KTOK on FM? Proposed new translators for OKC

Over 800 applications were submitted during the most recent filing window for AM stations to find their FM soulmate. Lance Venta over at RadioInsight.com did a great job breaking down all of them.

Of note in Oklahoma City, iHeartMedia is applying for a translator to relay heritage News/Talk KTOK. One could argue that this move is long overdue as KTOK’s night pattern limits its signal and its competitor, Tyler’s KOKC is relayed by 95.3 K237GE.

The proposed signal would be at 106.1 and would cover Edmond and northwest Oklahoma City farely well. The signal wouldn’t be heard as well in southern and eastern parts of the metro.

Proposed 106.1 translator coverage area. SOURCE: fccdata.org

 

Regional Mexican KZUE El Reno has also applied for a translator at 97.7. The highly-directional signal would cover parts of southwest Oklahoma City and Will Rogers World Airport. I can’t tell if the coverage map looks like Frosty the Snowman’s head with a squished hat or maybe a 5-year-old’s drawing of Casper the Friendly Ghost.

KZUE currently holds a license for a translator, also at 97.7, rebroadcasting the station in El Reno.

 

Proposed 97.7 translator coverage area. SOURCE: fccdata.org

 

 

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The “Fun” is over; “Alice” takes over 96.9

A few days after dropping longtime morning duo “Jack and Ron,” Cumulus LMA KQOB (Fun 96.9) spun the format wheel as “Alice 96.9” Sunday morning at midnight. The new slogan is “We Play Anything” in the vein of Jack-FM’s Variety Hits formats.

Just before midnight, Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Would Do You Good” was heard, followed by Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

The flip ends a two-year run as “Fun,” which signed on December 26, 2015 after stunting with Christmas music. “Jack and Ron” were brought to the fold from their longtime home at sister KYIS (98.9 KISS FM).

“Alice” seems focused on 70s and 80s hits but with imaging that hints at playing 90s and 00s hits as well. At first listen, the station appears to be playing one or two 90s and 00s songs an hour, while the rest of the music is primarily 80s-focused. While “Fun” was aimed at Tyler Classic Hits KOMA and to a lesser extent Tyler AC KMGL (Magic 104.1), “Alice” moves the aim closer to KMGL.

It’s possible that we’ll see the elimination of 80s music entirely from sister KYIS (which has been a Modern AC/Hot AC since 1991 and featured that decades for many years). Since Cumulus’ ownership of KYIS, the station  has edged closer to an Adult CHR.

When KQOB was born in 2003 as 96-9 Bob FM, the station was branded as a classic hits station. Over time, the station moved towards classic rock, competing with a heritage station in KRXO. When Tyler sent the KRXO brand and format to a low-power translator at 104.5 (K283BW) in 2013 to make room for sports 107.7 The Franchise, KQOB’s classic rock focus continued. In the summer of 2015, the Bob moniker was replaced by the catchy “Classic Rock 96.9.”

fun969As “Fun 96.9, the format could be described as hit-based classic rock. First observations when the station signed on in December 2015 included a lack of R&B songs instead playing guitar-based pop and rock hits. Unlike classic rocker KRXO, the station was focused on hits and avoiding album cuts made popular by rock stations in 1970s.

“Fun 96.9” played mainly 70s and 80s tunes, with occasional late 60s thrown in.

It’s worth noting that KQOB continues to be operated by Cumulus. There were rumors that the financially struggling group would not renew its LMA with Champlin (who owns and operates Classic Country KNAH “99.7 HANK-FM in Oklahoma City). However, the station continues to use the “A Cumulus station” tag in its legal ID.

 

Jack and Ron out at Fun 96.9 due to budget cuts

After 23 years with the same station station cluster, “Jack and Ron” are out, due to budget cuts, the duo announced Friday on their Facebook page.

The duo moved to KQOB (FUN 96.9) in December 2015, just before the station segued from Classic Rock to Classic Hits.

KQOB is owned by Champlin Broadcasting (who also owns and operates  KNAH, 99.7 Hank-FM) but is operated by Cumulus through a local marketing agreement.

The move to KQOB came after a 21-year stay for Jack Elliott and Ron Williams at Hot AC KYIS (98.9 KISS FM). While at KYIS, they also had a stint doing a midday talk show on the late SuperTalk 930 WKY. The duo moved over to KYIS from Oldies KOQL (Kool 102, now KTST 101.9 The Twister) in 1994. They started their morning partnership when the 101.9 frequency was Adult Contemporary KLTE (K-LITE 102).

At the time they moved from KYIS to KQOB, the duo had high hopes for the new station.

“This station  . . . is an opportunity for us to really build around Jack and Ron,” Elliott said in 2015 while announcing the move. “It’s like we’ve got part ownership in this deal.”

KQOB was 11th in the market in the latest ratings with a 2.4 share. The other Cumulus stations don’t subscribe to Nielsen’s ratings.

Before teaming with Williams, Chicago-born Elliott made stops at radio stations in Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona before coming to Oklahoma City’s WKY in 1978.

Williams, an Oklahoma City native has worked in Country, Top 40, Oldies, Urban, AC and hot AC formats.

Perry Buys 105.3 From Cumulus Trust

After roughly ten years in the Last Bastion Trust established by former owner Citadel, KINB (105.3 The Pro) has been sold to Perry Broadcasting, owners of KVSP (Power 103.5) and KRMP (Heart and Soul 92.1 and 1140) for $225,000.

The sale ends a tumultuous era for the Kingfisher-licensed station which was bought by then-Citadel in 2002 for $3.1 million.

Long and winding road

The started as a local Contemporary Christian station KLGH (The Light 105-dot-3)owned by the people who built the station in 2000, Kingfisher County Broadcasters.

Citadel moved the “The Sports Animal” format to the frequency in 2002 for less than a year to install a country format on 104.9, its former longtime home. Its low power (930 watts) and tower location (east of Okarche) proved to be insufficient for The Sports Animal franchise that brought FM sports to Oklahoma City in the late-9os.

So, the frequency debuted an alternative format at night, modeled after the longtime format on Stillwater’s KSPI-FM (which had since gone Hot AC). The K-SPY at night and The Sports Animal during the day experiment morphed into KSYY (105.3 The Spy) full time on Christmas Day of 2002 as “The Sports Animal” moved back to 104.9.

That lasted until 2004 when the low performing station with a cult following made way for Citadel’s first foray into Regional Mexican with KINB “La Indomable.” The format would last four and a half years on 105.3, before migrating to WKY (930 AM).

Next up was “ESPN Deportes” which lasted 11 months.

Alternative returned when former Spy DJ Ferris O’Brien revived the moniker and format on the station in 2009. O’Brien was a KSPI-FM and KSYY veteran and worked for legendary KDGE in Dallas in its heyday. He agreed to buy the station and leased the station from the Citadel, who had now put the station in a trust to comply with ownership limits now in place due to Citadel’s purchase of ABC Radio in 2006.

O’Brien and the trust agreed to a $2 million deal, but a year later, SpyMedia backed out of the deal due price of the station and the coverage problems in the metro.

O’Brien took his format online only and Last Bastion kept playing Alternative also calling itself “The Spy” and then “The Real Spy.”

The trust ran the differing alternative format on the air as “The Real Spy” for four months into the spring of 2011 when there was another shake up.

The new format was Adult Standards. Sensing a niche to be filled with a rimshot signal (or the fact that then-Citadel General Manager Larry Bastiada was a fan of the format), 105.3 The Martini debuted in March of 2011.

That format lasted just over two years, when OKC received yet another sports station with 105.3 The Pro. Cumulus syndicates CBS Sports Radio, which provides most of the programming. Oklahoma City Thunder D-League affiliate Oklahoma City Blue games air on the station as well as overflow programming from “cousin” stations WWLS and KWPN. The station has also carried high school football as well.

What’s next for 105.3?

What will Perry do with KINB? The company does own a sports stations in Lawton, but it’s unlikely that they would buy a station in OKC and keep it sports with the glut of sports stations in the metro.

Perry could simulcast Urban KVSP (Power 103.5) on 105.3, but each signal hits the OKC metro from the west and they overlap. Neither signal is strong in northeast Oklahoma City where Perry’s studio is located.

A simulcast of Urban AC KRMP (Hear and Soul 92.1 and 1140) is possible. The AM simulcasts on the 92.1 FM translator which covers the urban core pretty well. Will Perry find the “Heart and Soul” listeners they want inside of KINB’s coverage area which is largely rural and includes suburban far northwest Oklahoma City?

Another long-shot is Black Gospel. Perry owns a station with that format in Augusta, Ga. KTLV (AM 1220) in Midwest City runs a similar format and has tried to get an FM translator, but that effort seems to have stalled.

Another interesting wrinkle is KINB’s studio location on Wilshire Boulevard near Council Road in northwest Oklahoma City. The station does not have a main studio waiver and that location is just within the 25-mile radius of the city of license, Kingfisher. Then-owner Citadel was fined $9,000 in 2004 for not maintaining its studio at that Britton road location (and for public file violations). Will Perry file for a waiver and move KINB’s studio to its location in northeast Oklahoma City?

Perry, Tyler Square Off Over 103.7 Translator

KVSP-1037-translator map
Tyler Media provided this map to the FCC of their new translator’s coverage area compared to KVSP.

Perry Broadcasting, owners of 103.5 KVSP (Power 103.5) are at odds with Tyler Media over Tyler’s move-in translator (Yes, another one!) at 103.7 FM.

The “Kings of OKC Radio’s Great Translation Invasion” plan to move the newly-christened K279CR from being licensed to Coweta (where it was at 107.5) to Oklahoma City.

At 103.7, that puts it right next door to KVSP and they’re not happy about it.

Translators can not interfere with full-power FM stations. However, it appears K279CR doesn’t encroach on KVSP’s 60 dBu contour. That is normally the standard when it comes to a station’s “protected contour.”

Perry halfheartedly admits that Tyler’s translator doesn’t overlap with their protected contour, but takes the argument a step further saying that the new signal should not “overlap a populated area already receiving a regularly used off-the-air signal of any authorized co-channel, first, second or third adjacent channel broadcast station . . .” Perry cites FCC regulations in their filing.

Tyler, on the other hand, says Perry’s technical “is erroneous.” They also question the handful of listeners that complained about the interference, saying the affidavits were turned in late in the game, making it unfair. They also point out how far each KVSP listener lives from the 103.5 transmitter site, implying that the signal would be weak in homes and buildings where they live.

Tyler also requests that the commission “not grant KVSP the unique privilege of a protected contour of 48 dBu while all other similar stations have a 60dBu protected contour.”

It’s not surprising that KVSP doesn’t want a neighbor which could give it interference issues in northeast Oklahoma City. That part of town is important to Perry and KVSP’s urban format. However, whether that’s actually KVSP territory is up for debate. KVSP’s weakness has always been being so far out from Oklahoma City proper and being on the wrong side of town, covering listeners who might not be in tune with their format.

Tyler, in essence, is saying “This isn’t your territory.” They’re probably right.