Radio news & notes

A few Idaho radio news & notes:

Make a greater Impact

K269GI_FX_CUKWYD/Wild 101 just added a second frequency: 101.5 FM. The station launched in 2008 at 101.1 FM — and will remain there, but the new 101.5 signal will drastically improve signal coverage in the downtown Boise core, Boise State, and the Barber Valley. The 101.1 FM signal broadcasts from a site near Parma and has great coverage in Canyon County. This new transmitter sits near the cross on Table Rock and will help the station in town.

“When we launched KWYD as a brand new station on 10/31/08 we knew we had a great rimshot,” Impact Radio Group CEO Darrell Calton told me. “But with every rimshot comes the downside: Where is there a signal issue? In our case the station was eighty, maybe eighty five percent of a full Deer Point (based transmitter). The downside? Downtown and BSU.”

Calton says there are more changes to come as the group continues to grow – now with four strong signals. The market’s first HD commercial station is up next.

More events in the TownSquare

TownSquare Media continues to amp up its events business. The Boise Music Festival just wrapped up its sixth year – and the company tweaked the model for the event. Instead of relying mostly on attendance through ticket giveaways, the radio group pushed ticket sales this year and cut back on the number of free tickets floating around. Attendance remained strong – albeit likely off the nearly 80,000 folks who attended last year (108º temps will do that).

In addition to BMF, Idaho’s Largest Garage Sale and new event Insane Inflatable 5K – the group is putting on The Huckleberry Jam at Tamarack Resort in August. The two-day festival features Ben Harper, Brett Dennen and other artists – plus a camp site and more.

Randy & Alana leave Boise

TownSquare parted ways with KAWO/Wow Country 104.3 morning duo Randy & Alana last week. The pair left the station after several years – and were hugely popular in the market, taking top honors for country stations and providing the engine that Wow Country 104.3 zoomed along on the past few years. The decision was largely Rand & Alana’s and they’re looking for their next gig – and TSQM is looking for its next country morning show.

Don Day is the Digital Sales & Product Manger for TEGNA Media in Boise (aka channel 7).

New Hire at Fahlgren Mortine

Fahlgren Mortine has added Shelbi Haas as an Account Associate in their Boise office, to support clients such as J.R. Simplot Company and NeighborWorks Boise.

She was most recently a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Hubble Homes, and previously served as a Marketing and Events Coordinator for the Idaho Lottery. Shelbi is a graduate of Boise State University, with a BBA in Marketing.

Congratulations Shelbi.

Done deal: KIVI, KNIN go to separate camps

KIVI and KNINThe Boise DMA has new television station owners – snapping up a pair of stations that used to be joined at the hip.

On April 1, EW Scripps formally closed on its deal to acquire Journal Communications’ broadcast assets, including KIVI-TV, KSAW-TV (Twin Falls), KTHI/107.1 K-Hits, KQXR/100.3 The X, KJOT/Rock 105.1 and KRVB/94.9 The River.

Not included in the deal was KNIN-TV Fox 9. You’ll remember in September, we walked through all the possible scenarios – as the FCC wasn’t going to allow Scripps to scoop up KNIN. I laid out five potential options – and the deal took door number four:

– Scripps keeps KIVI, sells KNIN with all programming intact to an outside owner and has little involvement in the station . (snip) (I)t’s conceivable that Scripps could continue to supply KNIN with news (or it could even come from one of the other two TV news providers in the market for the right price).

Alabama-based Raycom Media worked out a deal with the trustee for KNIN to buy the station, effective essentially immediately. Channel 6 and channel 9 will become separate stations with less and less to do with each other as time goes on. A lengthy and carefully-structured shared services agreement filed with the FCC lays out the ten-year deal – and even gets into detail like what portion of the big KIVI building in Nampa Raycom may use. Some of the particulars:

  • Raycom paid $14.5 MM. Journal purchased the station for $8 MM in 2008, before it was a Fox affiliate.
  • The stations will not share sales, programming, revenue or any other financial matters. KIVI and KNIN’s sales staff will be separate, will not be allowed to coordinate, will not be allowed to cross-sell and cannot go on calls together.
  • The two stations will not be able to work together on retransmission consent deals.
  • Scripps will deliver just less than 12-hours of news programming to Raycom each week for airing on KNIN: Two hours per day each weekday, and a total of two hours each weekend. The timeslots are the current 7am and 9pm newscasts.
  • KIVI & KNIN will have to handle promotion independently. You’ve possibly already noticed that promotions on the two stations for the most part no longer mention each other (though for now they look identical).
  • Scripps will handle technical & administrative services – i.e. master control.
  • The deal is for ten years – but can be pulled apart with notice by either side.
  • Raycom will hand over a check for $131,708.33 every month to Scripps for the news programming, technical services etc. That’s a cool $1,580,500 each year – with a 2.5% bump built in each year.
  • Raycom will establish a website for KNIN. Currently “IdahoOnYourSide.com” services both stations.
  • Right now, neither KNIN or KIVI are high definition in news. If Scripps decides to go HD someday, Raycom will give them some cash to get the upgrades done.

Bottom line: KNIN & KIVI will start to act separately in many ways – particularly in the sales area. Raycom is a big television station owner – and is competitive in many markets. Will this SSA last for ten full years, or will Raycom move to make the station even more independent? Time will tell.

Two quick sidenotes: In the past two years, every major station in the market has picked up a new owner – with Sinclair, Gannett/TEGNA, Scripps and Raycom entering the fray. Only independent KTRV’s Block Communications is unchanged.

In the Twin Falls market, a similar change is afoot – after Gray Television purchased CBS affiliate KMVT and FOX affiliate KSVT.

Don Day is the digital sales manager for channel 7, and used to run IdahoRadioNews.com. Now he tweets a lot.