KUSW, the "Superpower worldwide" 2.5-million watt, shortwave radio station in Murray has been sold by Carlson Communications to Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) of Los Angeles for $2.1 million.
The station started on December 27, 1987, as a purely commercial venture and as a dream-come-true for Ralph J. Carlson. (Carlson and family also own local radio stations KRSP-FM and KKDS-AM.)"We got a good offer," Carlson stated as the main reason for the sale of KUSW.
"We gave it three years but could not overcome the reluctance on the part of advertising agencies and companies using shortwave," Carlson explained of the decision to sell KUSW. "They could only think in terms of AM, FM, TV, etc. They all wanted ratings, which of course there are no worldwide ratings that are conducted . . ."
Another reason for the sale, according to Jana Lyne, spokeswoman for Carlson Communications, KUSW has trouble obtaining advertising because, despite its worldwide market for listeners, almost all advertisers set up their budgets based on regions (Western, Eastern, etc.) and no region was willing to commit to finance ads for the entire world.
Lyne also said that other than mail, it was impossible to measure KUSW's audience. She said KUWS will make the change in ownership Dec. 15 and will then go by the call letters of KTBN.
There are about a dozen other shortwave radio stations that go for a worldwide audience, but most are owned by churches.
KUSW has no direct ties to a church, but has broadcast LDS semi-annual General Conference as a courtesy. Sadly, former KUSW listeners in remote locations will now have to travel to LDS meetinghouses or have a satellite dish to hear conference instead of tuning into shortwave radio.
- KALL (AM-910) - The station has announced the layoffs of three news anchors/reporters - Chris Maathuis, Tracie Cayford and Kristie Snow - effective Dec. 14.
According to Jan Bagley, KALL general manager, the layoffs are simply part of the current tough economic times for all media operations. He said they aren't related directly to any of the cutbacks at other properties also owned by the George Hatch family. (Hatch owns the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden, KUTV and KLCY radio.)
KALL's news operation will continue with only one of its four full-time newspersons, Fred Scott, who will do afternoon news. KALL program director Bob Henricks will keep doing double duty as the morning news anchor. KALL will be able to use KUTV's news staff, as well as various national news sources.
The KALL layoffs come only six months after KALL and KUTV combined their news staffs into a working arrangement similar to that at KSL radio and KSL-TV.
"Our commitment to news hasn't changed," Bagley said "And if KUTV comes through with their commitment to us, we'll be in good shape."
The layoff must be especially disappointing to Maathuis who has worked at numerous local radio stations the past several years, only to experience everything from format changes to unemployment. It looks like his story of having to jump to another radio station is repeating again.
- KKDS (AM-1060) UPDATE - It has now been just over a month since the "Imagination (kids) Station" made its debut in place of the "Oldies Station," and KKDS spokesperson Jana Lyne says that response to the new kids station has been 10 times greater than what the oldies station received.
Lyne said that the station is getting lots of letters from interested listeners (age range 2-15) and that schools, Cub Scouts and day-care centers have shown remarkable interest in the station. Also, not only are latch-key children listening a lot as expected, but baby sitters are even finding the station useful in calming down children.
In other KKDS happenings:
- KKDS is working on a special presentation, to be made at local elementary schools, on the history of radio starting in January.
- Santa Claus will be on KKDS Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 9-10 a.m. and again from 4-5 p.m. KKDS listeners can call 570-1060 and talk to Santa on the air.
- Santa will also visit KKDS on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2-6 p.m., at the station's studio, 1130 W. 5200 South. Kids can stop by and visit with Santa and also see the KKDS operation.
- KKDS will be involved in the "Spirit is Giving" children's book drive Dec. 9-24, to combat illiteracy. Books can be donated at KKDS or any J.C. Penney store. Donated books will be distributed through the Headstart program of several school districts by the Assistance League of Salt Lake City.
- KBYU (FM-89.1) will mark the beginning of the second half century of "Texaco-Metropolitan Opera Live" Saturday, Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m. by broadcasting Verdi's "La Traviata." A trio of American singers will be featured in important roles.
A special intermission will feature a celebration of the 50th birthday afternoon. It was Dec. 7, 1940 when Opera Live began with Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro."
Other Metropolitan opera productions will be: Dec. 15, 11 a.m. with "Salome" by Richard Strauss; Dec. 22, 11 a.m. with Giordano's "Andre Chenier"; and Dec. 29, 11:30 a.m. with "Semiramide" by Rossini.
- KKAT (FM-101.9) - The station's "Morning Guys," Cano and Simmons, braved the cold of winter last week to raise more than $1,300 for the "Help the Homeless Foundation."
Cano and Simmons broadcast live from a Tuff Shed near Valley Fair Mall and asked for donations to buy goods and supplies for the homeless.
Tuff Shed donated a shed to house the needed goods and supplies.
Anyone still wishing to donate to the homeless cause may contact Dee Snow at the "Help For The Homeless Foundation," 255-1431 or 250-4863.
- KCPX (K98.7, FM) and American Airlines have teamed up to present the "Boss of the Day" contest.
"Every day we draw a winning boss from our entries," said Jay Kelly, station program director. "The boss wins lunch for two at Nino's and a certificate proclaiming his or her `Boss of the Day' status."
The winner's name is announced on the air at 8:50 a.m. and throughout the day. The person who nominated the boss also wins a free lunch for two at Nino's and qualifies for the monthly drawing of roundtrip tickets for two to Orlando.
The first trip winner, Becky Alexander of West Jordan, was announced last week. Her boss, Gale Hendry, was the winner on Nov. 15.
Remember, the station is sponsoring the Humane Society's annual "Christmas for the Animals," Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 4613 S. 4000 West.
"We are asking people to bring gifts for the animals at the shelter," said Jay Kelly, program director for K98.7. "Blankets, cleaning materials, toys, cat litter, puppy chow, kitten chow and cash donations are needed."
Those who bring a gift to the shelter can register to win their choice of any pet in the shelter, with K98.7 paying for the fees.
- KUER (FM-90.1) - The station is joining KUED (Ch. 7) and Crossroads Urban Center to provide Utahns in need with a Christmas dinner.
The annual PBS stations' food drive is set for Dec. 19, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in front of Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus.
Last year's drive collected enough food to feed special dinners to more than 200 families, as well as restock the food pantry at Crossroads Urban Center.
- KUER is also in the midst of its "Twilight Chamber Music Series," a program to benefit the homeless through the Utah Symphony Orchestra and friends.
- "Jazz from the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild" will air on KUER Saturday, Dec. 8, 9-10 p.m., with The Billy Taylor Trio.
The next concert is Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 p.m. The show will be taped to air on KUER, Dec. 14, 9 a.m.
- CHRISTMAS MUSIC - Many stations are broadcasting holiday music now (like KSRR, AM-1400 and KFAM, AM-700). Several others plan big events later. KSFI's "100 Hours of Christmas Music" begins Dec. 24 at noon. KBYU (FM-89.1) and KUER (FM-90.1) also have more than their share of holiday music specials planned.