Senior Editor and Researcher
Are you looking for the best AM radio stations in Phoenix? You’re not alone.
In a world of digital transformation, defined by countless new streaming platforms, online radio stations, and downloadable content, AM radio seems a little old-fashioned to some.
However, the reality is that AM radio still has a significant presence in the US landscape and worldwide.
According to a report from Nielsen Media, around 88 percent of Americans still listen to terrestrial radio every week, including both AM and FM channels.
Not only is this form of radio extremely accessible, but it can offer listeners a unique alternative to countless common FM and DAB stations.
Today, we’re proving that the AM radio industry is still alive and well in Phoenix, Arizona, with a behind-the-scenes guide to some of the best AM channels in the region.
The Best Phoenix AM Radio Stations
As AM radio continues to thrive throughout the United States, there are still plenty of options for listeners to choose from when sorting through channels.
Your opinion of the best station on the market will likely vary depending on the type of music or station you prefer.
Some AM stations focus exclusively on talk-based content, with drama and comedy shows, while others create music playlists dedicated to specific genres, such as hip-hop, pop, or rock.
We’ve created this list based on Phoenix’s most popular (and listened-to) AM stations today.
Let’s jump in.
Otherwise known as 620 AM, KTAR is a commercial radio station from Phoenix, owned and operated by the Bonneville International Corporation.
First launched in 1922 as KFAD, KTAR has evolved over the years, exploring a range of formats before settling on sports and talk broadcasting strategy. Specifically, the station airs programming from ESPN radio.
While the KTAR AM station concentrates on network programming and live sports commentary, the accompanying FM channel offers more news and talk-based content.
Today, Bonneville, the KTAR parent company, holds the radio broadcast rights to most of the major college and professional sports competitions in Phoenix.
This means KTAR has plenty of content to share.
Alongside ESPN radio programming, KTAR regularly features local shows hosted by personalities such as Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley.
Frequency: 620 kHz
Website: Arizona Sports
One of Arizona’s most popular news and talk show radio stations, KFNX features a host of popular programs.
Segments cover various topics, from pet behavior and financial advice to paid health insights. It’s also the market broadcaster for the University of Arizona Wildcats basketball and football teams.
The syndicated content line-up on the KFNX channel includes segments from Dan Bongino, Joe Pags, Lars Larson, and Alex Jones.
In recent years, KFNX was voted one of the 10 ten stations in Arizona, with around 50,000 listeners each week.
In between talk show programming, KFNX also airs regular news updates, sharing insights from the Phoenix area. There are also regular traffic and weather reports to check out.
Frequency: 1100 kHz
Another popular AM station in Phoenix, KNAI, broadcasts to a niche crowd as a regional Mexican-formatted station.
The station previously belonged to Bonneville until it was sold to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network in 2017.
Initially, the station was launched in 1949, when the Western Broadcasting Company received a permit to build a new radio station in Phoenix on the 860 kHz wavelength.
The station became the first full-time Spanish-language channel in Arizona.
The KNAI channel is brimming with variety, with plenty of unique songs to listen to from Mexican artists and talk shows, news segments, and sporting commentary sections.
As well as being active in Phoenix, KNAI is also available to listen to in regions across the US, such as Las Vegas, Bakersfield, and Yuma.
Frequency: 860 kHz
Owned by one of the biggest radio parent brands in the US, iHeartMedia, KFYI is a commercial news and talk station in Phoenix.
It’s the market affiliate for various shows, such as the Fox News Radio Show and the Glenn Beck Radio Program.
When the channel first launched, it was an experimental broadcasting station listed under the call-sign KFCB.
Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, the channel switched to an adult contemporary format before eventually moving into the talk and news landscape.
Interestingly, the former congressman J.D. Hayworth once hosted a weekday show in the 2000s on KFYI before resigning in 2010.
Today, the channel hosts interview and information shows, nationally syndicated conservative talk shows, and specialty programs covering gardening, health, and real estate.
Frequency: 550 kHz
KAZG could be the best AM radio station in Phoenix for you if your musical tastes skew toward classical hits.
This station, owned by the Hubbard Broadcasting company, focuses on an oldies music format, playing classic hits from the 1960s and ’70s.
The station hosts specific playlists occasionally, focusing on music from the ’60s during Super 60s weekends and music from the ’70s during Super 70s weekends.
A well-known radio host, Steve Goddard, became the afternoon host for the channel in 2018, bringing with him two nationally syndicated shows: Goddard’s Gold and The 70s with Steve Goddard.
Since launching in 1956 as KPOK, KAZG has earned significant popularity among listeners for its laid-back tunes and varied playlists.
Frequency: 1440 kHz
Another popular AM radio station for music lovers, KBSZ, is a commercial radio station called The Rattler.
The station operates from Broadway in Miami, Arizona, and broadcasts throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.
KBSZ promotes the classic rock format, though its playlists are largely automated, with very little input from hosts.
Before switching to the rock genre, KSBZ focused on an all-comedy format with syndicated comedy programming.
Today, the station is popular among fans of classic rock from throughout the decades. A fantastic program airs on the channel each week called Floydian Slip, which focuses specifically on the music of Pink Floyd.
Frequency: 1260 kHz
Commercial Spanish language adult hits radio station KTKT is owned by Lotus Communications and covers the Tucson metropolitan area alongside Southern Arizona.
When the channel first launched, it chose the name KTKT after its founders, Thomas J Wallace Sr, Art Linkletter, and Tom Breneman Sr. The “T’s” were for the two “Toms,” while the K referenced part of Art’s second name.
KTKT quickly became an independent station, focusing mainly on music-oriented playlists. In 1954, the team created a separate FM station but continued to operate on the AM frequency simultaneously.
Over the years, the station experimented with various formats before switching to a Spanish-language oldies format in 2004.
In 2005, KTKT adopted the ESPN Spanish-language sports format before dropping this strategy to air Spanish-language music again, this time concentrating on current hits.
Frequency: 990 kHz
Another excellent AM station for sports lovers, KDUS, is a talk radio station owned by the Hubbard Broadcasting company.
When the station started in 1956, it used the call sign KUPD, leading many people to refer to the channel as the Cupid station.
Initially, the station focused on mainstream top 40 music, full-service middle-of-the-road formats, and similar programming. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the channel cycled through various musical formats, experimenting with everything from R&B to country playlists.
Today, KDUS is a sports fan’s dream radio station, with five hours of local programming broadcast daily on Mondays through Fridays. The station also airs various shows from the Fox Sports Radio station, such as The Dan Patrick Show and The Doug Gottlieb Show.
Frequency: 1060 kHz
While KIDR’s programming might not appeal to everyone, the station has an interesting history worth discussing.
The En Familia company owns KIDR, a Spanish-language Roman catholic radio station that frequently broadcasts religious teachings and sermons.
When it first launched in 1958, under the call sign KUEQ, it was believed to be the first fully automated radio the US had ever seen.
Initially, it played programming from tapes throughout its daytime broadcasting hours each day.
After experimenting with some easy-listening music playlists, KIDR eventually changed formats to a family-friendly and religious station with Catholic-oriented content.
The KIDR station today uses a directional antenna to broadcast around the clock.
Frequency: 740 kHz
The Best AM Radio Stations in Phoenix
While opinions of which AM stations provide the best content in Phoenix will likely differ depending on who you ask, there are still plenty of options to choose from across the airwaves.
Today’s listeners throughout Phoenix can enjoy everything from syndicated shows to talk show programming and even news and sports commentary.
While talk-based stations are most common on the AM airwaves in Phoenix, there are also a handful of music-focused channels to consider.
Of course, you can expand your playlist options even further by checking out some FM stations in Phoenix.