Jon Carter and Dan Bammes, the mainstays of KRSP radio (FM-103.5, alias, "Rock 103") have been hired away from the station by another Salt Lake station, KLZX (FM-93.3, "Classic Rock 'n' Roll").
KLZX/KUTR general manager Stuart Stanek confirmed the move, saying that because of "non-competitive" contractual commitment with KRSP, the two "Dawn Patrol" morning personalities will not be on air for another four months, until about mid-September.Rumor has it that both disc jockeys will be paid "in excess of six figures." Stanek refused to comment on that. (Similar rumors in the past have also put the salaries for KALL's Danny Kramer and Tom Barberi in that range.)
"Obviously we are thrilled," Stanek said. "It's going to be the longest four months of my life waiting for them to go on air. This is going to make us one of the top stations in town."
Carter declined to comment on the subject.
KLZX, whose market is focused primarily on 25- to 54-year-olds, has made impressive gains in recent ratings. The station is ranked seventh among that age group in advance reports for the winter book from Arbitron's ratings service. KRSP is fourth in that age group, behind KKAT, KSFI and KSL.
In contrast, KRSP-FM has been faltering in recent radio ratings and ranks seventh in the overall "shares" category in Arbitron's upcoming rankings. KLZX is 13th.
Having the "Dawn Patrol" will likely increase KLZX's ratings since it has been one of the top morning shows in Utah radio history. (In fact, Carter and Bammes' show has been No. 1 in the 6-10 a.m. time spot more than any other morning team in the past four years, though of late KKAT has slipped ahead of them, according to the other radio ratings service, Birch/Scarborough.)
The absence of Carter-Bammes will likely hasten KRSP's drop in the ratings.
Carter and Bammes, also the Wasatch Front's longest-running morning radio team, will remain on air at KRSP until their two-week notice runs out. Then, they will work on special projects for a Phoenix company owned by Citadel Communications (the parent company of KLZX) until they can go on-air for KLZX. Stanek said these projects will not involve any on-air work.
Bammes, a solid newsman, came to KRSP in 1979 but spent about four months at KSL in the mid-1980s before returning to "Rock 103." The Provo native and BYU graduate is famous for his distinctive and authoritative voice that makes listeners take notice of his news broadcasts and interviews.
Carter, a sometimes outrageous entertainer, arrived at KRSP in 1980. The Idaho native got into radio at age 14 and by 18 he was a program director. He later quit college to go full-time into radio and worked at stations in Idaho and Oregon prior to coming to Salt Lake.
An avid fisherman, Carter is also famous for creating various radio characters and doing voice impersonations, including "Mr. Twister" and "Trout Talk" (a parody of Doug Miller's "Outdoors").
Being off the air in Salt Lake for four months could - at least initially - reduce the audience potential for Carter and Bammes. But whether listeners will wait anxiously for them to return or forget them by late summer, only time will tell.