KGSR 93.3 FM is becoming Austin City Limits Radio.
The change, which took effect at 5 p.m. Thursday with a satellite broadcast from Austin’s Arlyn Studios, will create a new format based primarily around the broad range of artists associated with the other Austin City Limits brand. Key KGSR staffers involved with the move said they expect roughly 50 percent of the station’s playlist content to be different with the ACL Radio designation.
austin360.com, Indiana-based Emmis Communications still owns KGSR and will keep those call letters. Emmis will license the Austin City Limits name from the television show, which launched in the mid-1970s.
Adding radio to the mix was primarily the brainchild of KGSR on-air personality Andy Langer, who’s been with the station for 11 years. It started, he says, almost as a joke, when program director Emily Parker presented a list of potential adds to the station’s playlist that seemed beyond its usual AAA-format scope.
“I said, ‘Great, what are we going to call the new station?’,” Langer recalled. “My knee-jerk reaction led me to something I should have thought of five or 10 years ago.”
Adding a radio element to the ACL brand indeed seems like a natural extension. Tom Gimbel, the general manager of the “Austin City Limits” TV show and the executive who approved the multi-year licensing deal after Langer approached him with the idea, noted that the station “will be the first ACL brand touchpoint that is on 24-7, 365 days a year.”
The change “allows us to broaden our scope,” said Scott Gillmore, senior vice president and Austin market manager for Emmis, whose local radio properties also include KLBJ-FM, KLBJ-AM, 101X, Latino 102.7, Bob-FM and La Zeta. “Even though we had changed our music over time, people still had an image about what KGSR was that maybe went back a ways.”