Entercom’s CHR “The End” KDND-FM Sacramento is apparently set for a format change, with its website declaring that “The End says goodbye at 7 a.m. September 8.” That happens to be the same day that a civil trial begins over the death of a woman in an on-air contest in January 2007.
As is the usual case with format changes, Entercom isn’t showing its cards, other than having a countdown clock on the Internet to whatever it is that is going to happen on Tuesday.
The station has already gotten tons of bad publicity from the “Hold your wee for a Wii” contest that led to the death of 28-year-old mother Jennifer Strange. She died of water intoxication a few hours after participating in a station contest to award a hot new gaming system, Nintendo’s Wii, to the person who could drink the most water without urinating.
Employees were fired in the aftermath and the station’s entire morning show replaced. But “The End” has remained part of the Entercom cluster – until now.
Many more stories are likely next week in the market’s newspapers and on television newscasts as the lawsuit by Strange’s family against Entercom goes to trial. But a new format, rebranding and new calls would mean that the stories about “KDND” and “The End” would be bad publicity for a radio station which no longer exists.