Bill Virgin's Radio Beat October 25, 2007

Includes archive of Bill Virgin's columns fromJ une 2006 - March 2009

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat October 25, 2007

Postby radiofan » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:19 pm

On Radio: Operator of Snohomish County station files to add another one


The operator of one AM station in Snohomish County has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for a second station in the region.

"If you look at the breakout of facilities in King and Pierce counties, it's about time" that one was added in Snohomish, says Andrew Skotdal, president and general manager of Everett-based KRKO-AM/1380.

KRKO is owned and operated by S-R Broadcasting. The application for the new station, which will be at 1520 on the AM dial, is from CAAM Partnership, which also is owned by the Skotdal family.

Call letters haven't been assigned to the station. Neither has a format. "We'll do a lot of research on what the community wants," Skotdal says. Among the options: news, or programming serving women or minority/ethnic groups.

KRKO does a considerable amount of local sports-oriented programming, including Jeff "The Fish" Aaron's afternoon talk show, and broadcasts of Silvertip, AquaSox and high school games.

"Unfortunately, the industry has moved to a point you've got to have synergies to produce more local programming," Skotdal says. Having two stations will provide a wider base over which to spread operating costs.

Skotdal's proposal is to put antennas for the new station at a site being developed for new transmitters for KRKO, about two miles south of Snohomish. That site was approved following a multiyear review and opposition from local residents. Foundation work for the new KRKO antennas has been completed, and Skotdal is awaiting a final FCC construction permit to erect the towers themselves. He's hoping that KRKO could be broadcasting from its new site the first quarter of 2008.

The plan would be to share two of the four towers (one 349-foot structure and three 199-foot towers) for KRKO, and add two 199-foot structures. The new station would cover Snohomish and reach Everett, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Marysville and Lake Stevens.

The Snohomish County Hearing Examiner will be reviewing the conditional use application permit in public meetings next week. Skotdal hopes the permitting process will be faster for the additional towers, and that construction could start and the station be on the air in late 2008 or the first quarter of 2009.

Skotdal believes 1520 at Everett, and a license for 740 in Redmond (the FCC's Web site lists Portland's Pamplin Broadcasting as the applicant for that frequency) could be the last licenses for AM in the Puget Sound region. "The spectrum is so full at this point," he says.

In other radio notes:

KMPS-FM/94.1 placed first in the summer-quarter Arbitron ratings for Seattle-Tacoma among commercial stations, for listeners 12 and older tuned in Monday through Sunday 6 a.m.-midnight. KOMO-AM/1000, which had tied with KMPS for first in the spring book, finished second, followed by KUBE-FM/93.3, KWJZ-FM/98.9 and KCMS-FM/105.3. KZOK-FM/102.5, which tied for sixth in the overall ratings with KRWM-FM/106.1, placed first in the 6-10 a.m. weekday segment with the Bob Rivers show. KUOW-FM/94.9 has placed first overall in the past two quarterly ratings.

KIRO-AM/710 morning co-anchor Gregg Hersholt has signed a three-year contract extension. Hersholt has been with the station 23 years.

KNHC-FM/89.5, the student-run station at Nathan Hale High School, kicks off its fall drive Sunday with a fundraising goal of $140,000. The money will be used for operating expenses and conversion to digital HD broadcasting by the end of the year. KNHC said it also is launching a capital fundraising campaign for new equipment for studios to be included in the high school's renovation.

Lee Callahan, who had been with the morning show on KMTT-FM/103.7, is now with KPTK-AM/1090. Among her duties are morning news and traffic, and hosting "Community Matters Weekend Edition" at 8 a.m. Sunday; she also provides traffic updates on the Bob Rivers show on sister station KZOK-FM.

Kirby Wilbur's interview with presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani airs at 5:20 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. Friday on KVI-AM/570.

Kuru Cult performs on "Sonarchy" at midnight Saturday on KEXP-FM/90.3.

Kate Daniels interviews Will Bowen, author of "A Complaint Free World," on "Sunday Morning Magazine" at 5:30 a.m. on KRWM-FM.

Don Riggs' guests on "Introspect Northwest" at 6 a.m. Sunday on KMPS-FM and 9 a.m. on KPTK-AM include Jeffrey Toobin, author of a book on the Supreme Court, "The Nine."

Lizz Sommars' guests on "Conversations" at 6 a.m. Sunday on KISW-FM/99.9, KKWF-FM/100.7 and KMTT-FM/103.7, and 7 a.m. Sunday on KNDD-FM/107.7, include Beth Holloway, author of a book on her daughter's disappearance in Aruba, "Loving Natalee."

KPLU-FM/88.5 host Dick Stein's second venture into radio drama, "Jimmy Jazzoid and the Squid-Lord From Space," will be broadcast from the Museum of History and Industry at 8 p.m. Tuesday. It will be rebroadcast at noon Wednesday.

"Voices of Diversity" at 6 p.m. Wednesday on KBCS-FM/91.3 looks at the issue of military veterans and protests against the war in Iraq.

P-I reporter Bill Virgin can be reached at 206-448-8319 or

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat every Thursday in the Seattle P-I
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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