If you like holiday music or modern country music, you may be thrilled by some of the Salt Lake area radio dial changes made in the past two weeks.
First, as expected, around-the-clock Christmas music began Nov. 1 on two stations, KOSY (FM-106.5) and KOAY (FM-97.5). In recent years, Salt Lake has had some of the earliest all-holiday music stations in the nation.
However, given the TV holiday commercials that began even sooner several weeks before Halloween radio's entrance into the Christmas world doesn't seem as out of place this year.
Expect other stations, like KSFI ("FM-100"), to also play holiday music soon.
KXRV, "The River," (FM-105.7) could never seem to find its market niche. It seemed underfunded and underpromoted, too. As of Nov. 1, "The River" stopped flowing, replaced by "My Country 105.7."
Patterned after sister station KJMY ("My 99.5"), "Country" is designed for people who love the music and hate the clutter. It has no DJs and focuses on music, in part as requested by listeners. It plays a mix of the best new country songs and announces the title and artist after each song is played.
Listeners can go online to www.mycountry1057.com to see how they can be a part of the input process for the station's musical selections.
The downside of the demise of "The River" is its personalities. Have they been let go? Are morning DJs Frank Bell and Erin Brady gone? I haven't heard them on the new FM-105.7, and a spokesman for KXRV said he "didn't know" in an e-mail response to our question about their whereabouts.
Finally, the old-style country music on KKAT (AM-860) disappeared just before Halloween and has been replaced by Scott Shannon's "True Oldies Channel," syndicated rock 'n' roll music.
Eric Hauenstein, general manager of KKAT, describes the music as "more pure oldies from the '60s and '70s than any other station in Utah."
The station is still using its "Wolf" nickname. Also, the oldies music isn't a 24-hour format. AM-860 still airs NASCAR radio some evenings and will probably still carry Utah Grizzlies games.The downside to the AM-860 change is that if you are a fan of traditional country music, there's one less place to hear it now.
• RADIO HAPPENINGS Jon Watkins of the "The Breakfast Club," (with co-host Steve Harmon) on KODJ (FM-94.1) has won a CMA award as "Medium Market DJ of the Year." That honor is in recognition of Watkins' previous radio-station work in Kansas. However, it does highlight the great talent of this DJ who is now in Salt Lake radio."The Bryant Park Project" is a new show, airing weekdays from 5-7 a.m. on KCPW (AM-1010, FM-88.3/105.3). The show is hosted by Luke Burbank and Alison Stewart. Burbank has been a reporter for NPR since 2003. Stewart is an award-winning journalist who has worked with ABC, NBC and MTV. The new program is described as dynamic and a looser news show than most of the NPR offerings.
• TEN YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE RADIO Tom Kelly joins the morning show on KKAT with Dawn Kennedy and Rick Shane. ... KDYL, AM-1280, begins rebroadcasting inspirational messages from Elder Richard L. Evans, legendary LDS Church "Music and the Spoken Word" host.
Deseret Morning News radio editor Lynn Arave can be reached by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at 237-2168.