New Jack City: Is Wilks Broadcasting Flipping ‘Alice’ FM?

aaa_v2-620x388RadioInsight speculates that a possible format change may be in store for one of Wilks Broadcasting’s four local radio properties…

Wilks operates KFKF-FM, KMXV-FM (Mix 93.3), KBEQ-FM (Q104) and KCKC (ALICE) FM in Kansas City.

The media blog questions whether there’s “a change afoot at Wilks AAA Alice 102 KCKC in Kansas City?”

Alice, you may recall, plays the Adult Album Alternative (AAA) music format that public television station KCPTs new radio station acquisition The Bridge 90.9 FM employs.

Unfamiliar with the AAA format?

According to Wikipedia, “The format has a broader, more diverse playlist than most other formats. Musical selection tends to be on the fringe of mainstream pop and rock as well as many other music genres such as indie rockpop rockalternative rockalternative countryjazzfolkworld music and blues. The musical selections tend to avoid hard rock and rap music.”

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 2.19.27 PMAccording to RadioInsight “Wilks registered KC1021.Com last week for the station.

KCKC debuted its current AAA format in January 2011, but it has hovered around a mediocre 2.0 share in recent PPM monthlies. And it’s now facing increased competition from the recently re-launched THE BRIDGE.

But while Bridge stands to benefit as the sole AAA station in the market, it seems obvious that Wilks isn’t bailing on AAA  because it’s doing so well in the marketplace.

Stay tuned!
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21 Responses to New Jack City: Is Wilks Broadcasting Flipping ‘Alice’ FM?

  1. the dude says:

    Sounds like they should just call it what it is, White Yuppie Music (WYM).

  2. hot harley says:

    jack what are you talking about? Alice has no sales. The station is given
    away free if advertisers buy some other wilks station.

  3. Libertarian says:

    “But while Bridge stands to benefit as the sole AAA station in the market…”

    In the market. So….are you guys saying KKFI isnt “in the market”?

    You act as if they havent been playing AAA in this town for 25 years.

    Take the blinders off your ears…..

    • admin says:

      Correction, Libertarian:

      The only meaningful, full-time, all-music, true AAA format station in the marketplace.

      Don’t take this the wrong way – and it honestly pains me to say this but – KKFI has fewer ratings points than I have brain cells and I think you guys have a pretty good handle on the latter

  4. kansas karl says:

    to wade through the disjointed seemingly random programming schedule at KKFI is a journey that very few will take and as such they only play to about 20,000 folks, they don’t even register in the ratings and that means with the majority of listeners. KKFI is a group of folks playing to the choir, no outreach to speak of and as such pretty much a waste of bandwidth.

    Trying to equate the Bridge to Alice is comparing apples to oranges, one is a commercial outlet with a mandate from it’s owner to return a profit after debt service, whichever format used, and that means ratings in the money demo adults 25-54, the other is an award winning non-commercial and as such only has to cover the nut, though KCUR under Cahill had some 2 mil in the bank, and ratings while interesting are not the goal, the goal is to be an outlet for music not heard on commercial radio thus the 4000 song playlist. The Bridge beat Alice in the last book from Warrensburg, 12+.

    When KKFI was the only alternative choice for music on a daily basis the blues rules the day, every club in town had a blues band stop by. However one has to look at KCUR’s Cyprus Avenue, raising some 30 grand an hour in pledge, as how thirsty KC has been for the Alternative to commercial music station.

    Why has no one mentioned “the buzz” they cross about 30-40% with what the Bridge plays and how this will impact 96.5.

    • admin says:

      Hey, Karl…

      I’m waiting (patiently) to hear back on ratings for The Bridge. I’d like to take your word that it’s already been beating Alice, but I’m a bit skeptical. You did not give a number. Can you?

      Either way, we’ll soon see.

      Agree with you on KKFI, but I’ve been taking quite a few looks behind the curtain at KCPT over the years and I feel confident in telling you they are out to make money.

      They may be a “non profit” in name only but just like any business, if they consistently lose money there will be no to fewer and smaller raises and layoffs.

      And to make money, they are going to have to put some ratings points on the board. KCPT has been doing commercial style ads for a good handful of years now, not just those “Brought to you by the Marion & Henry Bloch Family Foundation” style ads.

      Not anymore.

      Plus the head dude at KCPT is taking down just under a quarter million dollars a year while the station has been churning out a wave of red ink just under seven figures.

      So don’t sell their “goal” short.

      Also, I’m skeptical about The bridge’s ability to go after The Buzz audience…with a 60-something music programmer and a lister demo a decade or three older?

      We’ll see, right?

      • kansas karl says:

        First of all the “development” staff at KCPT can write grants, they cannot deal with retail advertisers, they have no clue what a bottom line means. The majority of the development and programming managers have worked no where else in the media, they have no real world experiance. Unless they make some real changes in how they deal with “advertiser’s” vs grant givers this experiment is in for a rocky road.

        • admin says:

          Well, I’m not so sure that’s entirely the case now.

          Because KCPT have been marketing those “grants” as advertising opportunities since Victor Hogstrom changed the way the game was being played a few years before his departure in 2008.

          My guess is you are familiar with Speed Marriott the former of sales at Entercom and before that Shamrock.

          Check out this link and you’ll see that Speed was working with KCPT as long as 10 years ago on ramping up its ad selling or grants as you like to call them.


          What about those ratings you say where The Bridge beat Alice. Got some numbers to share?

          • mike t. says:

            grants are one thing. development and membership are two other different things. and still another thing is major giving. development would be responsible for the advertising. membership, the pledge drives and other activities, major giving goes after the suits and philanthropists, grants goes after gov’t money, foundations and the like. not that the lines are always that clean cut, but are quite often. this is true at kcpt and a host of other not-for-profits. still, as my wife is fond of saying (who used to run membership at kcpt), “just because you’re not-for-profit doesn’t mean you can’t make one.”

  5. newbaum turk says:

    Remember when FM radio didn’t suck? Yes, kids it’s true. But then in the 90’s a horrible thing called de-regulation came along and allowed two or three corporations to buy all the radio stations in America. It used to be a law that one company could own seven stations at the most. That’s why I have satellite.

    • mike t. says:

      quite true, sir, quite true. I go back far enough to remember the rise of FM, the days when jocks actually selected their own material. lucky enough to move to LA in 1968 and hear how good it could really be. satellite isn’t too far off on some of the programs (Underground Garage, Tom Petty’s program, Shooter Jennings – now there’s a character and a half – and a few others).

      • admin says:

        mike t.

        Yeah, there are lots of ways to go after money at KCPT and other not for profits. But I think we agree that they definitely are in the hunt to take in as much money in as many ways as they possibly can.

        With the head guy at Channel 19 taking down a just under $250,000 a year paycheck, it’s pretty obvious that making money is plenty high up on the stations list.

        I ran that figure by Bob Zuroweste – who as the main man over nine local Entercom stations and having held numerous other management positions in commercial radio – and he was amazed that it was that high.

        Whatever the market will bear, dude.

        • mike t. says:

          totally agree.

          kliff is vastly overpaid.

          • kansas karl says:

            it’s TV and KCPT as Mike knows has an education outreach program. Based on sellable ratings he is way over paid, based on the size of the organization and that he has been successful in other markets, somewhere in Iowa, that has some gravitas plus the non comm broadcast world bases it’s criteria on way more than ratings and per cent sold out, so apple and oranges admin. Plus you can see the entire management income levels on their public tax returns.


            the interesting thing is between KK and the development officer the nut is over 370k

    • Lance The Intern says:

      There hasn’t been a “good” radio station in the KC area since the Booth family sold KLZR 105.9 to the Zimmer group.

  6. hot harley says:

    come on Jackie…this story has more holes than the gouda cheese at hy vee.
    Where did you get this information about these radio stations????
    you’re way offbase on all your facts.
    Maybe its best you stick to planes, trains, automobiles and while at
    it give us the latest on the virus on those cruise ships.
    thanks…another Pulitzer prize winning article about facts that just don’t
    pan out!

  7. admin says:

    Still waiting for Kansas Karl to feed us some ratings on The Bridge to compare to Alice.

    • kansas karl says:

      mea culpa, it was actually KCUR that beat Alice in the summer book out in OCT, ratings for non-comms are not easy to come by they don’t buy the book, however it looks like KCUR did last summer. Over the years KTBG has been a 1.5 to 2.0 12+ station.

      • admin says:

        No problem, KK…

        I wasn’t trying to dog you, just wondered if that was true (and was a little skeptical).

  8. mike t. says:

    karl… I think kliff actually came from the reno pbs station.

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