LOS ANGELES — In cities such as Toronto, a 24/7 FM radio station targeting the LGBTQ consumer (CIRR-FM 103.9 “Proud FM”) has been a reality for more than 10 years. In the U.S., iHeartMedia has designated certain stations in key LGBTQ markets to superserve this audience while launching HD2 and digital “Pride Radio” as “The Pulse of LGBTQ America.”
Now, Entercom is recharging its efforts to attract LGBTQ listeners by not only rebranding its audio offering for this important consumer group, but also bringing it to a fully licensed Class A station in a key gay and lesbian region of the U.S.
Introducing Channel Q, the rebranded offering formerly known as “Out Now” radio.
It’s fully available on Radio.com, the recently revamped digital audio streaming portal Entercom obtained as part of its merger with CBS Radio.
But, the bigger news is that Channel Q will also be heard on Class A KEZN-FM 103.1 in Palm Springs, Calif.
This is a stand-alone property for Entercom, as it was for CBS Radio, and had been a low-rated AC station as “Sunny 103.1.”
Now, KEZN is changing its call letters to KQPS-FM under the direction of Entercom/Los Angeles SVP/Market Manager Jeff Federman.
KEZN’s facility dates to 1977, when engineer Paul Posen’s Classic Broadcasting launched the station as Classical KCMS. Over the years, through ownership changes, the station shifted to AC, using the “Format 41” soft rock service from Westwood One heard on KIQQ-FM until March 1989.
Fast-forward to Spring 2018, and KEZN as “Sunny 103.1” was last among all FM signals in the Nielsen Audio ratings for Palm Springs, Calif., 12+.
A Halloween burial for “Sunny” gave birth on Día de los Muertos to KQPS.
“We are thrilled to add Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley to the ‘Channel Q’ network,” said Federman. “This time last year the station was merely an idea. We are pleased to announce that we are now on a Class A signal and have a comprehensive network up and down the West Coast, including an additional HD2 signal in Phoenix via ‘Live 101.5’ (KALV-FM). We’re passionate about giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies and are particularly proud to showcase diversity on ‘Channel Q.’”
Other stations offering Channel Q as an HD multicast choice are KMXB-FM “Mix 94.1” in Las Vegas, KAMP-FM 97.1 “AMP Radio” in Los Angeles, KKDO-FM “ALT 94-7” in Sacramento and KLLC-FM “Alice @ 97.3” in San Francisco.
Channel Q features a mix of dance music and lifestyle-focused hosts, including Jai Rodriguez and Mikalah Gordon in mornings, and Dumb Gay Politics + Everything Else each Monday-Thursday from 10am-noon with hosts Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard.
Other talent includes Kevin Klein and Ally Johnson for “No Things Considered” and on the PM drive “Let’s Go There,” hosts Shira Lazar and Ryan Mitchell.
There’s even LoveLine, the pioneering sex talk show that originally aired on Entercom’s KROQ-FM 106.7 in Los Angeles. On Channel Q, it airs 7pm-9pm Monday-Thursday and is hosted by Dr. Chris Donaghue and Carrie Keagan.