The local radio market is a continuing a game of musical chairs. A deejay who leaves one station will likely soon end up at another across town. How long of a wait there is between radio jobs usually depends on how good the disc jockey is.
For former KRSP-FM personality Kelly Monson, the wait was only 11 days. Monson, previously the midday star on FM-103.5, left that station Jan. 9 to pursue other opportunities. As of Jan. 21, he's the new deejay for afternoon drive time (2-6 p.m.) on KLZX (FM-93.3).Monson, one of KRSP's legendary deejays, is not the first former FM-103.5 personality to join KLZX. Jon Carter and Dan Bammes (alias "Jon and Dan") have been the morning men at this classic rock station since September 1989.
And KLZX has now risen to the top. According to the latest Arbitron radio ratings (fall 1990), KLZX attracts more adult listeners (ages 25-54) than any other station along the Wasatch Front. (KLZX is ranked third among stations in the age-12-plus listener category.)
"Jon & Dan" are two good reasons for the station's strong showing. Now, Monson's presence will likely add another.
Stuart Stanek, KLZX general manager, credits the station's excellent ratings to the hard work of the entire staff. He also has special praise for program director Mike Beck.
Monson replaces Brett Connor, who has been elevated to a full-time production job.
- KCNR (alias AM "860 CNN") - If you've been using AM radio to follow the progress of the war in the Middle East, then you've probably discovered this relatively new, all-news station.
"KCNR" stands for "Cable News Radio." You won't hear these official call letters given very often, but you'll hear plenty of references to the station's foundation - CNN, Cable News Network, a service that has become the No. 1 news source for the war in the Persian Gulf.
AM-860 used to be a simulcast of sister station KLZX (FM-93.3). However, on Nov. 15, CNN made its local radio debut.
If you've ever wished you could get radio on TV, you can with "860 CNN." The station is usually the audio portion of cable TV station CNN Headline News and since the Middle East war erupted, it is using a lot of the main CNN broadcast, seen locally on cable Channel 9.
According to station manager Stuart Stanek, AM-860 has received an "unbelievable response" from listeners because of the war. Stanek said listeners go up and down the AM dial, searching for news and discover 860.
Stanek said he wishes there weren't a war in the Persian Gulf, but if there is a bright side to the war, it has put "AM-860 on the map."
The station has about 100 billboards currently along the Wasatch Front, and although it was a big gamble to start the station up, Stanek said he got lucky. Utah is not the only state to have CNN radio stations, since the trend can be found nationally.
In addition to national and international news, AM-860 also has a local staff of four reporters. Sheila Nardone is the news director, assisted by Len Thomas, Shane Anthony and Dean Rehberger. A subscription to the Associated Press aids the station in its local news coverage.
Stanek said the station may have a younger audience than anyone expected, since of the average age of 100 listeners who sent letters to the station during a four-day period last week was 34.
Excluding the unpredictable updates of news from the Persian Gulf, AM-860's regular 30-minute news schedule goes like this:
- The first 13 minutes of each half-hour are national and international news.
- The next four minutes are business news, followed by three minutes of headline sports news.
- The remainder of the 30 minutes is spent on local news and human interest reporting.
In addition, traffic updates are provided four times an hour during morning and afternoon drive times, and there's also regular weather reporting.
AM-860 can be heard throughout Utah during daylight hours, but the Federal Communications Commission requires the station to drastically reduce its power at night. The station is thus heard only from Provo to portions of Ogden after dark.
Sister station KLZX (FM-93.3) does not use CNN, since it provides its own separate news coverage through the ABC Radio Network.
- KSL (AM-1160) - With an all news/information format, this station is another one that is likely to benefit greatly from an increased number of listeners during the war in the Persian Gulf.
KSL already had more total listeners than any other Wasatch Front station besides KLZX prior to the war. AM-1160 is also ranked fourth by Arbitron among total listeners in the prestigious 25-54 age group.
If you've ever wondered if KSL made a mistake in making a format switch from music and news to all news/information in the fall of 1988, these current radio ratings - and the even better ones yet to come - should answer that question.
KSL is providing regular Middle East updates twice an hour and even more often during periods of significant developments in the war.