25-54 in the Las Vegas radio market. In April 2010, KKLZ became the #1 rated station overall with Person 6+ and Person 12+. Today, the station features successful and experienced air personalities including "Mike & Carla in the Morning" (Mike O'Brian and Carla Rea), Wendy Rush in the midday, Larry Martino in afternoons and Jeff Anderson in the evening. The station is led by General Manager, Tom Humm.