Tuesday, May 22, 2012

End of 1280 The Zone

Kind of funny that today was the "end of 1280 The Zone" when the frequency and even the station title are sticking around. Really it's the end of 1320 KFAN, even if it is mostly just the KFAN guys moving over to the Zone. I have loved having both stations; both stations have had PLENTY of hours of my listening time. I'm confident to say that pretty much any commercial that has ran on either station over the past 10 years has been heard by my ears, most notably Satellite TV companies and during the housing heyday mortgage companies.

It was worth my time to write a quick post on The Zone because that is the station that got me into sports/talk radio.  I had heard of KFAN in high school but still pretty much listened only to music. Now I pretty much listen to only talk radio (not always sports but rarely music in the car/at work, only background when I'm doing chores or something). Soon after the mission I somehow heard there was a new sports station called 1280 The Sports Zone. I tuned in and immediately had it as my #1 preset. Ryan Hatch was the host I remember listening to the most. I liked listening to him but noticed he said "1280 The Sports Zone" pretty much every sentence. DJ & PK in the mornings, Hatch mid-day (and a spat of E-Ray and Scotty G on "the average Joe's show", this is back when Scott Gerrard was still low on the radio totem pole) and Bolerjack and Monson in the evenings. I pretty much never changed the station as back in the early/mid '00's 1320 pretty much sucked. They had "Man Made Mornings" with Alan Handy (the dude that now does the little fan-promo games at Jazz games), Ron Boone, and somebody else. They had a good thing going with Ian Fitzsimmons for a bit but it was short lived. Anyway, I was hooked on the Zone for sure. I learned today from David Locke's podcast that Boler and Monson started 1280 which I didn't know but think is pretty cool. Definitely cool that Monson saw it through to the end.

Shortly after I started listening they brought on Alema Harrington and started the Red & Blue Show with Pace Mannion and Alema's infamous "50/50" chance announcement prior to the 2004 BYU/Utah game when everyone knew going in we were going to get trounced (I don't remember the score but we definitely got our butts kicked as that was obviously the Fiesta Bowl Utes team).

Somewhere around that time I remember Jake Scott being the intern dude that would give the updates "every 20 minutes" and they also switched over from "1280 The Sports Zone" to just "1280 The Zone".

It sucked when Boler left but Kevin Graham was a pretty solid replacement. I didn't know he had helped Locke start 1320 originally that was another nugget today from Locke. Pretty cool history for sports radio in the state.

It's interesting to think that when the Jazz decided to get serious about getting their flagship station back up in the ratings they basically just raided The Zone for their talent and brought them over. I guess that's why I like all those guys (DJ, PK, Alema, Gerrard, Boler) because I first heard them on The Zone. I liked the new hosts as well, especially Jon and Hans (and later Hans and OC) and still Monson during drive time. I loved switching over to the other station once one hit commercials and picking right up in their conversations.

All afternoon Jake and Monson were taking calls from callers giving their farewells and expressing their appreciation. I was pretty surprised actually some of the callers were quite intense giving up info about about how listening to The Zone helped them through some pretty serious situations (drug addictions, deaths in the family, etc.). I kind of wished I had called in. My main memory of The Zone is listening every day on my long drives from West Jordan down to Provo during the BYU years. It definitely made the drives easier listening to Jazz, BYU, & Utah talk from local guys, and after all the years of buildup you definitely feel like you know them having heard their famous lines and slip-ups (like Monson's "Where are you right now?" interview). Even now I prefer local over national for sure even if it can be argued that the national guys are better "talent".  Sounds like most of the guys will land on their feet and change is part of life but fun to think about the impact something like a radio station can have. Not many things impact your life every day but I can definitely say I've listened to 1320/1280 on a near daily basis for 10 years now so it's obviously made an impact on me too.

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