"Kid Cassidy" is coming to Salt Lake City.
One of the most popular DJs in Las Vegas, he will make his debut on KKAT (FM-101.9) radio on Monday, May 1, 5-9 a.m.Cassidy replaces "Gary and Scotty," who, according to John Marks, operations manager for KKAT, KODJ and KALL, were not fired but will be retained in other company positions - if at all possible.
Officials at other stations are surprised with the morning change of KKAT, especially because the new Arbitron ratings are due out next week. They don't understand why KKAT didn't wait another week to see the full ratings from last winter before deciding on the crucial morning time slot.
However, Marks said this change has nothing to do with the latest ratings.
He said KKAT tried to land Cassidy (real name John Potter) from KWNR, a Las Vegas/Hen-derson modern country station, about 18 months ago before Gary Zane and Scotty Christopher were hired.
"We had an opportunity," Marks said of hiring Cassidy now. "We chose to exercise the opportunity. We knew he was a quality guy. We took the opportunity to grab him."
Marks said station contracts for Gary and Scotty are still in place and so financially these two DJs will be fine for a while. KKAT has promised to do its best to find them other on-air jobs, even if they are at sister stations KALL or KODJ.
Marks said nothing is open for the DJs yet, but they are welcome to stay around, if that's their desire.
"They did not have a poor performance," Marks said of Gary and Scotty.
In fact, the DJs were the second-place morning team last fall among listeners ages 25-54 and fourth among ages 12-plus, according to Arbitron estimates.
So, why is Cassidy taking over mornings?
Marks said Cassidy is a huge morning talent, with 15 years' experience and KKAT is banking on a multi- year contract with him to take the station back to No. 1 spot in the Salt Lake market, as it was in the early 1990s under the former "Morning Guys" (Cano and Simmons).
"He wanted to be at KKAT," Marks said of Cassidy, who is 40-ish and who has been considered the No. 1 morning radio talent in Vegas for the past five years.
Marks said Cassidy's greatest ability is to cultivate a solid listener relationship.
"He allows the listener to be the star of the show," he said. "There's strong audience participation."
Debbie Dujanovic, morning news anchor, will remain in place. (She's the best new, no-nonsense news, traffic and weather reporter to come along in quite awhile on radio.) She will also apparently continue reporting for KTVX Ch. 4 news too.
"Insane" Rick Shane, long-time KKAT morning show producer, will also stay in his current role.
Marks said KKAT's current lineup of T.J. Evans (9 a.m.-1 p.m.); "Gentleman Jim" Mickelson (1-3 p.m.); Bob Wells (3-7 p.m.); Tracy Chapman (7 p.m.-midnight) and the syndicated Blair Garner show (midnight-5 a.m.) will remain intact.
Mickelson, who has been filling in on the morning show this week, will also continue as KKAT program director.
Regarding KKAT's new "young country" slogan, Marks said it's meant to convey the attitude of the station.
"It's a feeling and mindset we want to create," he said, explaining the station will continue to play a variety of artists but also has a large amount of the younger country artists.
He confirmed that KKAT is now more music-intensive than it has been in some time. The station has also spread out the commercials more evenly so that music is only stopped twice each hour.
Rival modern country music station KSOP has slipped ahead of KKAT in the ratings, so KKAT is surely hoping its "Young Country" angle and "Kid Cassidy" will reverse that trend.
- NEW TALK SHOW - David Bresnahan, a West Jordan Republican serving in the Utah House of Representatives, is the area's newest talk radio host. He has a new program - "Talk Back with Davis Bresnahan" - airing each Tuesday through Friday from noon-1 p.m. and also Sundays from 6-8 p.m. on KTKK (alias "K-Talk," AM-630).
According to Bresnahan, the show is to feature guests, a lively debate of current issues and listener call-in. Bresnahan did a trial show on a Sunday in April, and its success prompted a permanent program.
"You can expect to hear good, solid information on issues, interviews that will bring details on hot topics, as well as some lighter moments to keep it all fun," Bresnahan said.
John Price, long-time KTKK host, will continue his once-a-week show on Mondays from noon-1 p.m.
- MORE RATINGS - The Arbitron ratings are broken down so precisely that they can fill up hundreds of pages each quarter.
Here's an example of some specific ratings usually not featured in this column. The following fall 1994 ratings are for listeners ages 18-49 in Weber and Davis counties only:
1. KSFI, 12.3 percent; 2. KSOP, 7.6; 3. (tie) KISN-FM and KKAT, 7.4; 5. KBER, 6.8; 6. (tie) KLZX and KRSP-FM, 6.3; 8. KALL/ KODJ combination, 5.7; 9. KVRI, 4.9; 10. KXRK, 4.6.
- KTUR (AM-1010, Spanish) will broadcast special programs in commemoration of the Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, April 29, through Saturday, May 6.
- The station has also moved to a new office at 353 E. 200 South, Suite 200.
- KCNR (AM-1320) - "Inside America," Saturday 1-2 p.m., will address "Oklahoma City Bombings: Militias - Are They to Blame?"
- RADIO HAPPENINGS - "Cano and McCormick" on KUTQ will broadcast live from Rocky Mountain Chrysler Plymouth in Riverdale, Saturday, April 29, noon-3 p.m. The DJs also had a unicycle rider with doughnuts visit Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini on Tuesday morning . . . Hank Hathaway on KTKK talked with listeners Tuesday about bombing suspects, past and present. On Wednesday he talked about talk radio freedoms in light of President Clinton's comments . . .
"Mick and Allen" on KBER had another "Name that Change" guessing game Tuesday. It took dozens of guesses before David from Springville said $2.01 to win the prize. Mick also delved into the Spanish language a lot this week, preparing for his upcoming trip to Mexico . . . Gaylen Palmer filled in for Tom Barberi on KALL this week. On Tuesday, he talked about the so-called Limbaugh vs. Liddy talk radio war . . .
"Fisher, Todd and Fraser" on KISN-FM awarded Utah Jazz playoff tickets to lucky listeners this week. On Wednesday, the station hosted its annual Secretary's Day at the ZCMI Center. The DJs also appear on Ch. 14 each weekday evening to show off items that listeners need to know to win prizes the next day on their morning show . . . Rogue Matthews on KCNR discussed talk radio and its freedom Tuesday morning and more about the bombings. Matthews was also somewhat upset because a sister station DJ, Rebecca Marshall of KVRI, was making microwave popcorn at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday and stinking up his nearby studio, too . . . "The Wakeup Club" on KVRI premiered a new Robert Lund basketball song Wednesday that will be used at Jazz playoff games to pump up the crowed . . .
"Jon and Dan" on KLZX offered secretarial tips Wednesday for Secretary's Day. They also had a special "Want to the Rule the World" song for secretaries. The station's big "Livestock" concert will be July 29 this year and an announcement on the bands booked for the event could be made as early as the coming week . . . "Country Joe" on KSOP plays a "Classic Song" every morning, worth $104 when it is played again later in the day . . .
"Kerry and Bill" on KXRK are giving away KMFDM concert tickets. The band will play May 9 for the station's death of the alternative label event. The DJs also offered lots of trivia on Wednesday for secretaries . . . Rick Shane of KKAT was at the Fred Meyer store in Holladay on Wednesday, giving away prizes. The station will have a special night at the Salt Lake Buzz game this weekend. FM-101.9 is also giving away a trip to San Diego and the keys to a new Hyundai car . . .
Tickets for the Chris Cross concert at Franklin Quest Field, sponsored by KSFI in conjunction with the Salt Lake Classic on June 3, go on sale for $5 each Monday, May 1. The station gave away trips to secretaries this week to San Diego. Station officials said they received more than 7,000 entries for this secretary contest and had to add another fax machine to handle the entry load . . . "Mark and Danny" on KDYL are giving away tickets to the May 24 Andrew Lloyd Webber concert. The DJs will also host the Four Freshman in concert next month in Orem . . .
KRSP, alias "Arrow 103.5," will be involved with the big air show at the Salt Lake Airport this summer. The station will also give away free airplanes in conjunction with the air show . . . KBZN accepts requests for listeners' favorite songs, by fax (364-8068), to be played on the "Lunch Time Dream Set" with Corey Lane at 12:10 p.m. weekdays.