Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

The KRZR funeral


A day later, many rockers are still mourning the loss of KRZR, Fresno’s once mighty rock station. Many are questioning how its corporate overlord, Clear Channel, could have decided to turn it into a dance station. And more than a thousand people have already joined a “Bring KRZR Back” Facebook page.

I could attempt to write something about what KRZR meant to the community. But I know I couldn’t do it half as good as some of the people whose voices guided the station through its good times. So I’ve asked a few people to offer up their eulogies for “The Wild Hare.” Some you’ll recognize as beloved once-KRZRers. Others just know the station well. All of them understand what it meant to Fresno.

Once morning show co-host at KRZR from 1994-2005, and now on morning (5-9 a.m.) on 105.1 The Blaze. She writes …


KRZR was the station every rock station in the country wanted to be–sincerely, ‘even though we were in Fresno’. And that’s a true story.

KRZR was the first rock station streaming on the internet, and yet stayed local. KRZR was the first rock station to realize the importance of the local music scene, and share a mutually beneficial relationship. Because of the heritage behind the station, there were big rock names that might not have given Fresno a second look on their tour. But that was also at a time when we only had one rock station in town.

Hopefully, with rockers continuing to support the scene (and stations like 105.1 The Blaze continuing the tradition of rock in Fresno!), there won’t be a ‘void’ per se. KRZR and I spent 12 years together, and they were awesome years. I wish the best for everyone there. And I hope when looking for a rock station, peeps may lend an ear to 105.1 the Blaze…just sayin’.

Daniel was the host of the popular Front Row morning show. He worked at KRZR from the day it debuted, June 17, 1989, until Sept. 2004. He can now be heard twice a day on KMJ — 1-3 p.m. on 105.9 FM and 5-7 p.m. on 580 AM.


KRZR was, quite simply, the first and last word in rock for the Central Valley for many, many years. Two generations of some really great people–listeners and staff–grew up on the station. It stands out as it holds a special place in the memories of a whole lot of folks, though they may not have listened for years. To this day, literally this week, people still want to talk me about stunts, events, concerts, shows and comedy that was performed as long as 18 years ago. That’s special; few stations enjoy that kind of legacy and fond recall.

I am really proud and grateful to have been able to be a part of something as wonderful as KRZR was for so long. I got to work with some amazing and talented people, notably 18-year Program Director E. Curtis Johnson, Jennifer Lipp, Brad Giese and Aaron “The Giant” Lee. We had so much fun and the laughter you heard was real.

Radio like that, which KRZR once did, isn’t done anymore and for no reason other than fear, pasteurization, budget slavery and a complete abandonment of up-and-coming talent. There is no longer any bravery at the local pod of the corporate Death Star that handles the station. That is clear for this channel

It is hard to imagine a city like Fresno, with the demographics it has, without a mainstream rock station. With due deference to the classic rockers and the alternative station, it’s difficult to conceive our town without a R&R format that doesn’t delineate genre. KRZR simply said, “It either rocks or it doesn’t and if it does, we play it…LOUD.” That’s a rock station and our Valley has lost a treasure. True, KRZR has suffered in recent years and not done particularly well in the ratings. It hasn’t really been a player lately, but only because the coaches pulled it out of the game with endless budget cuts, syndication, zero promotion, playing it safe, shrinking its talent and running a playbook from an out-of-town office building where no one ever, ever rocked.

KRZR didn’t die of natural causes. It was starved to death.

It was matchless privilege to work there. I’ll miss everything about it except that inflatable rabbit.

Johnson was the KRZR’s longtime program director, from 1989 until 2007. Now he’s the program director at KYNO and K-Jewel.

KRZR was about more than music. It wasn’t just a juke-box. 103.7 KRZR was an outrageous part of Fresno’s radio history: a party that spilled into the streets and refused to quiet down for 21 years.

I’m proud that I got to launch the station and captain the ship for almost 18 years along with with some incredibility talented broadcasters. The contests and promotions KRZR’s employees pulled off are unparalleled in Fresno’s radio history. Fresno will never again see the likes of “Show Us Your Wild Hare,” “The Running of the Sheep,” “The Straight-Pride Parade,” “The Endangered Species Banquet,” and dozens of other contests that were fun for listeners, caused an uproar, and caught the attention of local and national media.

KRZR played as hard as it rocked! KRZR’s murder leaves a void for another station to take the reigns and thumb its nose at safe, corporate, soul-less radio.

Roddam was a jock on KRZR and the music director from 2000-2005. Until recently, he was the program director at 105.1 The Blaze.


KRZR did more to promote local rock than any station in Fresno ever has, and when I was there, it was a big part of our marketing plan. More than that, in its heyday, KRZR was one of the craziest and politically incorrect rock stations in the country. The Wild Hare was more than just a slogan or a mascot, it was an attitude and that’s what really connected with the rock fans of Fresno.

As for the void, it leaves Fresno without an “active” rock station, although I suspect that KKBZ and KFRR will make adjustments to their playlists. My good friend Jennifer Lipp will stand alone as the only local morning show for rock fans. But I doubt any rock station in Fresno will ever be able to reclaim the spirit that made KRZR so great back in the day. It’s a shame, but that’s the state of big corporate McRadio these days.

Jason Squires (aka Hammer) is the program director at rival station New Rock 104.1. Over the years, he certainly paid attention to KRZR.


Hard to put into words what it all means at the end of the day. I come from a different perspective, I have many friends that were there that are amazing broadcasters & talents. From the perspective of a programmer, they were always the 800 lb gorilla that gave me more grey hair then I care to have.

For our business of radio & community of Fresno, it is a huge loss.

Silva is a local rock promoter, who used to help with KRZR’s local music show.


KRZR meant a few things to Fresno and Fresno music scene. As for Fresno, it was the only hard rock/metal station that played those types of bands; Slayer, Iron Maiden, Mudvayne and so forth. They even had Mandatory Metallica.

They were the only station that pushed the envelope on their shows. Remembering back ten years or so, they had the Meat Shop with Bower, and then Rick Roddam stepped in right after that. His show bought new depths in Fresno radio. I feel he really stepped up and shaped KRZR and raised the bar in Fresno radio. I never forget the hilarious things he did on his show, and to all his crazy characters like Prison Bitch, Manhole, Cletus, Cerebral Paul, and the rest of his interns.

Let’s not forget the Front Row Morning Show! Jen Lipp, Brad Giese and Chris Daniel. I remember getting up or never going to bed and hearing Jen’s Freak News. Just the random moments in the morning to start the day of laughter. I remember becoming a huge fan of KRZR around that time and always calling in the morning show, Roddam’s show, and even late night with Ashton and becoming all great friends.

I even helped produced a segment called “Overnight Spotlight” every single weekend. I gave my weekends to go help Ashton out to help the music scene. We had a two-year run of that show! The music scene loved the show and it was very popular among all the music scene supporters. I had bands all over the country wanting to be on the show. So we knew the show was something the music scene needed. Not to mention “Turn That Damn Noise Down” on Sunday night. KRZR was a huge supporter of the Fresno music scene.

Now that KRZR is gone there’s going to be a huge void of hard music, crazy games to win tickets, hell even the cool segment “The Beer Run” with Koyote. Only a station like KRZR can think and do all these off the wall segments! So we’re really going to be missing out on good, fun, off-the-wall entertainment. I’m glad I was part of it someway and I’m glad I made friends with them through out the years! KRZR had a good 21-year run!


Responses to "The KRZR funeral"

Bino Escobar says:

my cat ate a whole watermelon

Jessica Moreno says:

This is ridiculous! There is NO other station like KRZR in Fresno and it was the ANTHEM TO MY DAY and the BACK BONE OF MY STRENGTH. This was NOT just a radio station and I’m ANGRY and something needs to be done…

floyd says:

this is so crazy, my cat just ate a whole watermelon too.

Michael says:

I have a question. There’s been rumors for weeks that KRZR was going to flip formats. Why wasn’t the “Bring back KRZR” page created then with the intent of saving it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m lamenting the loss of The Wild Hare. Just question the outrage over this when it was pretty well known it was going to happen.

die already says:


Jason W says:

I remember one morning sitting in my car and going to class at Fresno State late because i was listening to the funniest “freak show” story i had ever heard! I was sitting there in tears laughing my ass off! And when i got out of the car, this girl a couple cars down got out of her car too and she was laughing and i said KRZR?!?! and she started laughing and agreed… It hasn’t been as good lately, i admit, but The Wild Hare will be missed!

Cole Fonseca says:


KRZR Sucked says:

All this complaining and whining about losing a crappy rock station? You all want to do something about it?? Buy a freakin’ HD radio and listen to your garbage there. KRZR hasn’t gone any where but high definition. And if you don’t want to pay for an HD radio, go to for a chance to win one for free. So quit your griping and let a larger demographic enjoy their music.

Matthew Reade O'Donnell says:

I remember the first Broadcast. I think it was Chris Daniels that took it over from X104. Full circle? Anyway, this is b.s.. I can only hope that if they stick with this program, they crash and burn. Krzr has been a good friend to me. Morning and night. Highs and lows. Just talked to the program manager, weed, he said that they don’t expect the krzr audience to continue listening, but they still expect a bump in ratings soon. Guess what? Those “kids” don’t go to local businesses and support the valley like the wild hairlians do. Ranting. Anyway, goodbye Doug Ray, Rev, Skippy, Koyote, Zolo, Orly, local music, local shows, party bus, and real rock, not just music, but attitude! F. You clear channel

kathy says:

my sister inlaw and I were on the listener appreseation show. ChrismDanials told me to get my own show.oh the good times will be missed.oh ya i won tickets to see tool to.

Phoebe says:

I left terrestrial radio when Stern did. I don’t miss it nor will I miss KRZR.

David/Anthony Gastelo says:

Theres way too many Old Skool Dance stations out there…why did they need another one. There was only one KRZR Hard Rock/Metal station out there. Clear Channel has no idea. Sounds like their decission was a lil bias. How the hell do they know the city needs another station to take the listeners back. Theres like 4 other stations that do that already.
Feel bad for Doug and REV. Hope you guys land somethin soon.

RIP Wild Hare
Death to The Beat!!!!

Cristobal says:

As a member of the local music community I think this is a big loss. KRZR was one of the few stations, if not the only station, in the Valley that would devote a full hour to local music. Sure, not everything played was great, but I always appreciated the opportunity to listen to what other Valley musicians created.

Carson says:

RIP KRZR 1989-2010. I will miss Doug and the Rev more than anythin

Bower says:

WOW! Wow…I know that the CC machine always has a station it owns in it’s crosshairs, but I never saw this one coming.

I left Fresno almost 10 years ago to do radio in Detroit. Since then I have been doing radio in Michigan, Florida, back to California, New York, Florida again and now in Connecticut…none of those places had a station that came close to the quality of KRZR. When I say quality, I mean the people that worked there, the talent of the hosts and the ability to entertain that E. Curtis gave us all. Giving us enough rope to hang ourselves came with the unspoken implication that he trusted us enough to not.

I miss my time in Fresno. I miss the friends that I had made and continue to speak with. I look forward to someone in that market jumping on this opportunity and stepping in to fill the shoes of a programmer who gave me my first “real” break and understands the rewards that come from letting someone be themselves on the air and not a shill towing the corporate line.

Fresno, I wish you the best. And until that station does come along…Jen Lipp is your Morning Host. Chris Daniel is your Afternoon Host. And if you need anything in between, my sports/lifestyle radio show is Sun.-Thurs. from 8-9PM Eastern/5-6PM Fresno time at and those podcasts are available at

And maybe, I can revitalize “The Meat Shop” in podcast form…to give you something else to keep you entertained.

Wild Hare Fans – Invite me back for any protests, fundraisers…WHATEVER! I’ll be there…

Love you hard,

Former Host of The Meat Shop

Amen sister the freak news was just a horrible version of Robin’s news see ya later KRZR!

Debi says:

Pretty much all radio stations have sucked for many years. Payola has ruined real music on the radio. My advice is to buy an mp3 player and listen to what you want, when you want!

laura splotch says:

i was a long time listener to KRZR and attended many events and concerts they were a part of. this is a huge loss for our local music scene…i really appreciated the “turn that damn noise down” show on sunday night, where we could promote our shows and hear our favorite local bands. there will be no equal…KRZR was, at one time, one of a kind!!! i just wondered about the KRZR 21st anniversary party on oct. 30th at woodward park with sevendust??? is it going to be a funeral for real??? RIP KRZR. you will be missed…

Anthony M. says:

The Front Row Morning Show and the “Chuck Heston Mini-Disaster Movie”. That was the best!!!

MarkVanness says:

It may have fallen on hard times in recent years but those of us that remember it so fondly were a part of something special. Whether you worked there with us or listened It’s impact and the fun factor was so high at the time that it still has a hardcore group of fans to this day! For us…it was the greatest rock station ever! For me it was when we invited Ted Nugent to meet the fans and the backstage winner was chosen by a Ted Arrow! We can always hang on to the memories of those great times, it will sustain us! It wasn’t just about a radio station, it was about the people! For the rest who hate…well… How many vietnam vets does it take to change a light bulb? You don’t know…because you weren’t there, maaaaannnn! KRZR Rocks on in my heart!

Dana says:

I’m not saddened by this loss, except for the the fact that some good people now have to find other work in this crappy economy.

In my mind KRZR was just not relevant anymore. I realized this when I tuned into some internet rock stations and was suddenly turned on to a truckload of rocking new bands that I had never ever heard of. Why? Because KRZR mostly played old crap.

I asked a buddy who’s a program director for a country station about this and what he told me really woke me up to the evils of giant broadcasting corporations. He said “We’re not in the business of promoting music. We’re in the business of selling advertising. The music is just something to fill space between the commercials.”.

That’s why radio is dead.

Melissa says:

I grew up with the Wild Hare! While getting ready for school I listened to The Front Row, after I got my license I drove around (when gas was cheaper) and listened to The Meatshop. The music rocked and the attitude was contagious. I will never forget the fond memories I have or the joy of listening to the shows and the rockin music. I can not believe it is gone!

Megan says:

I was listening to KRZR less and less because of a lot of the music choices (really, Shinedown is “hard rock” music?) but Doug and the Rev was the only morning show to listen to! I would always be cracking up on the way to work, which is the best way to start the day.

Lillu says:

i am totally outraged by this, they did this to the one actually worthwhile oldies station we had [not 97.9], and now to the only METAL station we had in this valley . . . what’s next they get rid of 95.7 The Fox? sure this kind of thing happens but that doesn’t make it right.

James says:

Jim Powell

KRZR Listener from 2002 – 2010 from Tulare, CA

When I moved to California back in December 2002 with my wife, I left behind in Jacksonville, FL a great hard rock station 104.5 (Rock 105). Stations like Rock 105 are few and far between and KRZR filled that void splendidly and became my new rock station. KRZR played my style of music. Rock… hard, loud, and fast. From classic hits to modern stuff if it rocked hard enough that 104.1, 95.7, and others couldn’t play it, KRZR did it anyway.

KRZR was, as Chris Daniel and others said, a huge promoter of not just the local bands, but big name bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Slayer, and others who don’t always come to the Central Valley and stay primarily in cities like Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. If a big name band was coming to town KRZR played all kinds of promotions from advertisements to selections from new and old albums of the band to get everyone wanting to go. I doubt if KRZR had not have been here at the time, these bands would have just saw Fresno as just another dot on the map with a highway passing through it.

If there ever was void, KRZR filled the void for the harder genres of rock and metal. Hardly any stations play bands like Pantera/Damage Plan, Slayer, Lamb of God, etc. because the bands music is just either too heavy sounding or too extreme a genre. The loss of this station not only leaves a void left behind for many bands but for entire music genres.

As Chris said it best, KRZR was starved to death slowly and painfully. The farther south you went in the Valley, KRZR just vanished. The age old question of reaching out to the Valley was one Clear Channel clearly wanted to not answer. On a clear day or night KRZR would come in down here in Tulare well enough to not be staticy, but on some days where it was storming and or cloudy the station would have reception issues, but people like me would still listen.

What void needed to be filled by The Beat anyway? As current we have at least 5 different stations that all play the exact same genres of music as The Beat across the FM dial that clearly are overplayed and overhyped. As far as rock music goes, we have 1 alternative station, 2 classic rock stations, and 1 classic rock/metal mix station. We, now since the demise of KRZR, now have no classic or new Hard Rock or Heavy Metal stations. if there is any void that needs to be filled this void is it and it’s a huge void.

Clear Channel can claim all they want the filled a void, but everyone knows all the too well, they left behind not just a void, they left a wound to the Valley that may or may not ever be filled and healed, and clearly the people have left a statement for Clear Channel communications… your welcome here is slowly running out and we might be better off without you.

James says:

And just for the curious… The Beer Run with Koyote… it was actually proven by Koyote himself and other station personnel and management, he really did have actual beer in the studio, and not some cheesy sound effect pre-recorded.

That’s pushing the envelope in ways no other station here in the valley ever could get away with. I mean seriously, who ELSE but Koyote could actually bring a cold six pack of Bud Light to work, chug it down while on the job, then be able to not only keep his job, but get paid for it, and then to top it all off, let out a bone jarring belch over the airways? NOBODY!

Steve says:

Let’s face it: KRZR hasn’t been a good radio station in years. The morning show was alright, but the rest of it was just watered down Clear Channel crap anyway. It’s time for something new to fill the void – let’s see if New Rock, the Fox or the Blaze step up their games and fill some voids. I’m not holding my breath.

DP says:

Although I only occasionally listened to KRZR, they will be missed. I was an occasional listener due to the fact that their signal strength was so weak. If you got behind a UPS truck at Blackstone and Shaw the station would fade out. It was all to annoying to put up with therefore my listening went elsewhere. If “Clear Channel”…HA…doesn’t correct this issue the new stations, with their new formats, will die off also. I really think iPods, iPhones, Sat radio and online streaming really killed them off. It’s too bad!!

Caroline says:

Here’s a thought folks —tune into Dennis Miller in the a.m., 940 KYNO….he is smart, hip & funny–I know, I know, he gets political, but come on ya need to know whats happening…catch Chris Daniels on your way home 580 KMJ –again, smart, hip & funny. You want rock n roll…..get a CD player, MP3, IPOD and listen to what makes ya move…..Sad to see KRZR go, but I am one of the oldies that lived thru the “death” of KKDJ –trust me, you’ll survive!

Chuck says:

You know just today I was driving around town listening to the radio and suddenly I saw this cat eating a whole watermelon and I thought to myself KRZR DUDE!

chuck says:

Hip? What’s that?….

RS Sandell says:

Miss dingo boy and burn a bid Thursday! I still remember the “one nut episode” and laugh my ass off! Farewell!

German says:

As part of the promotions team of The Wild Hare from 93-97; being part of the “Show us your Wild Hare”; Running of the Sheep, Major Wajer; countless smokey nights at Bisla’s, bobbin’ for turkey’s, etc… I have yet to see listeners as wild as KRZR’s. I remember the guy in Hanford that came and brought us an egg to put on the floor because Jeff Freeman said it was so hot that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk; and the one that came and ate the egg off the floor for a KRZR t-shirt. Those were the fun/crazy days of radio… Not a fan of the new Beat.

Nicole says:

KRZR will be missed. Clear Channel has royally alienated thousands of listeners, so good luck bouncing back from that. The music was a perfect balance between old and new, hard and innovative. I’m sorry to say, but the format it has now been changed to is an insult. Nice move, now you’ve got just another station that sounds exactly like another one down the dial… Now there’s no hope of any decent act coming to Fresno! Thank you, KRZR, for the tons of tickets that were given away to these great shows, movie premiers, the awesome calendars, and bumper stickers. Oh, and we can’t forget the badass personalities behind this once great station. And what’s the whole point of going to an HD station? Seriously?

Kristin says:

With crap like coyote and all the other idiot dj howard stern wanna bes it’s not a wonder that they cut it. I haven’t listened to it much since they dropped the front row. so who really cares, it’s just a radio station…go find something else worth living for.

RS Sandell says:

Miss dingo boy and burn a bud Thursday! I still remember the “one nut episode” and laugh my ass off! Farewell! Come back Dingo Boy…..Please Come Back…:(

justice says:

You really don’t get it do you, its not only about the music but also the personality that came from the DJ’s that made it a great station. With out the personality its just a bunch of suits in a far away land dictating what we now need to listen to….. lady gaga…no thanks. I am someone who enjoys all types of music, so a variety of local stations is a good thing. So you are complaining that we as rockers are feeling sad due to the loss of our long time friend… sir must be a HUGE lady gaga fan, and there fore verry happy to have yet another dance station with no life in it.

Anonymous says:

Well – there it is: proof that extended listening leads to brain damage.

People: we are talking about a RADIO STATION. A RADIO STATION. If its alteration or even “demise” has led to this sort of major upheaval in your lives, chest-beating, bemoaning and wailing – I would suggest the value of your lives is seriously to be questioned.

There’s a world out there in need of some very major attention. I would suggest you direct YOUR focus to a far more important job at hand.

evaughn says:

Really. Chris Who? Now I’ve heard of Ray Applepuss, But Chris who?

jason says:

KRZR was the only station i could leave the radio on for the day and pretty much leave it. i didn’t like EVERY song.. but when i wanted rock music, that was it.
now we’re left with stations that play rock mixed with pop and other junk. and the “new” 103.7? f**king Backstreet Boys. really?
the show hosts were pretty funny. they got me through many mornings at work. it was just a fun station to listen to.
let’s just say my iPod will be getting a bit more of a workout from now on.
i’m disappointed and more than a bit surprised.

Mike says:

Heres the way to get KRZR back the way you want it you headbangin rockers: get your asses off the couch, put out your weed pipes, and go get yourselves a job. Maybe then you can get off of the EBT and start buying s**t that makes advertisers want to support a radio station that caters to you!

Jason says:

Burn a Bud was the funniest thing EVER! I wish they would have put that on a CD and sold it. Those things were to funny. If there is any way those could ge posted that would be awesome!

Kevin says:

While I was not a regular listener of KRZR, I was sad to hear it was gone. I love the style of the music that is played on the new station but I will not listen to it on 103.7 I will not listen to 103.7 as a result of the closing down of KRZR. Mega 97.9 is still my favorite station.

anon says:

One person I know who hardly even listens to the radio and yet has long known who KRZR is, my mother will always loathe you for your “angry music and disparaging remarks about women”.

Thank you, KRZR, you have a special place in my memory for what you used to be before The Front Row was dropped and the station was slowly bled out to die.

I haven’t listened much lately because this last year as I could tell little difference between KRZR and Lame Rock 104.1; now that KRZR’s gone and 104.1 dropped Kevin & Bean, I have two presets cleared up on my radio.

MIchael says:

Good Riddance..! Couldn’t stand listening to the same groups/songs over & over..! Glad it’s no longer around…!

Catalina says:

I stopped listening right after they gave Jen, Chris and Brad the axe. What a seriously bad move it was to drop their show. Beginning of the end.

J.Baldwin says:

It’s really sad to see that KRZR has finally died after a long bout with Clear Channel cancer. I moved from California in the mid 90s, but I occasionally listened to KRZR when they started streaming on the net until the Clear Channel influence just got too prevalent.
I will always remember KRZR made it possible to watch a guy launch chickens over a K-Mart, see a father and son team eat a tree, watch a guy cut up a car with a chainsaw on channel 26, and have a 100lb man in a speedo get peppered 400 times by people with paintball guns and then take an alcohol bath. And that was just at one event. There’s 100′s of other things KRZR did that were just as memorable. Who else could pull off a giant white rabbit with a flying-V?

anna says:

it was the only good radio station that we could get here inbetween mariposa and yosemite park we all miss it here now we cant listen to nothing!

brad says:

HD radio is a joke , it sounds like a bad mp3 and
has much less range then the analog signal
HD radio is something clear channel cooked up to interfere with the little stations next to them on the radio dial

it’s will slowly disappear just like AM stereo
and the 8-track…

stop wasting electricity and your engineers time.