KCNR (AM-1320) will switch to live all-sports programming as early as Wednesday, Aug. 28, as it becomes KFNZ. Sister station KAPN has now become KCNR and is the new home for talk show hosts Rick Taylor, Todd Herman, Martin Davies and others.
As of Monday, both AM-860 and AM-1320 were using promotional loop tapes to make the transition to their new formats. AM-860 was an all-news station, but on Tuesday it became the new KCNR with live talk show hosts.Scott Mahalick, general manager for Citadel Broadcasting, which manages the two stations and others, said the snippets of national and local play-by-play football, basketball and baseball games and promotions will end on Aug. 28, and a major announcement on the station's new programming will take place. It has the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake Buzz and Utah Grizzlies exclusive play-by-play contracts in place for next year.
KFNZ will likely hype the "fan" aspect of its call letters for its nickname.
"We've improved the signal," Mahalick said of KCNR switching to AM-860, a frequency as strong as KSL's.
Although KAPN is gone, KCNR has taken on some of its programming, such as CNN News at the top of the hour and Larry King's show (7-8 p.m.). KCNR will continue as a news/talk station, and its "paranormal" Sunday evening lineup will be unchanged.
One show not carried over is Dr. Laura Schlessinger's. Mahalick said that although she continues as a national syndicated show, she just didn't have the ratings locally to be renewed. At this time, it's unclear if any other station will pick up the Schlessinger program.
The demise of KAPN also means there is no all-news station left in the market. KAPN seemed to have a loyal audience, but its small size wasn't enough to keep it going.
Mahalick said KCNR is also on the World Wide Web, and anyone with a real time audio connection can listen to the station anywhere in the world. He said some Internet users rate KCNR as having the No. 3 best Web page among the 80 stations currently available.
- KISN-AM (570), meanwhile, plans to continue its all-sports programming and give the Wasatch Front a rare two all-sports stations.
Station program director Chris Tunis said he knows KISN is bucking the trend with two all-sports stations in the same market, but it will continue.
"We've done the best we can," Tunis said. "I think we can co-exist, and that's not blind optimism. . . . We're definitely here to stay."
Nationally, probably very few cities have been able to support a pair of all-sports stations. Even Chicago recently became a one-sports-radio town.
Tunis promised that KISN would be an even more fast-paced station than before, as well as the "uncensored voice" of sports for the Wasatch Front.
KISN-AM will air football and basketball games for Utah State University this fall and winter. It will also present Dallas Cowboy games for the fourth year in a row, plus all 11 Notre Dame football games.
"It would have been nice to keep the Jazz and the Buzz," Tunis said. "But we're going to be a very entertaining and informative radio station."
Although Tunis is about the station's only original sports commentator left, he said new personnel are being signed, and they're big shots.
KISN is bringing in Scott Mastellar from a Kentucky all-sports radio station to co-host a 4-7 weekday afternoon sports talk show with Tom Nissalke. "Mastellar and the Coach" will be the title of that new program.
For middays, KISN has also signed Carl Arky of KTVX-Ch. 4 to do a sports talk show from noon-2 p.m., followed by Kevin Wall from 2-4 p.m.
Tunis will still be on the air weekdays from 6-10 a.m., followed by the Sports Babe from 10 a.m. until noon.
Can Salt Lake really support two all-sports stations? Several books of Arbitron ratings should determine that by late next spring. Otherwise, enjoy the diversity and variety for at least the next nine months.
- 10 YEARS AGO - KLTQ (FM-93.3) promotes its "Lite Hits" format.
- RADIO HAPPENINGS - Tom Barberi on KALL discussed the pros and cons of a Coors Arena in West Valley City Monday and Tuesday . . . "Fisher, Todd and Erin" on KISN-FM gave away Ray Charles tickets and highlighted the station's upcoming prize package of a houseboat vacation on Lake Powell . . . "Jon and Dan" on KUBL gave away tickets to the Wynonna concert this week. The station will broadcast live Saturday, Aug. 24, from the Parade of Homes in West Kaysville and have its large inflatable bull there . . .
"Kerry, Bill and Gina" on KXRK redefined summer reruns on TV Monday. On Tuesday, the DJs did an "X-poll" of listeners regarding videotapes of lovemaking . . . It was another "Mad Monday" of complaints on KUTQ with "Mick and Allen" . . . Kevin McCormick on KQMB awarded tickets to the Hansen Planetarium to a winner in his morning news contest . . .
"Kidd Cassidy" on KKAT had another battle of the sexes . . . Dain Craig and Peggy Ijams of KSFI combined to throw out the first pitch in the Salt Lake Buzz game Monday night . . . "Tom and Michelle" on KBZN highlighted their morning bagel giveaway Monday, where the "Bagel-mobile" travels to an office or home to bring brunch to lucky listeners. The station broadcast live Friday from the Parade of Homes in West Kaysville . . .
"The Wakeup Club" on KBEE discussed the Salt Lake County Fair Tuesday. The team also gave away day passes to Lagoon this week and the station promised a live broadcast from the amusement park this weekend, with free cake and other events . . . "Dickie Shannon and the Morning Maniacs" on KODJ did a humorous segment this week on what it would sound like to call President Clinton's answering machine and have the access code to playback messages. The DJs also had another "Mystery Oldie" song from 1961 . . .
Todd Herman and Clyde Lewis on KCNR went all-out Tuesday, sending a Bob Dole campaign button by e-mail to Clinton . . . For "Charlee and Brian" on KBER it was another "Talent Tuesday" this week; a Ross Perot impersonation topped the list of listener talents . . . KUMT will present "Mountain Jam No. 1" with Steve Miller, Pat Benatar and the Spin Doctors at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Franklin Quest Field. All tickets are $18.