Friday, October 22, 2004

Seattle: AAR is coming to KYCW!

Country-music fans tuning in to 1090-AM next week are in for a radical change. As of 12:01 a.m. Monday, KYCW will be KPTK, Seattle's new home for the liberal Air America Radio.

The New York-based network, home of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo and other left-wing talkers, made the announcement yesterday. Before adding the Seattle station, Air America's Web site ( ) listed 36 local affiliates and XM and Sirius satellite radio, which carry its programming along with its Internet broadcast.

KPTK's owner, Infinity Broadcasting, didn't have much to lose by switching formats from the low-rated "classic country" to "progressive talk," said Dave McDonald, senior vice president and general manager of Infinity Radio Seattle. He said KYCW's air talent will all be retained in other positions among Seattle's four other Infinity stations, housed in Suite 100 at 1000 Dexter Ave. N.: KMPS-FM (94.1, country), KRQI-FM "K-Rock" (96.5, alternative), KBKS-FM (106.1, Top 40) and KZOK-FM (102.5, classic rock).

Here's the lineup:

3A-6A Morning Sedition
6A-9A Unfiltered
9A-Noon Al Franken
Noon-3P Ed Schultz
3P-7P Randi Rhodes
7P-10P Majority Report
10P-1A Best of Franken
1A-3A Best of Randi Rhodes

Station Info:


50,000 watt signal that hits the entire area, though it fades a bit in the eastern suburbs due to bad ground conductivity. But coupled with KPOJ out of Portland, OR, AAR should be loud and clear the length of I-5 through most of Oregon and all of Washington up into British Columbia. Road trip, anyone?

This is a good move, and it marks Infinity's arrival into the liberal talk game. I should point out that Infinity is not keen on streaming of their product, and rarely does, so don't look for a seperate webcast. But this adds a new powerhouse company to the format. Will they be in competition with the likes of Clear Channel and Entercom to flip stations in various markets? Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

KYCW 1090 (the old KING 1090)
will have reception issues in the far eastern
rapidly growing suburbs of Seattle such
as Issaquah and Sammammish.

While I live south of Seattle, when I have been there
and from what I've heard, it can be a very serious
problem with 50kW 1090kHz DA2 fading in and out, at night.

A couple of weeks ago after dark I tested all the AM frequencies at night in Issaquah and except for KIRO, KVI, KTTH, KOMO.

1150 KKNW and 880 KIXI were the best for AM.

Yet they have problems to the south.

So we have no "perfect" frequency for AAR except for the Fisher and Entercom properties.

Perhaps Infiniti will file an application to channge the pattern. I haven't checked any data to see if this is possible.

AM 620 KPOJ / Portland might come in better in Issaquah than 1090 at times. Are they on their new patterns yet at 25kW/10kW???

ltr said...

Thanks for the report.

Entercom's 1210 would have been a great place for AAR. Entercom seems to dominate talk radio in town, and a liberal talker at 1210 would have made for a nice flanking strategy.

Unfortunately, Entercom struck an agreement this summer to sell the signal to a Spanish-format broadcaster, and the sale should be approved shortly. Entercom dumped the station because they had no idea what to do with it, and they wanted to buy a more powerful AM or FM in town. Too bad, since they jumped into the liberal talk pool shortly after when they flipped WROC in Rochester, NY to the format. Think they're kicking themselves now?

KYCW doesn't look like that bad of a signal, but Seattle area stations are pretty restricted by many factors. First, the terrain is a bit funny, so that limits AM signals. Second, there are a lot of signals blasting in from Canada, including a few powerful 50kw stations.

Perhaps Infinity can get permission to fine tune the signal in town, or they may even be able to legally with a little tweaking on their equipment. At least AAR is in the market.

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