Music. Mornings. Marketing.
The old adage goes that if a radio station gets those three things right – it will be a success.
But in the Boise market, the morning daypart seems to be in perhaps the biggest state of disarray in quite some time.
Friday, KXLT/107.9 Lite FM parted ways with Kevin Mee and Brenda Mee. The pair joined Lite about two years ago after a decade-plus tenure at KIZN/Kissin’ 92.3. Somewhat surprisingly, KXLT won the 12+ radio ratings derby in the fall Nielsen Audio ratings book. (Fueled in part by the station’s Christmas music programming).
- Kate McGwire recently left KCIX/Mix 106. McGwire was the strong, popular personality who helped drive Mix’s consistently solid ratings.
- Several stations now run with no morning show (KQBL/92.7 The Alternative, KSRV/96.1 Bob FM, KXLT/107.9 Lite FM [for now at least], KJOT/Rock 105.1), a one-person show (KWYD/Wild 101, KZMG/My 102.7, KIDO/580 AM), or a syndicated national program (KKGL/96.9 The Eagle, KQFC/97.9 Nash FM).
- KSAS/103.5 FM sometimes features a solo host in Michelle Heart, and sometimes features multiple hosts, adding in station program director Keke Luv and mid-day personality Tawsha Box. It tends to vary from day-to-day.
- Of the local stations who do program a live, local, multi-personality program – many of them have seen upheaval. KAWO/Wow Country 104.3, KRVB/94.9 The River, KIZN/Kissin’ 92.3, KTHI/107.1 K-Hits and the aforementioned KCIX/Mix 106 have replaced one or both of their morning DJs in the past year or so.
There are some pockets of stability. Paul J. Schneider is the dean of Boise radio and has been hosting with his “new” partner Chris Walton for well-more than a decade at KBOI/670 AM. KQXR’s “Morning After” with Nic & Big J has been going strong for several years.
Also, two new stations have entered the morning game in somewhat non-traditional ways. KTIK/93.1 FM The Ticket re-entered the local morning show race after several years of syndicated programming with former Boise State RB Ian Johnson and Jake Hamar holding down the fort from 7-10am. KNFL/96.5 ESPN Boise is doing a sort-of work-day starting hybrid show from 9-11am with (friend and colleague) Jay Tust from KTVB and BJ Rains from the Idaho Press Tribune.
Bottom line: This daypart is very much in flux – and new shows or combinations of personalities will look for ways to stand out and draw audience. The first place the eyes of many media buyers and radio execs will go when the spring book comes out later this year is the morning show race in key demos – to see if all the changes make for a major swing in ratings points and dollars.