Radio Disney ceased simulcasting on AM-860, as a new country-music station "The Coyote" premiered there earlier Thursday.
Citadel Communications, owner of AM-860, unveiled a syndicated classic country music station, with programming from the Jones Radio Network, one of the nation's largest providers of live, satellite-delivered radio formats. That means even if the DJs aren't be local, at least they are live.
Ironically, the now defunct KWLW, which was once on AM-700, was also a classic country music station.
Eric Hauenstein, general manager of Salt Lake's Citadel stations, said he is excited about his new station. "The Coyote will serve the traditional country fan better than any other Utah classic-country station ever," Hauenstein said. "AM-860 will be to the classic-country listener what K-BULL (KUBL, FM-93.3) has become to today's new-country listener." Indeed, KUBL has risen to the No. 3 station in the market.
The call letters of the new country station will stay the same for the time being KBEE-AM. Citadel will apply for new call letters with the FCC to better fit its new format.
KWLW was pulling a 1.6 percent audience share among all ages last winter. Its best specific audience was men, ages 25-54, where it had a 1.4 share. The "Coyote" should do at least that well.
Citadel of Salt Lake City is no stranger to syndicated formats. It has "Bob and Tom" in the morning on sister station KBER and excels at adding local touches of news, weather and traffic.
Radio Disney has now switched to AM-910, ending ties with Citadel Communications. KALL, the former user of that frequency, can now be found at AM-700.