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KCPX back as successor to KUMT

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KCPX is back. The legendary "K-PIX" had its pop music heyday in the 1960s and '70s. Now KUMT (alias "The Mountain," FM-105.7) is KCPX.

As of March 20, "The Mountain" and its adult rock music format disappeared and was replaced with music from 1968-1980. Also gone are the morning DJs of "Abby and Wren."Abby Bonell and Joe Wren were KUMT's morning DJs for a year; Candice Holdaway was the newscaster. Who knows where they might end up. (Abby was most well-known for her British accent.)

Every KUMT personality is gone except evening DJ Trish Griffith.

Pat Reedy, station general manager of Salt Lake's Trumper Communications, said only Trish fit the new format. He's looking for replacement DJs.

Reedy agrees that KUMT was too unfocused and never had high ratings. You could call it a ratings casualty.

KUMT was tied for 17th among adult listeners, ages 25-54, in the most recent Arbitron ratings. It was 23rd for listeners of all ages. A year ago, KUMT was 16th and 19th, respectively, so it had actually gone down.

"It went through so many different stages," Reedy said. "We weren't able to figure it out. This new format is so much more focused. In a market this crowded, you have to be focused."

Reedy admits there are no real "holes" in this market, but KRSP is focused on a rock sound, and a lot of 1970s music is ignored.

He said there were four parts to 1970s music -- pop, rock, disco and punk. KCPX will concentrate on pop and play a little rock and disco.

"People have very fond memories of KCPX," Reedy said.

From Lynn Lehman to "Wooly Waldron" to "Straight Arrow," KCPX had lots of great memories for baby boomers.

The KCPX call letters used to stand for "Columbia Pictures," which bought the station, then found at AM-1320 on the dial in 1959. It became "K-Pix" in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, a sister station on FM-98.7, also adopted the call letters. They were abandoned in 1986 on the AM dial, when KBUG and KEMX were used for a while. The KCPX-FM counterpart continued until the early 1990s, when a new company, Citadel Broadcasting, went with KVRI in January of 1993 and later KBEE in 1995.

AM-1600 wisely grabbed the historic call letters when they were available, despite having a Spanish format.

Reedy said he was able to purchase the KCPX call letters outright from the current owner.

AM-1600, Spanish format, is now using KSGO as its call letters.

-- PETITION STUNT -- Tom Barberi on KALL (AM-910) turned himself into the Attorney General's Office Monday in response to newspaper articles that explained he had broken the law by encouraging people to sign a petition using false names.

Barberi jokingly told listeners last month to use false names when signing a petition demanding that Utah taxpayers be protected from possible financial losses with the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Telling people to use false names on a petition is a misdemeanor, but since the Attorney General's Office was not planning on taking any action against Barberi, he decided to try and turn himself in anyway.

Barberi was back on the air Tuesday, so he got some extra publicity.

Deseret News radio editor Lynn Arave can be reached by e-mail at lynn@ desnews.com or by phone at 237-2168.