Oldies music is now gone on "The Wolf," and a "Big Talker" format has arrived in its place.

KKAT (AM-860) made the switch to a syndicated talk-ABC news station Monday.

The station is now billed as "Utah's Big Talker."

The Don Imus show is aired in the early morning, along with "America's Morning News" (7-10 a.m.)

Imus is connected to Citadel Broadcasting, and since KKAT is a Salt Lake Citadel station, he landed there.

(The Imus show was on the air in Salt Lake City years ago, but it didn't last long. We'll see how it goes this time.)

KKAT also has other syndicated talk shows — Mark Levin, Joe Scarborough and Curtis Sliwa.

In essence, KKAT has landed many of the talk shows that weren't already in the Salt Lake market.

Whatever the new KACP talk radio format on AM-570 didn't land last month has been taken by this new station.

The surprising thing is that there seems to be no local talk show host on "Utah's Big Talker." How can it truly be the state's "big talker" without that?

Tom Barberi was surely available, but national talk shows must be cheaper and easier to use.

AM-860 still carries "The Wolf" nickname. However, the station's Web site hasn't been updated to reflect the changes at the station.

Will the new "Wolf" succeed? With all the national issues of medical care, foreign wars and the lagging economy, there's certainly plenty to fuel this station.

Salt Lake RADIO OWNER DIES — Greg Hilton, president/general manager of KSOP (FM-104.3), died Oct. 6. His passing leaves his brother, Don, who is the current vice president, in control of one of Salt Lake City's last family-owned radio stations. Greg Hilton was also sales manager for FM-104.3. His loss will leave a big void.

ST. GEORGE DJ GOES TO SEA — Jon Smith, host of "The Jon Smith Show" on KSNN (Sunny 106.1) in St. George, is known for his off-the-wall humor. But this fall Smith will be filling a different role.

On Oct. 15, Smith will board the USS Ford, a U.S. Navy fast frigate on deployment in support of Operation: Enduring Freedom.

While on board Smith will spend time with southern Utah resident Chris Whitten, a petty officer secondclass on his second deployment with the Ford. Whitten has been at sea for the past several months.

"We have always been big supporters of all of our armed forces and all the men and women who wear the uniform," said Smith, who is no stranger to the military.

Last year Smith spent three weeks on the front lines in Iraq, delivering messages of support to Utah troops.

Smith will once again broadcast live and deliver messages from home. He will also record daily news reports for Sunny 106.1's sister station News/Talk 890 KDXU.

KUER (FM-90.1) reported that more than 4,000 of its listeners made financial contributions to the noncommercial radio station's Fall Fund Drive (Sept. 16-25).

Listeners throughout Utah and parts of Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada pledged a total of nearly $420,000 during the drive toward the more than $1 million program costs invested by the station each year.

KIHU (AM-1010), one of Salt Lake's newest radio stations, has planned its first big event. Immaculate Heart Radio, the station's Catholic network, is "Sharing the Hope" with Salt Lake City this fall.

On Nov. 10 at the Red Lion Inn, Immaculate Heart Radio President Douglas Sherman will present the Spirit of Service Award to three local AM 1010 KIHU supporters who exemplify the ideals of charity and dedication.

The evening's lineup will also include a special guest appearance by Patrick Madrid, a well-known Catholic speaker, author, publisher and host of EWTN's "Open Line" program.

Tickets to the event are $35 and are available by calling 866-774-3278, ext. 235.

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