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Rumors flying about new Wasatch Front radio stations

New frequencies are purchased in Brigham, Oakley

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Rumors circulate frequently about Wasatch Front radio stations. In an industry almost based on change, there's nothing unusual about that. However, an unusual recent occurrence is rumors about two new Utah radio stations that haven't even been built.

Simmons Radio Group purchased two new frequencies last year, one in Brigham City and another in Oakley, Summit County. Some rumors are already giving specific formats to these two stations — but everything at this point is just rumor, according to station officials.

G. Craig Hanson, president of Simmons Radio, said that formats will be one of the last things decided for the two stations.

Simmons has purchased FM-100.7 in Brigham City and FM-101.5 in Oakley. Both stations have call letters now, and that's probably the motivation for the rumors. The Brigham City station will be KJQN, while Oakley will be KPKK. (KJQN was Utah's first alternative music station, and people are assuming that's what the format will be.)

Hanson says they are historic call letters but that nothing will be decided on format until later this year.

KJQN has a site secured in Brigham City, but in Oakley, one of two prospective sites is yet to be selected and then given approval by the Summit County Commission.

Hanson said KJQN is still on track to be on the air by the end of the year, but KPKK is behind schedule and likely won't premiere until next year. Some are calling KPKK "The Peak," but Hanson said the company simply secured some call letters that sounded good; they don't stand for anything yet.

Once the two new stations are on the air, Simmons will own or operate 32 radio stations in the West, including 11 in Utah.

BROADCAST HALL OF FAME — Three new members have been inducted into the Utah Broadcasters Hall of Fame: Ivor Sharp of KSL Radio, Allan Moll of Ch. 4 TV and Howard Jorgensen of KCPX-AM. These three new members were inducted Tuesday.

"All three of these gentlemen are examples of the outstanding heritage that has made Utah broadcasting superior to many markets larger than ours," said Dale Zabriskie, executive director of the Utah Broadcasters Association.

Sharp worked 28 years at KSL before retiring in 1958, while Moll's on-air debut in Salt Lake was Dec. 7, 1941 — the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Jorgensen was station manager at KCPX, AM-1320, for many years and also worked at KTVX-Ch. 4.

NEW SPANISH STATION — AM-1640, on the expanded AM dial, is now broadcasting a Spanish format. The station was originally going to be a continuation of "K-Talk" radio, AM-640. Plans obviously changed.

RADIO HAPPENINGS — The strongest thing about morning radio is its local aspect. Sure, "Bob and Tom" on their syndicated show on KBER can crack lots of jokes, but only local DJs can relate directly to their audience. For example, take Tuesday morning, when "Shawn and Dobie" on KKAT examined some of the bizarre laws on the books along the Wasatch Front.

The same morning, "Johnson and Johnson" on KUBL were talking to residents who live close to the Camp Williams wildfire, while Kerry, Bill and Gina on KXRK and Mick and Allen on KURR were having fun discussing the complaints in West Point about the lady who does yard work in a bikini.

Satellite or syndicated radio just can't replace that kind of talk about local issues and events.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com