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Radio dial: DJ is leaving KSOP after 34 years

Country Joe Flint started at KSOP in 1971.
Country Joe Flint started at KSOP in 1971.
Deseret Morning News archives

Country Joe Flint is leaving KSOP (FM-104.3), which shouldn't be surprising, given that DJs change stations all the time. But Flint has been the Salt Lake area's longest-serving DJ at one station — more than 34 years.

Flint has resigned after more than 34 years at KSOP (FM-104.3). He started at the station in May 1971.

No one in the Salt Lake radio market — who works full time — has remained at a single station longer.

According to KSOP music director Debby Turpin, Flint resigned to pursue an opportunity with a new country station in Salt Lake City, FM-107.5, which is starting up later this month.

FM-107.5 has been the home of KENZ ("The End"), which is moving to FM-101.9 on Sept. 22 and 23. FM-107.5 will simulcast for two days before disappearing Sept. 24. And "Pop FM" (KPQP), which has been on FM-101.9, will vanish for good on Sept. 22.

KSOP has yet to announce a replacement for Flint. The new station at FM-107.5 will be "classic" country.

During his years at KSOP, Flint was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., the first Intermountain-area radio host to be so honored.

His radio career began in 1968, when he attended a San Francisco broadcast school. From there he came to Salt Lake City and worked at KUTE and KUER at the University of Utah. His first paying job was at KABI in Abilene, Kan. He then returned to Salt Lake City and worked briefly at KRGO and KBBC before being hired by KSOP.

The trademark of Country Joe became his cowboy hat, with the "Made in USA" hatband. Flint has also written several books, including an encyclopedia of country music. He also owns a music store, Country Joe's, in West Valley City.

Never one to talk a lot, Flint has always let playing music come first before chatter. You can bet that will also be the case at the new station. Flint also knows classic country better than any DJ in the area.

Doug Wright, who came to KSL in 1978, is now likely the longest-surviving DJ at the same station with 27 years.

Flint's departure also means that the Salt Lake radio market's longest-running morning team has been broken up. Flint and newsman Dick Jacobson had worked together doing mornings at KSOP continuously since 1988 — some 17 years. (Jacobson left KSOP for two years from 1986-88, having originally started with Flint in the late 1970s.)

With this change, the morning team that has been together longest is Bill Allred and Kerry Jackson at KXRK ("X-96"). They lead the pack with almost 12 years together at the same station. (They started at KXRK on Oct. 18, 1993. They also worked together at Ogden's KJQN for 5 1/2 years and in 1996 added Gina Barberi to their unique "Radio From Hell Show.")

RADIO HAPPENINGS — KUTR (AM-820) has dropped the Rabbi Shmuley show from the 3-6 p.m. weekday time slot and has replaced it with the Dr. Joy Browne show. (Browne's show also airs from 9 p.m. to midnight.)

— Tom Barberi's new show on KFMS (FM-97.5) will move to the noon-2 p.m. spot starting Monday. Holly Braithwaite, formerly of KZHT, is Barberi's co-host.

The Bill O'Reilly show will move to late mornings Monday.

What's up with the FM-97.5 Web site? As of Wednesday, trying to access it at directed you to competitor KSL's Web site instead. Later in the day, it directed you to the main Web site.

The Salt Lake Tribune and others have claimed that KSL was sabotaging KFMS, but KSL program director Russ Hill says KSL is definitely not responsible.

The problem looks more like a server or network problem, as FM-97.5 doesn't even have an official Web site up yet (although it registered for one on Sept. 3 through Network Solutions). The site was still under construction earlier this week.

So, there's likely no conspiracy here, just a complicated Web mix-up.

Erica Hansen of "Scot and Erica," mornings on KOSY, has reprised her role in "Always . . . Patsy Cline," presented through Sept. 24 in the Grand Theater of the Salt Lake Community College's south campus.

KBYU (FM-89.1/89.5) will present "A Bicentennial Tribute to Joseph Smith: Praise to the Man," a special program about the LDS prophet and his connection to the music of his time. The program takes place in the Madsen Recital Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University next Friday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office (422-4322).

The program will feature the favorite music of Joseph Smith, plus related anecdotes and the world premiere of a KBYU-FM commissioned work by Robert Millett, "Journey from Palmyra," performed by the BYU Faculty String Quintet.

"Praise to the Man" will also be broadcast on KBYU-FM at 89.1 and 89.5 FM and online at on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 27, 9 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 23, 8 p.m.