Nationwide cutbacks announced last week by Metro Networks will eventually affect the Salt Lake radio market on the traffic reports and news front, but to what extent is currently unclear.

Metro, a subsidiary of Westwood One, announced Sept. 17 that it would "re-engineer" itself. This means cutting its work force by 15 percent across the nation (about 300 total jobs) and also consolidating its 60 offices into 13 regional hubs.

Metro provides traffic reports and news to thousands of radio stations across the nation.

Alan D. Hague, vice president of Simmons Media, agrees there will be an impact in Salt Lake City — to all of the stations that use the service — but he was still trying to get a handle on the extent of the changes this week and after the deadline for "Radio Dial."

All seven Simmons stations in the Salt Lake market use Metro services — KXRK, KJQN, KZNS, KYMV, KEGH, KOVO and KEGA.

KSL program director Kevin LaRue said he's not aware of any changes this will make on his station.

Eric Hauenstein, general manager of Citadel Broadcasting in Salt Lake City, made a similar comment. These cutbacks will not affect any of his eight stations — KBEE, KBER, KENZ, KFNZ-AM, KUBL, KKAT-AM, KKAT-FM and KJQS.

The cutbacks will also not hurt any Clear Channel stations. That's because that company operates its own Total Traffic Network. In fact, that competing company is said to be one reason for the Metro Network's reductions.

Locally, Clear Channel provides Total Traffic service to its own six stations — KNRS-AM, KZHT, KJMY, KOSY, KODJ and KXRV. It also provides services to four other stations in the Salt Lake radio market. Total Traffic uses UDOT facilities for its traffic reports.

It is easy to take traffic reports for granted, but if you hear changes and reductions on the radio here, it will probably be because of Metro's restructuring.

RADIO HAPPENINGS — KRSP radio (FM-103.5) has started a new giveaway — "Halloween Time Disneyland." Families can win vacations to the resort. Listen to the station for more details.

KSFI has a paycheck song of the day each weekday, worth a prize of $1,000. Listen to "Brian and Rebecca" on FM-100.3 for more details.

KSOP is giving away a trip to "Dancing With the Stars."

Abby Bonnell of KNRS will walk with other radio staff members in the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk on Oct. 11, 9 a.m., in Liberty Park. Go to www.570knrs.com for more details.

TWENTY YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE RADIO — KCPX announces a $2 million "Scan 'n' Win" contest . . the KCPX morning show disbands, with Jack Sunday moving to Idaho Falls and Peggy Ijams taking a TV job in Spokane. ... John Berg leaves KSL to start his own company.


Deseret News radio editor Lynn Arave can be reached by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at 237-2168.