Monday, September 21, 2009

A KAAY "FM Sister Station"?

Yes, according to Dave M.; and I pestered him into giving us the info on it, so here it is!

"Here’s a short history of how KAAY’s FM sister station came to be -

The historical stage was set very well by Greg Fadick in an earlier note – KAAY had passed up an opportunity to build a new FM station – a frequency was available in Little Rock, and several people, including some ex-KAAY people applied for and got the construction permit for what became KLAZ-FM. Greg’s history is accurate as I remember.

I remember leaving for Vietnam hoping that when I came back I would have a nice and shiny FM station to work on. But, NO! Instead, KLAZ-98 became an instant hit, and KKYK-FM (KARN) joined the battle, and Little Rock now had a couple of ACR/contemporary rockers and the listener migration was well underway to FM. The stage was well set for KAAY’s ultimate demise.

Time rocked on, and local radio station owner Bernie Mann, who owned KALO-AM (urban) and KEZQ-FM (beautiful music automated) eventually sold KEZQ-FM 94.1 to Multimedia Radio, then current owners of KAAY. KEZQ-FM was moved into the new Cottondale Lane building along with a new automation system playing elevator music. It wasn’t long before an opportunity was sensed, and the decision was made to change formats on the FM from elevator music to album rock. I built a new air-studio and got ready for the format change. Now this is where the story gets fun –

The decision was made to make the format change memorable. Very memorable. When KTHS changed to KAAY, it was memorable. Why not do it again?!?

So the night of the format change came. A special set of tapes were made for the automation system, one being “Baby Elephant Walk”, and the other – Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. These two songs played over and over all weekend long, with only a pause for the station ID at the top of the hour. You should have heard the telephone calls we got!

One nice lady who was a faithful KEZQ Beautiful Music listener actually called the police department and asked them to go to the radio station to check on things, because things didn’t “sound right” and “something MUST be wrong down there”. The police officer that was dispatched to the studio rang the night buzzer and spoke with one of the staff – he was reassured things were just fine, and thanks for checking. It was a new radio station in town and he would enjoy listening to it beginning first thing Monday morning.

Monday morning, KLPQ (KQ-94) signed on playing album rock with an all new staff, new music, new studio, and sounding pretty good.

The station is now known as KKPT-FM “The Point”.

/DM/"


I wonder if they got protests like on the episode of WKRP, with a lobby full of folks with signs? Good one, Dave! Thank you!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

2 comments:

  1. KKPT (The Point 94.1) is still in the Cottondale building. The Point is also the current home of Beaker Street. Sunday nights @ 7. The other radio station that also resides on Cottondale is KABZ (103.7 The Buzz). The station formerly known as KKYK is now a sports-talk station.

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  2. And I actually have two coffee mugs that have the announcement from Multimedia of the move to 2400 Cottondale for both KAAY and KEZQ. I believe the date listed on the cups is November 17th, so I'm presuming this was in '76. By the way, if you ever get the chance, stop by Adcraft of Arkansas. That's where I unearthed these coffee cups about three years. They have LOTS of old radio station bumper stickers and memorabilia from the '60s and beyond.

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