KCPX (FM-98.7) will retain its "continuous favorites, from yesterday to today" format despite last week's marketing agreement with Citadel Communications, owner of KLZX (FM-93.3).
However, "Z-93" sister station KCNR (AM-860), the CNN news station, will soon move to KCPX-AM's frequency.According to Stu Stanek, recently promoted from KLZX/KCNR general manager to vice president of operations for Citadel, the company isn't about to tamper with KCPX's successful format.
"It (KCPX-FM) is going to stay like it is," Stanek said.
He said KCNR will move to AM-1320 because that's one of the best AM frequencies in the state. A simulcast of KZLX will replace KCNR on AM-860 (meaning if you have access only to an AM radio, you'll be able to enjoy Jon and Dan, Kelly Monson and the rest of the Z-crew, too). A simulcast of KCPX-FM has been transmitting previously on AM-1320.
Leonard Smart, former KLZX sales manager, has replaced Stanek as vice president/general manager, and Smart will have responsibility for all four of the radio stations. These four stations are likely to make Smart the busiest radio general manager in the market.
Smart agreed the KLZX-KCPX union is a perfect marriage and except for perhaps some minor fine tuning, KCPX's format will not change. He also said no date has been set yet for when KCNR will move to AM-1320 and when the Z-93 simulcast will begin - but it will be soon.
Another change resulting from the cooperative agreement will be the move of the KLZX/KCNR studios, now at 180 S. 300 West, to the KCPX building at 434 Bearcat Drive.
As announced last week, Citadel has entered into a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) to provide marketing and programming for the two Price Broadcasting stations known as KCPX.
Stanek said he was legally bound by confidentiality to deny the forthcoming LMA with Price when he was contacted by the Deseret News earlier about such a deal. He said any leaks to the press would have voided the deal.
As a result of the agreement, many KCPX employees lost their jobs last week. Stanek said the agreements are similar to the joint operating agreement (JOA) in which the Newspaper Agency Corp. provides printing and distribution for the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune to cut costs.
Stanek said an LMA cuts costs by having the same managers and sales staff. All but two of KCPX's on-air people have elected to remain, despite the LMA.
Regarding the rumor that all KCPX on-air people were fired and then rehired on probation and at reduced salaries, Stanek would say only that Citadel went in with a salary structure and most employees felt they could accept it. Smart said Citadel was pleased with performances of most of the KCPX on-air people.
Stanek confirmed the main reason Citadel was interested in KCPX was its large share of the female radio listening audience. KLZX has a large male audience, and the two complement each other.
The Federal Communications Commission is considering relaxing its multiple ownership rules for radio stations, and by Aug. 1 could allow the same company to own two FM stations and three AM stations in the same radio market. Stanek said this may not happen and if it does, a deal for Citadel to buy KCPX AM/FM radio from Price would involve an additional agreement yet to be determined.
LMAs are a trend in radio today, and Stanek said some radio stations would eventually go silent without them. He said that while television is fragmenting itself with cable TV and numerous stations, radio is contracting itself. - Lynn Arave.