Santa Sleighs Off, With Country Music, At KMPS

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On Nov. 17, Entercom officially closed on its purchase of CBS Radio. With that, Entercom made immediate changes at three radio stations in some of the nation’s top markets, with Alternative replacing Top 40 at stations in New York and Dallas and a Rhythmic AC format supplanting a Classic Hits station in Chicago.


While this was taking place, Entercom took heritage Country station KMPS-FM 94.1 in Seattle all-Christmas, making it the third station in the market to air all-holiday tunes. Today, Santa and his reindeer took the music library and fled. The gift left for Seattle? A new station branded “94.1 The Sound.”

No, fans of the former KSWD-FM 100.3 “The Sound” should not rejoice in the reappearance far up I-5 of their beloved Classic Rocker. Seattle’s Sound is a Soft AC station.

Entercom’s change at KMPS is designed to give its Country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” a shot in the arm. KKWF ranks No. 18, among persons 6+, in the November 2017 Nielsen Audio ratings for Seattle. KMPS was ranked No. 8.

With the change, KMPS air personality Deanna Lee will be joining The Wolf for middays. Drew presently holds the 9am-noon slot; Ellen Tailor has the noon-3pm shift; it was not immediatelly known how they will transition to accommodate Lee.

It was also not known if other KMPS air talent would stay on for the format change.

Speaking of that station’s Soft AC switch, Entercom President of Programming Pat Paxton said, “The New 94.1 The Sound will provide the Seattle audience with a unique and relaxing radio experience that is curated with the Puget Sound listener in mind. We are excited to fill this void in radio in Seattle and offer avid music fans a fresh new sound they can enjoy at work or as they go about their day.”

Addressing the end of KMPS’s Country format, Paxton added, “We recognize and respect all of the people who have been involved with KMPS station and its rich and long history in the country format. We are committed to continuing to provide the very best Country station with our entire team on 100.7 The Wolf.”

KMPS-FM: Feb. 1, 1978-Nov. 17, 2017

KMPS has been synonymous with country music in the Pacific Northwest since 1975, when it began its life at 1300 kHz — today Class B KKOL-AM. On Feb. 1, 1978, it added the 94.1 MHz Class C facility that it has called home until now.

KMPS was a CBS Radio station; KKWF was an Entercom station.

ROCKS ROLLS OFF TO WELCOME KMPS LISTENERS

Someone at Hubbard Radio knew exactly what was going on at KMPS.

That’s because Class C KVRQ-FM 98.9 in Seattle reacted to the station’s official shift away from Country by embracing the format, and discontinuing KVRQ’s Rock format as “Country 98.9.”

KVRQ was tied for No. 19, 6+, in the November 2017 PPM ratings for Seattle, according to Nielsen Audio.

The Rock format had been at KVRQ since March 2016; prior to that the station aired a “Modern Music” presentation as “Click 98.9”. From August 1993 until Click’s arrival, the station was home to a Smooth Jazz format, using the KVJZ call letters from October 1995 through late December 2010.


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