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MOAB’S KCNY IS OFF THE AIR AGAIN AS REVENUES LAG

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KCNY-AM radio has gone off the air again, for the third time in as many years.

Mike Youngren of Denver, president of Moenkopi Communications Inc. of Utah and a former news director for KUTV in Salt Lake City, ordered the shutdown last weekend of Moab's only radio station because of low commercial revenues.Youngren said the blackout is only temporary while he tries to locate financing to upgrade and relocate the station and construct new FM facilities.

Four full-time and three part-time employees were laid off when KCNY ceased broadcasting at midnight Sunday, Dec. 10.

"We ran out of money," Youngren said.

"The plan is to raise more money, take out the debt load on the station, and move it, which should be at least three months. It all depends on whether the investors come through."

Youngren said the station needs a new transmitter and tower. It also needs to be modernized all around with updated equipment and more automation, he said.

Youngren bought the 1,000-watt station in 1987 from Moab Broadcasting Corp., following FCC approval of the license transfer.

The station adopted a satellite-based country-western music format, using syndicated programming out of Chicago. Youngren said the town seemed to accept the format, with expanded local news coverage and other additions to programming in the last year. But the business experienced the same problems generating support from advertisers as it had under previous owners.

Youngren said there were also internal problems but did not elaborate.

"I don't think the problem was with the format. And the town's not to blame. It's that . . . they're unwilling to spend money," Youngren said. "If you look at the history of the station, it's not been good for the past 12 years."

Moab Broadcasting and Television Corp. started the station in 1957, later selling its TV holdings. The company operated the station under call letters KURA until 1985. Canyonlands Broadcasting System then took control of the license and changed the call letters to KMOB.

KMOB shut down in the first half of 1986. The license was transferred back to Dixie Barksdale of Moab Broadcasting Corp., who reopened the station late that summer under call letters KCNY.