Competition among local radio stations is extremely fierce with so many broadcasting properties trying to survive in this relatively small market. Sometimes a station may try to woo a key player away from a rival station and may even try to count on this new asset when the new contract is still written in pencil.
This appears to be what happened recently between rival rock stations KBER (FM-101.1) and KRSP (FM-103.5).KBER issued an incorrect announcement that it had acquired the services of KRSP's longtime programming consultant Frank Felix.
"I feel it is the highest form of flattery that KBER wants to duplicate what we are doing," Alan Hague, KRSP general manager, said.
KBER general manager Chris Devine said that the situation was a sad misunderstanding. He said Felix talked extensively with KBER and even took a check from the station, which Devine assumed to mean that Felix was accepting employment.
Unfortunately, Felix had a change of heart and returned the check to KBER a few days later after deciding to remain with KRSP.
"I value the relationship I've had with KRSP and its fine people over the years, and we are committed to winning, just like we have many times before," Felix said. "I think KBER's announcement was premature and took me by surprise. We talked, but I did not formally accept any offers."
Devine said that John Edwards, KBER's program director, had been considering relocating and that Felix, a 10-year consultant for KRSP, was believed to be the best possible replacement.
"We were just trying to secure our future," Devine said about trying unsuccessfully to woo Felix away from KRSP.
This situation has also heated up the battle between the two competing stations. After the incident, KRSP's management reported that it has become increasingly concerned about what it perceives as deteriorating professional rapport in the Salt Lake area radio market.
"We have always been locally owned, and we will continue to uphold the highest professional standards on and off the air and will not succumb to increasingly popular dirty tactics," Steve Carlson, KRSP program director, said.
Devine said that he has the highest of respect for KRSP, the pioneer in Utah's rock music radio market.
- KZHT (FM-94.9) - "Open-Line," a talk show for teens and young adults, has become one of the station's most popular segments after six months of operation.
Hosted by KZHT engineer and part-time deejay Morgan Evans, the show airs Sundays from 9-11 p.m.
"There are a lot of talk shows in this market, but this is the only one really targeted toward teens and their concerns," Evans said. "These issues are important to them, and this is the only public forum they have to talk about them."
The program is co-sponsored by Charter Summit Hospital and has examines such topics as teen suicide and youth response to the Persian Gulf war.
- KALL (AM-910) - The radio station, along with KUTV and Jerry Seiner Dealerships, is sponsoring the new "Freeway Friend" program, a public service assistance vehicle designed to help commuting motorists with minor automobile problems.
The Freeway Friend operates weekdays 6:30-9 a.m. and again from 4-6:30 p.m. on main commuting routes in the Salt Lake area. It will also operate during high traffic events such as University of Utah basketball games.
Gasoline, dead battery and flat-tire assistance are three main services offered by Freeway Friend. All help is free, and the Freeway Friend will also notify police of accidents.
- KLCY (FM-94.9) - The station begins its Mexican Riviera "Cruise Getaway" promotion Monday, March 4. The grand prize, to be given away on April 1, is a cruise from Acapulco to Los Angeles.
Listeners can register by calling the station at key times during the Michael O'Brien, Gaylen Palmer or Chuck McCartney shows.
Each Saturday during March, KLCY will also visit shopping malls between Provo and Ogden to offer chances to enter the cruise contest, as well as an opportunity to win other prizes such as cassettes and trips to San Jose, Calif.
- KRCL (FM-90.9) - The station's fifth annual "Women Aloud" programming marathon will be held March 7-8. This is a special mix of music, drama, comedy and documentaries to coincide with International Women's Day March 8.
Immediately following the two full days of "Women Aloud" programming, KRCL will hold its spring fund drive. The non-profit station relies on 150 volunteer workers and 4,000 members.
Here's the schedule for "Women Aloud":
Thursday March 7:
8:30 a.m. - "Not in Our Names: Jewish Women Rethinking the Middle East." 9 a.m. - "Sisters and Allies: Cecelia Firethunder." 9:30 a.m. - "Out in the Country Again." 11:30 a.m. - "What We Teach is What We Get."
12:30 p.m. - "Victorian Ladies of Oil." 1:30 p.m. - "Recycling Women." 2:30 p.m. - "Anita Roddick, Ecopreneur." 3 p.m. - "The Blessed Mother Did a Gig in Ireland: She Winded, She Waived, She Shimmied." 4 p.m. - "They Led the Way (part one)." 5 p.m. - "Will Gone Jive."
6 p.m. - "The Evil That Men Do." 7 p.m. - "Woman of Heart and Mind: A History of Joni Mitchell." 10 p.m. - "Oligarchy by Default." 11 p.m. - "Carnival of the Early 1900s." 1:30 a.m. - "What We Teach is What We Get." 2:30 a.m. - "Victorian Ladies of Oil." 3:30 a.m. - "Palabras de Mujeres." 4:30 a.m. - "Recycling Women." 5:30 a.m. - "Sorry But . . . Women's RR Blues."
Friday, March 8:
6:30 a.m. - "Special Edition: Friday Breakfast Jam." 8:30 a.m. - "Organizing Household Women: Jenny Del Carmen Hurtado." 9 a.m. - "J'al Deux Amour." 11 a.m. - "Women's Role in Saving the Environment." 11:30 a.m. - "Wisdom of the Women."
12:30 p.m. - "Palabres de Mujeres." 1:30 p.m. - "Reproductive Rights: Issues in the '90s." 3 p.m. - "They Led the Way (Part two)." 4 p.m. - "Roots, Rock, Reggae."
- KBYU (FM-89.1) "The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center" airs Sundays at 4:10 p.m., beginning Sunday, March 3.