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"Jon and Dan" are currently off the air at KLZX radio (FM-93.3/AM-860). They are on extended leave for about eight weeks because of a court challenge by their former employer, KRSP (FM-103.5).

Jon Carter and Dan Bammes, former "Rock-103 Dawn Patrol" personalities were lured away from that station last May and were originally expected to stay off the Utah radio waves for about four months (until August) because of a "non-competitive" contractual commitment in their KRSP contacts.However, by June, KLZX officials believed that the no-competition clause was unenforceable as written, and so the two popular Utah deejays made their on-air debut on "Classic Rock 'n' Roll" and remained on the air until last Monday.

According to KLXZ station manager Stuart Stanek, KRSP challenged their early on-air decision, and a court settlement on July 31 ended with both stations agreeing that "Jon and Dan" stay off the air until Sept. 21.

Stanek said that because of the terms of the court, he is unable to provide any other details on the settlement.

In the meantime, KLZX program director Michael Beck is filling in for Carter and Bammes. The station is merely explaining that the two are on "extended vacation."

Stanek said that "Jon and Dan" will pick up where they left off and return with their same show.

-BIRCH RATINGS - KKAT (FM-101.9) is, by far, the most-listened-to Wasatch Front radio station, according to the spring report from Birch/Scarborough Radio Research, published this week.

For the Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. until midnight "quarter hour share trends" category, KKAT piled up a listening percentage of 11.9, compared to only 9.1 for runner-up KISN (FM-97.1/AM-570).

Other rankings are:

3. KSOP (FM-104.3/AM-1370), 8.3 share; 4. KCPX (FM-98.7), 7.9; 5. KRSP (FM-103.5), 6.3; 6. KBER (FM-106.5), 6.0; 7. KSL (AM 1160), 5.7; 8. (tie) KSFI (FM-100.3, alias "FM-100") and KZHT (FM-94.9), both 4.9; and 10. KJQN (FM-92.7/95.5 and 104.9), 4.2 share.

The remaining listings are:

11. KLZX (FM-93.3/AM-860), 3.6 share; 12. KMGR (FM-107.5), 2.8; 13. KTKK (AM-630, alias "K-Talk"), 2.7; 14. KALL (AM-910), 2.6; 15. KBYU (FM-89.1), 2.1; 16. KKWY (FM-97.9, alias "Y-98), 2.0; 17. KLCY (FM-94.1), 1.8; 18. KLVV (FM-99.5), 1.6; 19. KUTR (off the air as of June 21), 1.5; 20. (tie) KDAB (FM-101.1) and KDYL (AM-1280), both 1.1; 22. KZOL (FM-96.1/AM-960), 1.0; 23. KUER (FM-90), .9; 24. (tie) KRSP (AM-1060) and KSRR (AM-1400), both .4; 26. KCGL (FM-105.5), .3; and 27. (four-way tie) KANN (AM-1120), KLO (AM-1430), KRCL (FM-90.9) and KSOS (FM-106.9), all .2 shares.

Some radio critics may question the reliability of Birch's radio estimates, but that's just what they are - estimates. (Arbitron is the other company that does radio ratings and its estimates seem to favor the older listening audience, while Birch's favor a younger group.)

With all ratings accuracy controversies aside, these ratings point out that AM radio is still on the decline. Not counting stations that simulcast on FM and AM, the only three AM stations that increased in audience during the past quarter were: KTKK, going from a 2.6 to a 2.7 share; the defunct KUTR that, ironically, went from a .6 in the winter to a 1.5; and KALL from a 2.2 to a 2.6.

KSL dropped from 8.3 to 5.7. The station was ranked fourth overall by Birch a year ago and now stands at 7th.

Other stations that recorded big quarterly declines were KRSP-FM, KCPX, KLCY and KDAB.

On the plus side, four stations have recorded some huge audience improvements during the past year.

- KZHT, with a .6 share one year ago, is now 4.9 with its pop/modern format.

- KJQN rose from 1.3 to 4.2 in one year with a modern music format.

- KBER went from 3.4 to a 6.0 share with a rock format similar to KRSP's.

- KSOP went from a 4.9 in the spring of 1988 to an 8.3.

Country music continues to gain in popularity locally with the area's two country stations, KKAT and KSOP, ranked first and third overall.

In a time period breakdown of the latest ratings, KKAT is also the most-listened-to station in morning drive time (6-10) with a 12.2 share. KSOP is second at 10.6, KISN third (10.6), KSL fourth (8.2) and KCPX fifth (6.3 share).

In afternoon drive time (3-7), KKAT is first (11.0) and KCPX is second at 9.7. Rounding out the top five are: 3. KSOP (9.5); 4. KISN (9.1) and KBER (7.8).

-KTKK (AM-630, alias "K-Talk") Joe Redburn is the new program director for the station. He also does a morning talk show at the station and replaces Eric Kelner, who is now the program director for sister station KLVV (FM-99.5).