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News-talk format tunes in most listeners

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What's the most listened-to radio format nationally?

It's still news/talk, according to composite results from 94 of Arbitron's largest U.S. radio markets for the spring of 1998.News/talk grabbed 16.1 percent of the nationwide, age-12-plus radio audience, up from 15.6 percent a year earlier.

The adult contemporary format was second place again at 14.9 percent. Rhythm and blues was third at 11.7 percent, and country music was fourth at 9.7 percent. Top 40 style rounds out the top five at 8.9 percent.

According to Airplay Monitor Editor Sean Ross, country music's gradual decline has slowed a little - at least for the age 12-plus group.

However, for listeners ages 25-54, country music's audience share has slipped to single digits for the first time in the nine-year history of this survey.

Top 40 formats are also on the rise again, and Spanish-language radio had its best audience ever at 6.6 percent this past spring.

How does Utah match up to these national trends?

Based on the latest Arbitron ratings, adult contemporary is the most popular format for the Wasatch Front, followed by news/talk and country music. Top 40 music would be fourth, while the rhythm and blues format would be absent.

- 20 YEARS OF BEING WRIGHT - KSL radio host Doug Wright hit the two-decade mark on the air earlier this year.

Although the modest radio veteran is trying to stay low key, he passed the milestone on June 1. He was hired by KSL in 1978.

Wright is well-known for being one of the hardest-working radio hosts in the business.

"Never have I seen a more dedicated man at home or at work," KSL radio vice president of news and programming Rod Arquette, said.

Wright is on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. until noon and again from 1-3 p.m. He hosts the popular "KSL Movie Show" Friday afternoons

He started his broadcasting career in junior high school and is someone many radio listeners have grown up with.

- KALL CORRECTION - Several weeks ago, the Radio Dial mentioned that KALL was vacating the South Temple studios it had occupied since the 1940s to move to a new facility in West Valley City.

KALL had only been at its South Temple location since the mid-1960s. Dale Nelson of Cedar City's KSUB/KSSD/KBRE said he remembers visiting KALL in 1963 when it had studios above the Utah Theatre on Main Street, between 100 South and 200 South.

AM-910 is now on Decker Lake Drive in Jacor's new building that houses six other radio stations.

- TEN YEARS AGO - Joe Redburn returns to KTKK, AM-630, for a morning show . . . KRSP-AM gets the contract to broadcast Salt Lake Golden Eagles games . . . Rod Arquette becomes news director for KSL radio.

- RADIO HAPPENINGS - KURR almost permanently lost the talents of morning DJ Allen Handy of the Mick and Allen "Freak Show" last month. He was rushed by ambulance from the "Rock 99" radio studios on Sept. 18 with a burst appendix. He'd suffered with abdominal pain for several days previous and might have died if he hadn't received treatment. Allen returned to work the following week and is doing fine . . .

Tom Barberi on KALL Tuesday examined the next Movie Buffs trial in detail . . . Kerry, Bill and Gina on KXRK gave away circus tickets this week and also provided listeners with lots of trivia on the subject . . . KSL radio will broadcast LDS world general conference live Oct. 3 and 4. It will also air repeats overnight . . .

"Tom, Rick and Dawn" on KKAT still provide listeners with their horoscopes each morning . . . "Simon and Brady" on KBEE gave away a trip to Disneyland each weekday during the month of September.