It's been a year since country-music upstart KWLI 92.5-FM ("The Wolf") challenged perennial ratings leader KYGO 98.5-FM. Most of the shouting has come from "The Wolf." Right off the bat, Don Howe, senior vice president of CBS Denver, and Joel Burke, program director at KYGO, exchanged barbed "sez-you" e-mails. Both stations have altered their play lists, but KWLI has been more aggressive. As the reigning king, Burke generally has remained above the fray.
In the latest Arbitron ratings of listeners 12 and up, KYGO was ranked fifth with a 5.0, a bit of a slip from its previous position, and KWLI was 18th with a 1.9, virtually unchanged from previous surveys.
The latest salvo in the battle begins this afternoon when two new KWLI talents arrive, not coincidentally, from rival KYGO. Jonathan Wilde, former morning sidekick of Kelly & Mudflap, and Tracy Taylor, also a former KYGO jock, are KWLI's new afternoon team for a lengthy six-hour stretch from 2 to 8 p.m. Wilde left KYGO in November, shortly after Taylor. Both were silenced by noncompete clauses until today. For its part, KYGO brought back popular jock JoJo Turnbeaugh to be third man in with Kelly & Mudflap.
Like they say: "NOW, it gets interesting!"
We don't have a horse in this race, but I worked with 92.5 way back when it had Gerry House in the morning, Big Ron O'Brien in afternoon and Pistol Pete in midday, sounded terrific, was owned by Premiere .. and never managed to get out of the three's, due to signal limitations in the metro's strongest country areas, so I'm watching this with more than a passing interest, wondering if CBS has found a way to fix that signal...