Bye-bye KBSG: From faithful blather reader, Rev: I was awake at 4:00 this AM, so I heard the dying gasps of KBSG: They played about of "that's the end" songs with no announcements or commercial break, and then at about 4:20, there was a "This is KIRO-FM" ID, followed by the Rolling Stones' " ." When that ended, they faded into the middle of a commercial and picked up the KIRO(AM) stream in progress, which was running the syndicated report. No announcement of the new signal or anything else -- just business as usual. So I went back to sleep.
KIRO suits left the door wide open today to what we've been told is the "inevitable switch" to all-sports programming for KIRO.
It even sounds like they've been talking to ESPN.
At 5a Tuesday morning, KIRO began simulcasting on 97.3 FM, shoving the oldies and the oldsters who loved them to Warmer climes in a move to serve the "maggot-infested, long-haired FM-types," as Rush Limbaugh so poetically but inaccurately describes an audience who are actually the vast majority of radio listeners.
After 87 years of news talk, Bonneville suits say they're "extending
the brand," and going for a younger audience -- one who's never
listened to AM.
But what's the big picture? we can't know yet, but in separate interviews by KIRO news guy, Jim Valley on the mynorthwest site, GM Carl Gardner, and PD Rod Arquette, used exactly the same words when asked if KIRO would go away on AM: "Not in the foreseeable future," they both said with talking point precision.
(photo right: GM Carl "Chauncey" Gardner)
When Valley pressed, "How long is the foreseeable future?" Arquette said, "Don't know yet. we'll see."
Digging down a little with Arquette, it got more revealing. Valley asked about the "million rumors" that ESPN -- all sports -- might come to KIRO AM, Arquette said, "I can't speak to that that right now."
Sounds like Bonneville is talking to ESPN, at least.
(photo: PD "The Rodfather" Arquette)
That's gotta make TBTL's Burbank and afternoon goofs Ron & Don happy: the FM dial exposes them to a vastly larger, and younger audience, the latter is one they both target.
Of course it means they won't be getting all the days off they' used to get...
While the new signal penetrates tall buildings like Superman, and follows listeners into tunnels, Dave Ross will have a better shot at an audience he's been battling to hang onto for years: NPR listeners.
An enemy of all these audio dreams is, of course the onerous spotload -- the obnoxious commercial ads that leaves only about 18 minutes of every hour to content. That's a fact of life that commercial radio may never overcome to the satisfaction of public radio listeners.