KLPZ is the product of close to 40 years of change, slowly becoming The Last Medium of Freedom as you know it today. And lots has changed in that time.
The station started life on September 7th, 1974 as KZUL, ‘Kazual’, with a license to broadcast on frequency 1380am from 816 W 6th Street in Parker, AZ with 2500 watts of power. The station would reach the cities of Lake Havasu to the north and Blythe to the south, making it a premiere broadcast site for parts of California and Arizona.
In 1983, two changes occurred which helped shape the future of the station. Firstly, Yuma County in Arizona split to accommodate the growth of the area, forming a brand new county in the process. KZUL now found itself in the seat of La Paz County, so it renamed to match, and became KLPZ (“K- La Paz”). Later that year Chuck Scofield of Scofield Broadcasting, in what he described as “a moment of insanity”, decided to buy KLPZ and add it to his family of stations.
A new employee showed up to work, coming from KZRX in Phoenix just before Thanksgiving in 1992. His name was Keith Douglas Learn, born and raised in North Dakota. He was originally to be one of two co-hosts of the morning show, but in a very short space of time began to host the show alone. His style seemed to resonate with listeners, and he had several sidekicks on the show over the next several years. That was before a another change that came with the dawn of the new millennium.
Keith had his own “moment of insanity”. At 11:30am on April Fool’s Day, 2000, he bought the station from Scofield, and Learn Broadcasting recieved a license from the FCC. Keith realized that KLPZ was “too wild” for a traditional format and had never quite fit into the mold anyway, so he designated the station’s original format as ‘Country And A Little More’. His girlfriend Juanita joined him from Phoenix to co-host the show, which became Mornings With Keith & Juanita.
Keith and Juanita were married on January 5th, 2001, which gave the station its first husband-wife team on the morning show.
Three years later a young Irish lad brought them a British dessert, a Banoffee Pie, in June 2004. He had radio experience in Northern Ireland and an interesting perspective on current events, and so, when the stars aligned later that year, John Wright became host of the afternoon show.
The latest addition to the on-air team came in 2011 when Josh Savino joined to host the evening show. Josh had spent some years away from his hometown of Parker, AZ doing radio in other cities (including KMLE Country in Phoenix). He now completes the daily lineup at KLPZ, finishing at 7pm and closing another day of live broadcast radio.
These people, this story, and a sense of the unexpected join to comprise the KLPZ of today: radio like you’ll find nowhere else.
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