Saturday, May 21, 2005

News/talk planned for 97.5 FM

Craig Roberts: won't have to wear tie on radio
Cumulus Media evidently is going to turn its 97.5 signal to a news/talk format -- with the catchy new call letters of KFNC, which sorta puts you in a hankering for some KFC with an extra helping of mashed potaters & gravy, if you know what I mean.

A few people supposedly signed up for the new FM lineup are familiar to southeast Texas radio listeners and TV watchers: Jim Pruett, who was one-half of the Stevens and Pruett radio duo for years, and Craig Roberts, the former wiseacre Channel 2 TV sports anchor.

First word about the Houston FM talker sprang from the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday when the tab reported that Chicago talk show host A.W.Pantoja (who's previously worked in San Antonio and Dallas) was splitting "to join Cumulus Broadcasting as midday host of a new FM talk station in Houston."

Radio & Records added more details:

"The Texas radio rumor mill is all abuzz about Cumulus Media's soon-to-sign-on FM in Houston. The word on the street is that the 97.5 MHz signal will become the home of KFNC, which stands for "FM News Channel 97.5. KFNC's news-heavy lineup will reportedly include extended morning, midday and afternoon drive local news blocks, and mostly local talk personalities rounding out the day. News anchors and talk hosts said to be a part of the new station's staff are Jim Pruett, Brian Shannon, Laurie Kendrick, Chuck Savage, Mike Shiloh, Robyn Geske, Craig Roberts and Martha Martinez. Additionally, Jones Radio Networks' syndicated consumer crusader Clark Howard is also reportedly part of the new station's weekday schedule..."

Per usual, Cumulus management had no comment.

Back in November, Cumulus began playing rock on its KIOL 97.5 FM station, trying to capitalize on the Hispanicization of Clear Channel's traditional rocker KLOL.

On May 2, Cumulus fired up its stronger 103.7 FM signal and simulcast 97.5 FM on the new frequency.

The new format for 103.7 FM is scheduled for May 26.

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has been quoted as saying the new format “complements” the rock format and targets men 25-54.


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