Monday, October 12, 2015

SLC Radio: Two iHM Stations Change Frequency

For years, weekday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Salt Lake City radio listeners could hear KNRS program director and talk show host Rod Arquette's political views. But as of last Thursday at 5 p.m. they couldn't do so by tuning into the long established 105.7. The station has moved to 105.9.

"It's very challenging," Arquette says.

So why make the move? iHeartMedia SVP/Programming Jeff Cochran says the answer is simple.

"The FCC said we had to move."

The move will make room on the dial for an additional radio station (KDWY 105.5 FM in Oakley, UT),  not owned by iHeartMedia. Cochran says that given their druthers they would not have moved KNRS nor would they have moved iHM's Rock KAAZ from 106.5 to 106.7. That move was also ordered by the FCC.

And it's not just the two iHM stations that will need to tweak signals. Nearly two dozen stations spanning four states have shifted or will have to shift to make room for the new station, according to KUTV2.

KNRS 105.9 (25 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area 
The challenge of switching frequencies goes beyond getting listeners to switch. Cochran says he didn't realize how many places are branded with a station's logo and frequency until that branding becomes obsolete.

"It's on things like letterhead and other trinkets and things like [stress balls] and vans and banners. It's on everything," he said.

Arquette says he believes the move will not hurt ratings because of the massive efforts they have undergone to get the word out. And in fact, KNRS being a conservative talk station, and the order to move coming from the feds, Arquette says it all combined nicely to give him a little fodder for his show.

KNRS frequency switch promo...

"We are having a little fun and of course we blame everything on Obama so we blame this on Obama, too," Arquette joked. "We have such a great loyal audience we just had some fun with it and that's what you have to do."

KAAZ 106.7 FM (25 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Salt Lake City is one of the most saturated radio markets in the country. There are currently 51 radio stations and these moves will make room for a 52nd. Many larger cities have half as many stations.

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