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Radio dial: 'Hot Ticket 700' may not be up for sale after all

Clear Channel may keep KALL despite station's low ratings

KALL radio ("Hot Ticket 700," AM) may be here to stay — despite rumors to the contrary.

Ever since Clear Channel announced its intent to purchase local TV station KUWB-Ch. 30, it was assumed that the Salt Lake cluster of Clear Channel stations would have to sell one of its radio properties to comply with the Federal Communication Commission's multiple-ownership rules. KALL was the likely casualty, since it has the lowest ratings.

(Clear Channel already owns KTVX-Ch. 4 and seven radio stations in this market.)

The departure of morning host Jon Wright early last month added fuel to the speculation of a station sale by Clear Channel.

However, with the University of Utah grid season ready to kick off today against Arizona, AM-700 appears poised for the long haul.

Clear Channel may be betting the FCC will eventually allow it to have seven radio stations and two TV properties in the Salt Lake market.

It also looks as though Wright's dismissal had more to do with KALL shooting for a complete all-sports schedule, 24 hours a day, rather than a sale of the station.

Although Clear Channel could, in a pinch, still sell KALL to comply with any FCC decision later on — as well as move U. sports to sister station KNRS (AM-570), that would be a tough marketing move. "Hot Ticket 700" is now likely branded into the minds of U. sports fans.

A www.saltlakeradio.com user lately has been referring to the station as "Luke-Warm Ticket 700," and there may be a basis for that — KALL's current listener ratings for age 12-plus are only about 40 percent of what they were one year ago, according to Arbitron's latest summer estimates. Even KTKK ("K-Talk") has moved ahead of KALL in the ratings.

KALL now has the "Fox Morning Extravaganza," airing weekdays, 6-10 a.m., followed by Jim Rome from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Matt Thomas is on the air from 1-4 p.m. and Bill Riley airs from 4-7 p.m. Other sports programming completes the day.

For a complete KALL program schedule, go to www.hotticket700.com

NEW KUUU WEB SITE — "U-92" has revamped its online page to include listener polls and even input for a "music advisory panel."

Remember the old days when you had to telephone or mail requests to a DJ for music you wanted to hear? Now the "U-92" site includes a convenient way to help determine not only what music the station plays but how often.

Also, up until a year or so ago, Millcreek Broadcasting, owner of "U-92," didn't even have its own Web sites. Now, it has some of the best.

RADIO HAPPENINGS — Meredith of "Mikey and Meredith" on KQMB ("Star 102.7") has been absent from the air recently, taking time off since her daughter, Lillian Marie, was born Aug. 19. However, Meredith has called the show from home to give updates on her new motherhood.

Erica Hansen, of "Scott and Erica," mornings on KOSY (FM-106.5), is one of the latest DJs to undergo Lasik eye surgery.

— Because of their relationship with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mark and Gayle Van Wagoner, morning hosts on KDYL (AM-1060), got to meet President Bush during his visit to Salt Lake City last week for the VFW convention. In August 2001, the Van Wagoners were given the commander in chief's Gold Award of Merit for service to veterans for their flag-raising program on KDYL Radio. Mark and Gayle received the medal at the Veterans of Foreign Wars' national convention in Milwaukee, Wis. They were also the masters of ceremonies for this year's patriotic rally held Aug. 23 in the Salt Palace.

KXRK ("X-96") is giving away a 2005 Mustang as part of this year's "Big 'A' Show."

TWENTY YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE RADIO — KRSP sponsors a summer's end party at Lagoon. . . . KCPX and KBUG sponsor a "Taste Salt Lake" food event at the Salt Palace.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com