K-Twin Launches In The Twin Cities

96.3 NOW KHTC Hit Music Minneapolis St. Paul Riggs Danni Starr Star Tony Fly KTwin K-Twin KTWN

Update 1/1:K-Twin” launched as expected at 12am. Listen to the debut of 96.3 K-Twin at FormatChange.com.

The first hour consisted of:
Soul Asylum – Misery
U2 – Beautiful Day
Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly
Lily Allen – Who’d Have Known
The Clash – Rock The Casbah
Coldplay – Paradise
Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta
Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Say Hey (I Love You)
Oasis – Wonderwall
Muse – Uprising
Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight
Evanescence – My Immortal
Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
Gavin DeGraw – Not Over You

Update 12/29: Northern Lights has confirmed that “96.3 Now” KHTC will flip to Adult CHR as “K-Twin” on Sunday, January 1.

The Press Release Follows:

Steve Woodbury, the President and CEO of Northern Lights Broadcasting announced today a shift in programming direction for its Twin Cities radio station, 96.3 NOW, KHTC FM, January 1, 2012. “There is a real opportunity for a locally owned and operated radio station that can personally connect with Twin Cities’ listeners. With the exception of a hand full of Twin Cities’ commercial stations, most are currently owned and operated by large, national radio groups that are programmed and supervised from a national platform.”

On Sunday, KHTC FM, (96.3 Now), will be changing its call letters to heritage call letters, KTWN FM (96.3 K-TWIN) and adjusting its music format from Rhythmic CHR to Adult Top 40. In addition, the station will be introducing a new morning show on 1/4/12 which will feature extensive news, weather, sports, traffic and fun conversation and will be hosted by 12 year KARE 11 news and sports anchor, Eric Perkins & Tony Fly, 20 year Twin Cities radio personality. KTWN FM radio personality and former Miss Minnesota International, Danni Starr will also be a part of the new morning show.

According to Operations Vice President, Sam Elliot, “an extensive research study was done in the Twin Cities in September of this year to determine new opportunities for music and personalities. The move to Adult Top 40 music offers the listener today’s guitar based, pop alternative music as well as similar, gold based, hit music from 1985 to the present. Artists include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Adele, Linkin Park, Daughtry, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, U2, Nickleback, Soul Asylum, Coldplay, Maroon 5, and Foster the People.” According to Elliot, “70% of the songs heard on the new 96.3 K-TWIN will be music that isn’t currently being played in the market”.

Elliot also stated that “in addition, the September research indicated that listeners want more local news, weather, and sports from local personalities they know and trust and from people who have homes, raise families, and work in the Twin Cities. In addition to morning show personalities Eric Perkins, Tony Fly, and Danni Starr, KTWN FM’s other shows will be hosted by Twin Cities’ talent Lisa Wright, Dan Riggs, B Wright, and Dan Jordan. Former KARE 11 news anchors Rick Kupchella, Amy Hockert, and others will deliver the local and national news, weather, and sports hourly throughout the day.”

Northern Lights Broadcasting, KTWN’s parent company is locally owned by the Pohlad Family which is known for having extensive community involvement with their various companies including the Minnesota Twins and the Pohlad Charitable Foundation. As Woodbury stated, “We intend to have KTWN FM mirror the community and be responsive to its entertainment and information needs.” KTWN FM will be: “Your Town, Your Friends, Your Hits”.

INSTANT INSIGHT: Full Service Radio returns to major markets. K-Twin has the opportunity to lead a trend for independent owners to differentiate itself from the larger groups with a local emphasis. Great to see in action as there is definitely room for both.

Update 12/5: MinnPost.com’s David Brauer follows up on our initial reports regarding changes at KHTC.

The station confirms they are awaiting FCC approval for the new KTWN-FM call letters and the changes to the programming will be more subtle hinting at a more full-service approach especially in mornings.

“I’m not owned by a large group like Clear Channel or Citadel. I can be as local as I want to be: local announcers, local news, and I can alter my music as I want,” Woodbury says. “That’s what I want to do with my morning show; that’s a real opportunity.”

Update 12/2: Northern Lights applied for a call letter change at KHTC to KTWN-FM on December 1. Additionally KTwin.com has been acquired by the company from a domain squatter. It appears the time left for Now on 96.3 is dwindling.

Original Report 11/16: Northern Lights Broadcasting has made registrations directed towards a flip at its CHR “96.3 Now” KHTC Edina, MN.

963KTwin.com and 963KTWN.com were registered by the company earlier this week. The KTWN calls have been parked on Northern Light’s former KGLB in Glencoe, MN since August.

One thing that will not be part of K-Twin in the short term is Minnesota Twins baseball. The Twins and Northern Lights share common ownership under the Pohlad family, however Hubbard’s “1500 ESPN” KSTP retains those rights through the 2012 season.

Comments

  1. Brian says

    The KTWN calls and “K-Twin” name are best known in the market for being a New Age/Smooth Jazz station on what’s now KQQL (107.9/Anoka). Seems odd that anyone would launch a new Smooth Jazz station, but stranger things have happened…

    • Joseph says

      All-Sports!

      It’s so obvious considering the ownership of the station.

      Yes, they’ll have to wait until March, 2013 to carry Minnesota Twins’ games, but they can ramp up sports-talk programming (and if radio rights to the Vikings, Wild, or Timberwolves are up for grabs after the current season, the new KTWN can make a run at those, too).

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