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Cities 97 (KTCZ-FM)

Cities 97 (KTCZ-FM)
Rating :5.00

Last updated:
2012-06-17 02:57:58
Country: United StatesListen to radio stations broadcasting from United States
City: Minneapolis
Address: 1600 Utica Ave S Suite 400 St. Louis Park, MN 55416
FM (MHz): 97.1
Genre: AOR
Phone: (651)989-9797
Language of broadcast: English
Description: KTCZ-FM (97.1 FM, "Cities 97") is a AAA radio station broadcasting to the Twin Cities market of Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin.The 97.1 frequency in Minneapolis is one of the oldest FM stations in the Twin Cities, having been established in 1947. The original call letters were WTCN, to match its AM sister station, now WWTC, which was one of the oldest radio stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, having signed on the air in 1925. In 1949, WTCN-TV was launched on channel 4 with studios at Radio City Theater at 9th Street and LaSalle Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. WTCN's studios moved to the TV facility in September 1949 and the FM was there, too, by February 1950. All three stations were sold in 1952; channel 4 was sold to CBS, which changed the call letters to match its WCCO, while WTCN was sold to the Minnesota Television Service Corporation headed by St. Paul businessman Robert Butler, a former ambassador to Cuba and Australia. Butler's company quickly applied for a new TV license for channel 11 (but had to negotiate for the frequency with the owner of WMIN 1400, who also applied for the channel. The two stations, WTCN and WMIN, arranged to share the TV broadcast day, alternating every two hours. This became the area's third TV station on September 1, 1953 and the WTCN call sign remained with it until 1985). Meanwhile, WTCN-FM became KWFM in 1954.Al Tedesco purchased the station in 1968 and operated it as KTCR-FM, mated with its AM daytimer sibling of the same name (KTCR, 690 AM). Tedesco and his two brothers were inducted into the Pavek Museum of Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.The studios and transmitter were located at 38th Street and Minnehaha Avenue in south Minneapolis from at least the mid 1950s until 1985. The tower was short for a full-power FM station at approximately 150 feet. The transmitter in 1985 was moved to the site of its AM sister, then known as KTCJ, in New Hope, where it hung on one of the three AM towers. Later, the transmission facilities were upgraded with a move to the KMSP-TV Channel 9 tower in Shoreview, from where most of the other Twin Cities FM stations transmit.In the early 1980s, KTCR-FM was a struggling country music station. KTCR-FM was up against aggressive competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s, most notably KEEY, and Al Tedesco decided to sell the stations. The stations' new owners, John and Kathleen Parker (married), dropped the country format on February 8, 1984, and a unique new format was introduced. KTCZ ("Cities 97") was a different kind of station, featuring progressive rock, alternative rock, jazz and New Age music. The station's approach was similar to stations such as WXRT in Chicago and KBCO in Denver. KTCZ's other influences reach back even farther, to progressive FM rock stations from the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the freeform days of KQRS-FM.File:KTCZold.pngFormer Cities 97 logoBack then, the term 'AAA' did not even exist. It was a relatively eclectic rock format, far different than any other rock station around. Cities 97 has continued to thrive, building and sustaining a dedicated listening audience. Over time, the jazz and New Age was dropped, and the station went through a few different phases, at various points leaning more toward classic rock or alternative rock. Although Parker Communications sold the station back in the early 1990s, today's Cities 97 is still similar to the version that debuted in the fall of 1983, though the influence of its current owner can be felt heavily. Until recently, the station carried the syndicated talk show "Loveline", which had gotten strong ratings on the former KEGE. This was considered to be an odd move[citation needed], since "Loveline" is geared toward a much younger demographic than KTCZ's, and conflicted heavily with their "more music" mandate.

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