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KESZ 999KEZ.png
City Phoenix, Arizona
Broadcast area Phoenix, Arizona
Branding 99.9 KEZ
Slogan A Better Variety For A Better Work Day
The Holiday Station (Nov.-Dec.)
Frequency 99.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1982 (1982) (as KNNN)
Format Adult contemporary
Christmas music (Nov.-Dec.)
HD2: Soft adult contemporary ("The Breeze")
ERP 100,000 watts
HAAT 519 meters (1,703 ft)
Class C
Facility ID 40992
Transmitter coordinates 33°20′02″N 112°03′47″W / 33.334°N 112.063°W / 33.334; -112.063Coordinates: 33°20′02″N 112°03′47″W / 33.334°N 112.063°W / 33.334; -112.063
Callsign meaning EaSZ (The Z substitutes for the Y)
Former callsigns KNNN (1982-1984)
KLZI (1984-1988)
Owner iHeartMedia
(CC Licenses, LLC)
Webcast Listen Live

KESZ (99.9 FM; "KEZ") is an adult contemporary radio station based in Phoenix, Arizona. The station is owned and operated by iHeartMedia. Its studios are located in Phoenix near Sky Harbor Airport and its transmitter is in South Mountain Park.


The station signed on the air in 1982 as KNNN, a Spanish-language station. It exited the format with a sale to TransCOM in 1984, which changed the callsign to KLZI and the format to adult contemporary.[1] It made the evolution to its current format in 1988. In 1999, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) added the station to its Phoenix cluster.

The station was anchored by the successful "Beth and Bill Show," its Morning Drive Program since approximately 1990 (hosted by Beth McDonald and former KPNX meteorologist Bill Austin). The show was renamed Beth and Friends after Bill Austin retired in early 2010 due to his cancer. On June 2, 2010, Bill Austin (real name William Austin Waggoner) died of bladder cancer.[2]


Each year after Thanksgiving, the station has a tradition of playing "Non-Stop Christmas Music". Beth and Friends still air as regularly scheduled but the songs they play are strictly Christmas music. Since 2008 the music has started prior to Thanksgiving.[citation needed]


The station competes with two of its sister stations. One competitor is KMXP, which is Hot AC and excludes the 1970s' hits on KESZ. Another competitor is KYOT, which offers an adult hits format (although it was a competitor for many years with its Smooth Jazz/Smooth AC and Rhythmic AC formats).

HD Radio

KESZ's HD Radio signal is multiplexed. The main signal is a simulcast of KESZ's adult contemporary programming. The second channel initially carried KEZ's Classic Channel programmed by iHeartMedia's Format Lab classic hits format consisting of songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. As of April 2017, this changed to iHeart 70s. On October 1, 2017, KESZ-HD2 switched to a Christmas music format and continued to do so until November 14, 2018, when the primary station went Christmas (as planned) for the holiday season, and the HD2 moved to soft adult contemporary as "99.9 HD2 The Breeze." The move gave iHeart the right to use the "Breeze" name in the state of Arizona, preventing any other station group to use the name in the case of another station flipping to soft AC,[3] which has seen a renewed interest in late 2018.[4]


  1. ^ "Valley's last Spanish FM radio station to sign off". The Arizona Republic. 28 February 1984.
  2. ^,-radio-personality-bill-austin-dies
  3. ^ KESZ Squats on "Breeze" Branding for Phoenix
  4. ^ Why Soft AC is Booming Now

External links

  • Station website
  • Query the FCC's FM station database for KESZ
  • Radio-Locator information on KESZ
  • Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KESZ
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