KJQN (alias "KJQ," FM-92.7, 95.5, 104.9 and AM-1490) is poised to make some major format changes within the next week. On Wednesday, most KJQ on-air personalities began making comments indicating they didn't expect to be around the next day and they were saying goodbye to listeners. Sure enough, on Thursday the station began playing continuous modern music, without any live deejays.
KJQ owner/general manager Garret Haston declined to comment on any station changes at this time, but said he would explain KJQ's future next week.With all of its on-air staff let go, only a small control board staff is apparently left running the station.
Rumors are also abounding on what format KJQ will adopt. In the never-ending game of musical chairs that radio stations play, the Z-rock format might be a prime candidate for the station's new format.
KZQQ had the syndicated Z-rock format until the middle of September. Within days after it dropped it, KZHT grabbed it. However, less than a week later, that station started an LMA agreement with KBER and the Z-rock format once again became available as KZHT switched back to pop music.
Kerry Jackson, former KJQ morning personality, said he's not sure Haston knows what format he's going to switch to yet. Jackson believes the station is in financial trouble. He said he was encouraged to reapply for a job at the station Monday under a new general manager, Tom Sherman, but doubts he will.
KJQ has produced more rumors than any station in the market since November, when Mike Summers and company jumped ship and left KJQ, citing poor treatment and broken promises by station management. That core group of deejays has now successfully established itself at KXRK FM (alias "X-96"), and it's obviously a main reason behind whatever format change KJQ makes since the group left its mother station in the dust in the radio ratings.
- KJQN also was recently fined $10,000 by the Federal Communications Commission. Such a fine is unheard of in previous Utah radio history. According to the Sept. 25 issue of "Radio and Records" ("R&R"), KJQ was accused of giving misleading information to the FCC by leaving out "principal facts" during a renewal hearing. The station's broadcasting license also was renewed for only a short-term status as part of the penalty.
Haston said he had no comment on the FCC fine and that any statement would have to come from his lawyer, Henry Crawford, in Washington, D.C.
"It's an unprecedented decision in several respects," Crawford said of the $10,000 fine, indicating it stems from new powers FCC judges have been granted.
Crawford said the fine is being appealed, though the process could take up to a year.
In a separate FCC ruling last week, WGTZ (Dayton, Ohio) was fined $5,000 for airing a phone conversation of a woman without her consent. This means the FCC is cracking down on these type of calls, like phone pranks, previously popular on local radio.
- KISN (AM-570) continues to establish its new identity, separate from KISN-FM. The latest addition to the AM station is John Berg with his Saturday morning how-to shows that premiered last weekend.
Berg's 6 a.m. until noon Saturday shows were previously heard on KALL-AM, until Sept. 17.
He said the reason he left KALL was to move to KISN, where the old KLUB frequency is a lot stronger and where he can eventually link his shows with the Utah Jazz Satellite Network (23 radio stations) to reach all of Utah and many surrounding states.
"I wanted the entire West to hear the programs," Berg said of the dream for his shows, which include "Saturday's Lawyer" (6 a.m.), "Grow It" (7 a.m.), "HomeTalk" (9 a.m.), "Auto Medic" (10 a.m.) and "Physically Speaking" (11 a.m.).
Berg said his shows can be heard from Logan to Nephi with the KISN-AM signal, and when he is able to link up with the Jazz Network, probably early next year, the audience will grow dramatically. The shows have toll-free telephone numbers for listeners to call in with question.
Here's a schedule for Berg's Saturday, Oct. 3, programs:
6 a.m. - "Saturday's Lawyer" with guests Dan Gibbons and Dan Goodsell from Kirton, McConkie and Poelman, a Salt Lake law firm.
7 a.m. - "Grow It" will address "Putting your garden to sleep and preparing for 1993," with guests Grant Holdaway from Orem's Vineyard Garden Supply and Charles Smith from Ogden's Smitty's Garden Supply.
9 a.m. - "Hometalk" will feature guest Eugenia Chapman, author of "Clean Your House and Everything in It."
10 a.m. - Auto Medic" will provide answers to car questions with Boyd Ennis of Orem's Tunex.
11 a.m. - Physically Speaking" will address "Lupis - a mysterious illness with no known cure," with guests Barb Anderson, Terry Bell and Karen Donahue of the Utah chapter of the Lupus Foundation.
- KKAT (FM-101.9) - "Gentleman Jim," Jim Mickelson, the station's music director, has added responsibilities now. He has been named KKAT's new program director, replacing John Marks.
Marks has been serving as acting vice president for KKAT, as well as KALL AM/FM, other stations Apollo Radio owns.
Mickelson has been assistant program director for the past several months. He will continue his 4-year-old afternoon shift on KKAT. He graduated from Weber State, and before KKAT, worked for KZAN as program director and for KSVN as assistant general manager. He was also the primary organizer of the "We are the World" global radio simulcast broadcast on April 5, 1985.
"Jim's promotion to KKAT's program director is a natural progression for him," Dana Horner, vice president and general manager of KKAT and KALL, said. "It also allows our management team to move toward a more horizontal management strategy.
"Since our local marketing agreement with KALL AM and FM, John Marks has been immersed in the day-to-day operations of all three stations. Jim's history with KKAT and his abilities make sure we will not miss a beat with KKAT as we bring KALL along," Horner said.
KALL-AM is using a talk format and is the flagship station for University of Utah sports. KALL-FM has oldies music.
- KALL (AM-910, FM-94.1) - Paul Harvey is back. The popular radio commentator has returned to KALL after a short absence. Marks, KALL vice president, is out of town and could not be reached for comment on the resurrection of the show, but it's assumed it returned because of its underestimated popularity.
Harvey could now possibly stay on the air at KALL until mid-December, when KSL's exclusive contract to carry the ABC Radio show begins.
- KUER (FM-90.1) - The fourth season of "American Radio Company" begins Saturday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m. Garrison Keillor will be joined on stage by music director Rob Fisher, the Coffee Club Orchestra and members of the Broadway Local Radio Theater.
After three years in New York and on the road, Keillor's nationally broadcast variety show will set up permanent residence in the World Theater at St. Paul, Minn., the former home of his "Prairie Home Companion" show.
In other KUER news, the station is urging listeners to vote in the "Battle of the Composers" by calling the KUER events line (581-6778) and indicating which classical composers they would like to hear featured on an afternoon KUER radio program. On Saturday, Oct. 17, 1-4 p.m., listeners can tune in to the music of the winner. Votes must be cast by midnight Sunday, Oct. 11.
- KUTQ (alias "The Q," FM-99.5) - "The Breakfast Bunch," McCormick and Scotty, raised more than $2,200 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake during their efforts at the State Fair last month.
The two morning personalities have also been awarding breakfasts to listeners and then matching the prices of the breakfasts with a donation to the Red Cross Somolia Relief Fund.
- KBYU (FM-89.1) will present "Days of Awe," the second of two one-hour programs to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Monday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m.
- KRCL (FM-90.1) - The station's fall fund-raising drive continues until Oct. 5, with the theme of "real people in tune with real radio." Call 363-1818 for more information.