There's a new rock music station on the air in the Salt Lake Valley — KWKD, FM-102.3, alias "The Blaze."

The station started up Oct. 1 and is playing an "active rock-music" format. The Blaze is a sister station to KUUU (FM-92.1) and KFVR (FM-107.9, "The Fever,") with studios at 2835 E. 3300 South. Millcreek Broadcasting manages the stations, and Marathon Media is its national partner.

According to program director Cory Draper, the station will play only rock songs from the past five years, with groups like Creed, Korn, Limpbizkit and Deft Tones. This gives KWKD a new slant, with KXRK ("X-96") and KBER (FM-101.1) its closest competitors.

"We won't do alternative," Draper, who was a long-time KBER DJ, said. The station will target males in the 18-34 demographic.

Draper said the big plus for the next three or so weeks is that it is playing 10,000 songs in a row, with no commercials and no DJs.

The station isn't reaching Utah County, but Draper said he is fine tuning and hopes to be full-power in the next three months. FM-102.3 reaches Salt Lake City and Ogden. It will have a transmitter near Ensign Peak. Formerly, the frequency was used by KUFR, family religious radio.

DJs for the Blaze are being hired and will premiere after the 10,000-song marathon.

Draper said reaction to the new station has been very positive, and he's hoping to take young adult listeners by storm when the DJs came on line and the station goes full-power.

The station may also change its call letters in the near future to something that better fits its nickname.

KFNZ (alias "K-FAN," AM-1320) — Gordon Monson is no longer a part of the "MJB," 7-10 a.m., weekday sports talk show with David James and Ron Boone. Station program-director Jeff Rickard confirmed that Monson's last day was Thursday, Oct. 5.

Rickard said Monson did nothing wrong but that the station was forced to make some financial cuts, and that's where the ax fell. "It was nothing to do with Gordon or his abilities," Rickard said, explaining that the Salt Lake Tribune sports columnist is a talented writer/radio host who has been with the station a long time.

Talk radio is the most expensive format for a station, and sport talks is often the most costly. Citadel Communications, the station's owner, made some cuts at its local stations last year, and KFAN was spared. This time around it wasn't so lucky.


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