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Radio dial: Radio highlights of 2008

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Here are some radio highlights of 2008:

January: KOAY, "The Oasis" at FM-97.5, goes off the air in a bankruptcy situation. Peggy Ijams leaves the KEGA ("The Eagle") morning show, leaving Keith Stubbs as a solo host. KDYL (AM-1060) launches a "real oldies" format, abandoning its nostalgic music format. Mark and Gayle Van Wagoner and also Danny Kramer remain as DJs on the new station. KOVO, AM-960, stops simulcasting "The Zone," all-sports, and begins a Spanish format. KSL leads the fall book ratings, KSFI is second and KNRS-AM third.

February: KCPW goes up for sale. KUBL's "Johnson and Johnson" sponsor a fisherman's valentine wedding at Cabela's. "Johnson and Johnson" shave their heads to settle a bet after listeners raise more than $100,000 one morning for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The fundraiser gathers more than $600,000 in just 36 hours and, ultimately, the multiday event raises much more.

March: Tom Barberi returns to KALL radio with a morning talk show. Scott Fisher also returns to radio some weeks earlier doing a new morning show with Candace on KOSY. KUBL holds its ninth annual green Jello dive for St. Patrick's Day. Utah Free Media, composed of former KRCL volunteers, begins work on a new community-based Internet-only radio station, to pick up the slack.

April: April Fool's pranks are sparse this time around, with only Jon Carter and "The Coach" on KRSP promoting a one-way trip to Armenia. KZHT sponsors a "best rear of the year" contest. KENZ begins a contest to guess when the station will play its one millionth song. KUBL's "Johnson and Johnson" sponsor their annual "Pie the Tax Guy" event. Bonneville sells KUTR to a company specializing in gospel music.

May: KSL, KNRS and KUBL are the top three radio stations for the "Winter Book" in Arbitron. KSFI slips to sixth place. KBZN lets Kelly Monson go, and Dan Jessop replaces him in the mornings. KUER gets some programming on XM satellite radio.

June: Doug Wright of KSL celebrates 30 years on the air. Candace leaves the KOSY morning show. "Johnson and Johnson" on KUBL hold a wedding for the unluckiest couple in Utah on Friday the 13th at Nightmare on 13th. Tom Barberi leaves KALL radio. David B. Smith, a Utah radio veteran, dies from heart disease at age 61.

July: Paul Harvey broadcasts cease in Salt Lake City, as KUTR becomes a Christian talk station under its new owners. The FCC's "Localism" proposal could cost radio companies millions of dollars, if passed, by requiring studios in the city license and 24-hour staffing. Ryan Seacrest's show premieres afternoons on KBEE. KENZ gives away free gasoline in a morning show promotion.

August: "The Radio From Hell" show celebrates its 5,000th show. KSL is the No. 1 station again, by a wide margin, ahead of runner-up KUBL. "The Blaze" switches its main frequency to FM-97.5, from FM-94.9. Kevin Cruise, music director for KUUU, is nominated by Radio and Records as a candidate for Music Director of the Year. KRSP celebrates 40 years on the air.

September: KBZN begins to play less smooth jazz music and more adult contemporary. Peggy Ijams joins Scott Fisher on an expanded KOSY morning show. Bob Morey, owner of KSRR and KQMB radio, dies on Sept. 28.

October: Artie Fufkin leaves KXRK. KSL and KUBL lead the summer book Arbitron ratings. KUBL stages another "Pumpkin Drop" event at Trolley Square.

November: Bill Allred of KXRK stars in a new Utah-made movie. KOSY is first and KSFI second on playing all-holiday tunes on Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, respectively. A new online LDS music station begins at YourLDSradio.com. Mike Peer ("Parker") KENZ program director and afternoon DJ is let go. Rusty Keyes, program director of sister station KENZ, assumes double duty. Salt Lake moves up to become the nation's 30th largest radio market, according to Arbitron.

December: Fred R. Brown, 74, a Utah radio host and icon in the Uintah Basin, dies from cancer. He had been part of Roosevelt's KNEU-AM/KIFX morning radio show. KSL cancels the Sunday program "Relatively Speaking." KRSP gives away many Nintendo Wii units in a big holiday contest. Glenn Beck visits Utah to do his "The Christmas Sweater" production in the E Center. KALL's use agreement with Simmons Media group will expire Dec. 31, after which time AM-700 will become an independent station, apart from "The Zone."

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