96.9 Turns On The Fun

fun969As promised, Cumulus LMA KQOB (Classic Rock 96.9) unveiled its new format Monday morning  (Dec. 28). The station ended its run of playing Christmas tunes at 6 a.m. with Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll,” unveiling Fun 96-9 FM, a classic hits station.

The station promises “just the right mix of pop and rock hits from the `60s, `70s, and `80s” and is built around longtime morning duo “Jack and Ron” who moved to the station in early December after spending 21 years at Hot AC sister station KYIS (98.9 KISS FM).

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. Earlier this summer, the Bob moniker was replaced by the catchy “Classic Rock 96.9.”

Inzinga and Spinozi will continue in afternoon drive. Longtime rock jock Leo Cage continues in middays. There’s no word whether longtime OKC programmer Jeff Couch (who programmed KRXO and Tyler Adult Contemporary KMGL (Magic 104.1) in the past) will be on the air. Couch had been at reins for 96.9 and was on the air on Bob.

Longtime radio vet Fred Hendrickson announced on his Facebook page that he was joining KQOB for weekend duty. Hendrickson whose career includes stops at WKY, KATT, KRXO and KOQL just to name a few, just completed a lengthy run at classic hits KOMA.

The format could be described as hit-based classic rock. First observations include a lack of R&B songs instead playing guitar-based pop and rock hits. Unlike classic rocker KRXO, the station is focused on hits and avoiding album cuts made popular by rock stations in 1970s.

The station plays mainly 70s and 80s tunes, with occasional late 60s thrown in. KQOB did spin Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway” on Monday — a 1992 song. But, songs like that seem to fit the sound of the station, despite being newer.

Obviously, KOMA is the main target for “Fun.” Whether KOMA will scale back its 80s music to match the older skewing KQOB is to be determined. KRXO and to a certain degree KMGL are also competitors.


Ice storm knocks off stations

Last week’s ice storm caused power outages in northwest Oklahoma and in the Oklahoma City metro as well. Several area radio stations were affected as well.

Most notably, Cumulus’ KYIS (98-9 KISS FM) was knocked off the air Saturday night. The station was off the air Sunday and into Monday evening. The timing wasn’t great for the station since last week it was announced that longtime morning team “Jack and Ron” were moving to KQOB starting Dec. 4. A handful of KYIS listeners were puzzled by the outage, perhaps thinking the duo’s move and the outage were related.

KQOB (currently stunting with All-Christmas music), has had dead air since Monday, due to technical issues at its Crescent, Okla. transmitter site.

Most of the stations affected are move-in stations that target the Oklahoma City metro from sites in rural northern and western Oklahoma. KINB (105.3 The Pro), KNAH (99.7 Hank FM), KVSP (Power 103.5), KZTH (88.5 The House FM) all spent time off the air due to the storm.

Joey and Heather to move to KYIS

Replacing Jack and Ron at Cumulus’ KYIS is the “Joey and Heather Morning Show” from down the hall at KKWD (Wild 104.9).

The station made the announcement today on social media. It marks a change in formats for the duo. KKWD is a Rhythmic Contemporary Hits, while KYIS is an older-skewing Hot Adult Contemporary format. However, KYIS has played more contemporary music and more rhythmic leaning songs in recent years.

No changes in format for either station were announced.

Heather Potter joined the station’s first morning show when KKWD signed on in 2000, first with another host, Troy. In 2001, Joey Combs replaced Troy. The show is rounded out by co-host “Nugget.”

Replacing Joey and Heather on KKWD is “Mike on the Mic,” the station’s current midday host.


Jack and Ron to move from KYIS to KQOB

Long-running Cumulus Media KYIS (98-9 KISS FM) morning show “Jack and Ron” announced on the air Tuesday morning (Nov. 24) that they would be moving to KQOB (Classic Rock 96.9) starting December 3.

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 departure ends a 21-year stay for Jack Elliott and Ron Williams at the Hot AC outlet. The duo moved over 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).

When Elliott and Williams make the move to KQOB, the station will flip to Christmas music, Elliott said during the announcement. Whether this signals a new format for the station formerly known as BOB-FM is unknown. During the announcement, neither host referred to KQOB’s current classic rock branding or format.

But the duo expects big things.

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

Williams added listeners who enjoyed the duo “about a year-and-a-half ago, two years ago” would like the changes.

“Welcome them back,” Williams. “You’ll see what we’re talking about.”

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.