The Fresno radio airwaves are a-changin’ these days. From full-scale AM talk transformations to popular FM jocks leaving, the local radio landscape has seen some big moves in the last month. Since some people may have only heard bits and pieces, we thought it smart to collect it all in one place.
Popular B95 DJ/on-air personality John Magic, who also did a bunch of nightclub gigs locally, left the station. He’s also the tour DJ for comedian Jo Koy, so Magic decided to focus on that. It looks like weekend DJ and Homegrown host DJ Kay Rich slides into B95′s weeknight lineup now.
The move that’s caused the most outrage hasn’t even happened yet. Shows from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are being pulled from KMJ by their syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks. The common belief is that the shows will land on a talk station owned by Clear Channel, which owns Premiere. They’re leaving KMJ on Jan. 1. KMJ listeners have been quite upset about this, and the station has devoted entire programs to letting listeners know that it’s not the station’s decision. Here’s an FAQ from KMJ. Part of its plan, KMJ says, is to add more locally-focused programs. Also worth a listen is this podcast from KMJ’s Chris Daniel who puts the whole thing in perspective.
Those of you who expected to hear the talk radio format on KYNO (AM 940) got a surprise this week. The talk lineup on KYNO is gone and the spot on the dial — with its 50,000 watts signal — has been taken over by the sports programming lineups of KFIG (AM 1430).
The sports talk station, owned by Fat Dawgs Broadcasting and home to ESPN programming, will move to the downtown facilities that is the home for KYNO and KJWL.
The talk format was a grand experiment by owner John Ostlund that never quite worked. He launched his talk radio channel in 2008 to be serious competition for KMJ. Despite hiring Alan Autry and the Fresno Bee’s Bill McEwen to host local programs, KYNO never delivered ratings close to KMJ’s numbers.
Arbitron, a leading monitor of radio listening trends, reports that in its Spring 2012 ratings book, KMJ was the top-rated radio station in Fresno, with listeners 12 and up, with a 7.6 share. KYNO did not attract enough listeners to be listed in the top 23 local radio stations.
The changes at KYNO came with some firings including general manager Mary Lou Gunn, McEwen and producer Gail Marshall. KYNO moves to 1430 AM and will change to a ‘60s music format that’s scheduled to start in mid-November. That’s not a bad move as it takes KYNO back to its AM music radio days.
I could attempt to write something about what KRZR meant to the community. But I know I couldn’t do it half as good as some of the people whose voices guided the station through its good times. So I’ve asked a few people to offer up their eulogies for “The Wild Hare.” Some you’ll recognize as beloved once-KRZRers. Others just know the station well. All of them understand what it meant to Fresno.
UPDATE: After 35 minutes of babbling and innuendo about running for Congress, Ray-Ray did what we all expected and said, “April Fools!” Shocker, right? Too bad too — I was looking forward to him not being on the radio for a few months.
ORIGINAL POST, 3/31: Before you ask: Yes, I am Facebook friends with Ray Appleton. But he requested me, OK? Anyhoo, Ray posted this status update yesterday and his KMJ-ites went into a tizzy.
Is he leaving radio? Signing an extension? Running for office? Moving to Costa Rica? Becoming a liberal? Or is this an April Fool’s Joke — after all, Thursday is April 1. Maybe it’s a stunt to counter competitor KYNO’s signal boost which happens on Thursday too.
Whatever it is, I figure you guys might have some good (read: hilarious) guesses as to what Ray-Ray has up his sleeve. The more absurd the better, please.
As you may or may not know, I’m a guest on Alan Autry’s KYNO radio show most Fridays at 11:30 a.m. talking about weekend happenings around Fresno.
In addition, our former mayor often drops some jewels that have nothing to do with weekend happenings. Remember the “Mike Oz Song?” Yeah, that was good. Still listen to it. But he may have outdone himself this time.