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Radio AM to FM: July 21, 2000

The week the music died.

We all knew it was coming but we hoped that it was just a dream. By the time you read this, however, KXMX (95.9 FM) -- The Mix -- will be history, replaced by Contemporary Christian Music "The Fish" as new owner Salem Communications drops a popular format in favor of one that is not.

The move not only removes the best "Hot Adult Contemporary" music station from the dial, it also removes the last full-signal station out of Anaheim, as Salem will be moving KXMX and sister station KEZY (1190 AM) from their longtime homes at 1190 East Ball Road to some generic building in Glendale. So much for local community access.

There was hope for a time that Mix might move over to KBIG (104.3 FM), but that apparently is no longer being considered. Too bad. So what are the alternatives? The vastly inferior KBIG and Star 98.7 are there, of course. Orange County's sole remaining locally-operated station KIKF (94.3 FM) is a better choice musically in some ways, but its signal is so poor you can barely pick it up in Huntington Beach, let alone metro Los Angeles. Just outside of San Pedro, Cool 94.3, as it is now being called, suddenly becomes a Spanish station broadcasting on the same frequency out of Ventura.

To the Net

This is also supposed to be the week that Channel 103.1 (KACD/KBCD, 103.1 FM) moves to the World Wide Web. Unfortunately at press time that information could not be confirmed. I will have updates on that situation as they occur ...

The Beat Goes On

Big changes at The Beat (KKBT, 100.3 FM) as the station tries to distinguish itself from competitor Power 106 (KPWR, 105.9 FM): Both the morning show of Dr. Dre and Ed Lover and the afternoon show of the Baka Boys have been let go.

Smaller Digest

Internet radio news and rumor site is shrinking a bit, laying off reporters for their less popular segments. One of those let go is former KEZY (later to become Mix and now the Fish) morning man John Fox, who wrote content for the site's San Diego page; this leaves the 16th largest radio market in the country with no coverage.

Call it growing pains. It's tough to compete on the web by relying on advertising, so the decision was made to focus on the most popular areas of the site. "The segments of that generate the highest amount of traffic will either remain unchanged or will be expanded," said site editor Jason Jackson. Editorial content in at least nine markets, including Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, will continue.


A source from KRLA (1110 AM) claims that the Minyards knew of their impending release and did not learn of it by hearing a promo for the replacement show as stated by Ken Minyard and reported here last week. Not that it really matters: rumor has it that the station is in the process of being sold and that a format change to Spanish is very near.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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