Tony Randall and Kris Rochester (aka Tony and Kris) recently departed from KUSS “New Country” 95.7 FM. In December 2003, Clear Channel lured Randall and Rochester away from KSON with a five-year contract that reportedly paid the team $1 million a year; that contract runs out in December.
Attempts to reach Randall and Rochester were not successful, but they did post the following message on their website (tonyand kris.com): “For a long time we have been requesting to be let out of our contract at 95.7.… Thank you so much for your support over the last 15 years in San Diego. Here’s to another 15.… There will be a big announcement in the near future.”
Now, many local radio insiders say Clear Channel may pull country music off of 95.7 and replace program ming with some combination of news, talk, or sports.
“The handwriting is on the wall for radio program mers to switch ‘talk’ to the FM band,” says Perry Michael Simon, an editor with radio-industry magazine All Access. “The big trend in radio is to put news and sports on FM.… As opposed to keeping it on the AM band, which has an aging audience which is shrinking. Younger people don’t identify with the AM band.”
Simon says Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, St. Louis, Detroit, and several other major cities now have sports and/or news stations on the FM dial.
Among Clear Channel—owned stations with content that could be moved to 95.7 (according to speculators): XTRA Sports 1360 (AM); news talk KOGO (600 AM); KIOZ/”Rock 105.3” (FM), which broadcasts Charger games. Also, it's possible that the rights to broadcast Padres games (currently owned by the Walrus/105.7 FM) could be acquired by Clear Channel for airing on 95.7.
A call to Bill Pugh, who oversees the programming of Clear Channel’s seven local stations, went unreturned.
– Ken Leighton