14 November 2002
Christmas music is bad enough on the 24th of December. On the 14th of November it is an abomination. Now add three dollops of synthetic Nashville twang, and you have "The Bull's Country Christmas", the Bull in question being radio station KQBL. There's just one catch: this isn't airing on KQBL, but on KMMZ, the erstwhile "Memories 96.9".
This much I know: Citadel, one of three major group owners in town (the others being Renda and gag Clear Channel), has negotiated a Local Marketing Agreement with Chisholm Trail Broadcasting, the smallish state chain which owns KMMZ. Under the LMA, Citadel will assume responsibility for programming the station, in exchange for an undisclosed percentage of revenues.
This much is speculation: Citadel will move KQBL's programming to 96.9 on or about 26 December. The alt-rock "Spy" stuff, currently heard at night on WWLS-FM (105.3), will take over at 104.9. Evenings on WWLS-FM will return to simulcasting its AM facility, known familiarly as "The Sports Animal".
Why is this happening? I suppose it's another splash in the ongoing pissing contest between Citadel and Clear Channel. And it gets better: The Oklahoma Publishing Company has agreed to sell WKY, the oldest AM in town (it goes back 80 years or so, and OPUBCO has owned it for 74 of those years), to (wait for it) Citadel. WKY is currently programmed under an LMA by, you guessed it, Clear Channel.
In the meantime, Renda's three stations are all comfortably perched in the top six, and they couldn't care less about any of this stuff. Nor do I, really, except for its amusement value, since most of my radio listening is to that weird NPR and PRI stuff.