Monday, May 07, 2007

L-A's "Go Country" Gets Off To A Nice (ARB) Start

KKGO started broadcasting country music at 1260 on the AM dial four months after KZLA rode off into the sunset, then swapped frequencies with sister KMZT, classical station K-Mozart, and took its twang to FM.

In Arbitron survey results released last week, KKGO rose from .6% of the L.A.-Orange County listening audience ages 12 and up to .8% between the last quarter of 2006 and the first three months of 2007. But, the LA Times reported yesterday in its Calendar section, the results were more dramatic than they appear: The frequency change came two-thirds of the way through the ratings period; in March alone, KKGO's first full month on FM, it registered a 1.9% audience share. That bettered the 1.7% that KZLA averaged in its last full ratings period, spring 2006.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. The country just went wild," said Saul Levine, owner of both KKGO and KMZT. "We're so delighted we made the switch."

"I think they're being overwhelmed with positive responses," said R.J. Curtis, former program director of KZLA and now country music editor of the trade publication Radio & Records. "I know the listeners are pumped. You don't know how much you love something until it's gone."

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