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Silenced radio stations back on air with new formats

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2001

Two central peninsula radio stations are back on the air after 11 months of silence. KSLD 1140 FM and KKIS 96.5 FM had new life breathed into them about a month ago after a dispute between their owner and the company operating them was settled.

Chester Coleman, owner of American Radio Brokers of San Francisco, Calif., owns KSLD and KKIS, though they had been operated under an agreement with John Davis, owner of KSRM 920 AM and KWHQ 100.1 FM. That is until a dispute over a sale gone south put KSLD and KKIS off the air on March 31, 2000.

Prior to that, Davis had been in negotiations to sell his two stations to Coleman, but the deal fell through.

Now, Davis is buying Coleman out.

"Things change over time," Coleman said from his office in San Francisco. "John and I have had a long-term relationship dating from the mid-70s, and sometimes things change."

Davis, in the meantime, is still interested in selling out.

"That's pretty obvious when you're 60 years old like I will be on Saturday," he said. "I've got to quit sometime."

He said there are three different prospective buyers for what will be a four-station package, but he did not expect anything to be finalized for a year or so.

"We need to shake out the new formats," he said, of the programming changes coming to the stations.

Coleman said there is no reason the Federal Communications Commission should not expedite the sale of his stations to Davis, but he's not holding his breath.

"One never knows. Sometimes they drown in their own indecision and don't follow their own timetables," he said.

In the meantime, Davis will provide programming to Coleman's two stations, though the official general manager of them will be Sally Hoskins, their former owner. The transmitters and towers will remain near Sport Lake Road.

The four stations will certainly make KSRM Inc. a more attractive prospect to buyers.

"We'll have a bigger share of the market with those formats we've chosen," Davis said. "There will be a lot of variety, and they will meet the needs of a lot of different people."

KSRM, which had been talk and classic rock before the Coleman deal fell through, was changed to talk and country afterward. Starting Monday, it will be known as News 92 and will feature 24-hours news-talk.

The station will feature the same shows that are on now from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the addition of several nationally syndicated talk shows, such as Michael Reagan, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Jim Bohannan.

"We've beefed up our news department," he said. "We'll be heavy on news of Kenai and Alaska with lots of local sports coverage between the talk shows."

Country music will return to KWHQ, which will be known as Big Q Country. It will feature a syndicated country music show out of Los Angeles from 6 to 9 a.m. and several other shows from Nashville, Tenn.

KKIS will feature an adult contemporary format, also delivered by satellite, except for 7 to 11 p.m., when high school disc jockeys will play Top 40 music voted on by local young people and take requests.

At KSLD, the format will be classic rock 'n' roll. In fact, the station will be called the King of Rock and Roll. It doesn't quite go head-to-head with oldies powerhouse KXBA 93.3, known as K-Bay, but it's close.

"We'll play music from the 60s and 70s, and (K-Bay) plays 50s and 60s," Davis said. "Our age demo will be 30 to 45 while theirs is 40 to 60."

"I hope they like the formats. I'm sure they'll do just fine," Coleman said. "They will serve more people better."



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