Radio AM to FM: September 1, 2000
The Big Switch
Months in the making due to a fire sale of extra stations involved in the merger of radio giants AMFM and Clear Channel, KXMX and Channel 103.1 are now history.
KXMX's time came up August 25th at 12 midnight, when the last song ("The End" by The Doors) was cut off before it finished, followed by a message to stand by while technical adjustments were made. Dead air came next for about 20 minutes, at which time the music of Contemporary Christian "The Fish" debuted ... more than five hours before the official launch at 6 am Saturday.
The Mix web page and chat room were hot during the final hours, and the chat continued until way after the format was switched. Interestingly, by the time I checked later Saturday morning, one address for the web page (www.newmix959.com) gave a message stating that the station had been sold and to "look for your favorite Mix personalities at one of the other great Clear Channel stations." The other address (www.mix959.cc) simply forwards you to the KIIS-FM web site, as if anyone who liked Mix would actually ever tune into KIIS-FM.
I mean, get real.
KXMX's new owner, Salem Communications, claims that Southern California is one of the largest markets for Contemporary Christian music, so the switch to The Fish (new KFSH calls are on the way) is a great move. Salem has announced that none of the other seven stations acquired from Clear Channel around the country will change formats. There is a rumor that they will drop the KEZY (1190 AM) call letters on the AM station, though, and change them to KXMX. That would be a shame.
Channel 103.1 (KACD/KBCD, 103.1 FM) made it until August 28th at 9 am, when a promotional announcement for the move to the internet was cut off in favor of cheering from the simulcast of Spanish-language KSSE/Riverside (97.5 FM).
That's right: KACD and KBCD will both be used to simulcast a station that already covers the entire area served by both KACD/Santa Monica and KBCD/Newport Beach. Now there's a great move.
Channel 103.1, now known as WorldClassRock.com claims that there are an unlimited number of "streams" (audio connections) available to listeners of its webcast, but mine was cut off on Monday morning, and when I tried to reconnect, I couldn't. When available, the stream sounds very good; unfortunately, the site seems to be abandoning plans to feature QuickTime among the available streams. Quicktime is one of my preferred streaming media types.
KLOS (95.5 FM) and parent company Disney have settled a lawsuit filed by a former employee who was offended by a Mark and Brian gag giveway of black plastic gardening tools called "black hoes."
We Hear Rumors
Is ABC Television unhappy with Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football? Is syndicated radio personality Rush Limbaugh still in the wings in case Miller doesn't work out?
And what of KLSX (97.1 FM), the low-rated talk station that constantly beats many higher-rated stations in ad revenue due to the simple fact that KLSX runs more commercials than most Los Angeles stations? RadioReady.com claims that moral is low and to watch for a "mass exit" from the station, especially if syndicated morning man Howard Stern retires from radio.
Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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