It's one of the great success stories in recent Utah radio: After a decade of bouncing around at four different stations, "modern music" has found a permanent home at KXRK (alias "X-96," FM).
Acme Broadcasting, a group of people who refined the modern music format at KJQN and who set the standard for this type of music in Utah, purchased KXRK from the Great Stock Co. for an undisclosed amount earlier this month.Acme had been leasing the station since February 1992.
"This sale ensures Utah modern-music fans that we won't be moving the format again to another frequency - and we won't be going off the air," said James H. Facer, KXRK general manager. "We're here to stay."
This modern-music group started in Utah in 1983 at a station called "Super 107." When station owners switched to an adult contemporary format, the DJs and programmers moved to KCGL in 1984. The format grew for 21/2 years there until station owners - who operate a chain of Christian radio stations - decided to dump modern music and go all-religious.
In 1987, the modern-music staff purchased air time on KRPN during weeknights and weekends. Modern music moved to Ogden's KJQN full time on May 27, 1988.
The modern-music format flourished at "KJQ" until a dispute with new management prompted 20 employees to quit in November 1991. They founded KXRK three months later.
"If it hadn't been for the thousands of devoted listeners and supportive advertisers, this never would have been possible," said Mike Summers, KXRK program director.
Acme Broadcasting is headed by Facer, the former sales manager at KJQN, and James C. McNeil, president of United Concerts.
Today, KXRK is ranked 10th among all stations in the general age 12-plus category by Arbitron Ratings Service. In a group more suited for its audience, KXRK is fifth among adult listeners, ages 25-54.
- LOUIE, LOUIE - (KALL-FM, 94.1) - If you've tuned in the past week, you've noticed "Louie, Louie" being played over and over. (There are dozens of different versions of "Louie, Louie.")
John Marks, KALL vice president of operations, said the station wants to discover what oldies listeners really want to hear.
"Our music will be based on listener response," said Marks, who wants to build a new radio station based on listener survey forms that can be picked up at Hardee's restaurants.
KALL's format has been oldies via a satellite network since July 1992, but Marks said it hasn't delivered music up to his expectations.
The "Louie, Louie" attention-getter looks to be a good one for this market - especially because KALL has played it straight and temporarily built a radio station around that one song.
"We've gotten a lot of response," Marks said - especially since the campaign is designed to make listeners think the "Louie" thing is permanent.
- RADIO-REPETITION promotions during the the past eight years in the Salt Lake area include:
- When KLUB became KISN-AM in 1985, the station played continuous "sounds of the sea" for days to signal the change from big band to adult contemporary music.
- In December 1988, KTOU ("The Touch") played a loop tape of construction sounds (hammering, drilling, sawing) to herald its change to KZHT.
- In 1990, "Love 99.5" played an M.C. Hammer song over and over before it changed from a love-songs format to the top 40, "Q-99.5" format.
- CLARIFICATION - In the "Radio Dial" article on Michael G. Kavanagh two weeks ago, I finally spelled his name correct with a "K" but had several other items in error. KMXB (alias "The Mix"), Kavanagh's station, is FM-107.5, not 106.5, and the station he worked for years ago in Murray was actually KMUR, not KVMR.
- MORNING RADIO HAPPENINGS - "The Wakeup Club" on KVRI took a different telephone approach Monday, naming the 29th caller as the winner for second-row Neal Diamond tickets for his Dec. 9 concert . . . One of KKAT's newest slogans is "continuous country music is our specialty." A new "Morning Guys" song also includes the names of the station's other personalities . . . I don't know how "McCormick and Scotty" on KUTQ find new telephone numbers, but every Monday they pick the "cutest couple" from Sunday's Salt Lake newspaper wedding section and call the winner. On Monday, they picked the Wade couple, called Mrs. Wade and awarded her doughnuts instead of the usual $25 worth of hot dogs. The DJs usually give birthday greetings every morning about 7:15 to special listeners, and they have a "Ben Gay" character who does the celebrity birthdays . . .
It was sex, sex, sex, sex on KISN-FM Monday as "Todd" went wild hyping PBS' new show that reveals the reproductive processes of various animals. While Todd discussed the show, "Fisher" kept using the bleeper to keep the show rated "G." KISN-FM also regularly gives away tickets to Utah Jazz games . . . The "Jon and Dan" show on KLZX Monday was titled "mudslinging Monday" so listeners could trash BYU following their weekend gridiron loss to the University of Utah . . .
On the "Tom and Robin" show Monday on KMXB, a listener, "Jim," only got one of their questions correct on "Flash or Trash," but he still won a bucket of golf balls . . .
"Scott and Peggy" on KSFI were discussing a news report about the seven types of marital relationships and Peggy said she thinks Scott has a "gushy-type" relationship with his spouse. KSFI's gradual buildup to its 100 hours of continuous Christmas music is under way . . .
"The Radio from Hell" show Monday on KXRK isn't afraid to discuss other radio stations. On Tuesday, "Bill and Kerry" spoofed KSL's Amanada Dixon and later they said how much they disliked KALL-AM's programming except for Barberi and Limbaugh . . . Not surprisingly, Tom Barberi's show on KALL-AM Monday was dominated by listeners wanting to discuss different aspects of the BYU-U. rivalry.