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Hubbard Launches Rock 98.9 Seattle

Rock 98.9 KVRQ Seattle Click KLCK-FM KISW KZOKHubbard has completed the five days of stunting on 98.9 KLCK-FM Seattle and launched Classic Rock “Rock 98.9” at 12:00 today.

Operating under new KVRQ call letters, the new format places the station between Entercom Active Rock 99.9 KISW and CBS Classic Rock 102.5 KZOK. KVRQ is launching with 12,000 songs commercial-free lasting for 30 days. Core artists for the new station are listed as AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Nirvana and Guns ‘N Roses.

In the just released February Nielsen Audio ratings, KZOK was third in the market with a 5.4 share and KISW sixth with a 4.7.

The first hour of Rock 98.9 consisted of:
Nirvana – In Bloom
Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Living Colour – Cult Of Personality
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
Ozzy Osbourne – Mama, I’m Coming Home
AC/DC – Back In Black
Linkin Park – Numb
Def Leppard – Love Bites
Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Soundgarden – Spoonman
Rush – Freewill
Buckcherry – Crazy Bitch

Listen to the launch of Rock 98.9 at FormatChange.com.

KLCK-FM Seattle, the former Modern Music station which had been stunting for the past five days with random music programming from artists of various genres, wrapped up stunting today at Noon Pacific and re-launched as ROCK 98-9, Seattle’s Rock station. Debuting new call letters, KVRQ-FM, Rock 98-9 is launching with a 12,000 song commercial-free kick off expected to take about 30 days. Rock 98-9 will complement the Hubbard Radio Seattle cluster, which includes top-rated MOViN 92.5 and WARM 106.9, both of which dominate in the female and adult demographics in Seattle.

Hubbard Radio Seattle Market Manager, Marc Kaye stated, “Our market research throughout Seattle showed that with only 2 major FM’s serving Rock listeners, a huge opportunity is available for Rock 98-9. We will be Seattle’s station for a wide span of Rock, with artists like AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Nirvana and Guns ‘N Roses. Rock 98-9 will play the most rock on the radio in Seattle.”

Hubbard Radio SVP/Programming, Greg Solk added, “Our first mission is to attract a wildly creative, mad genius programmer to lead this brand and connect with guys in a no-bones, no bull, entertaining fashion. Rock 98-9 will be unconventional in its thinking and we want a programming leader to build a very unique rock station – that’s unorthodox, passionate and slightly off center. Kaye further adds, “If you would like to live and work in an amazing city with award winning food and beer, a decent football team, and program Rock for Hubbard, let’s hear from you.”

Applications for the program director are at 989rocks.com and [email protected] Rock 98-9 is now streaming at 989rocks.com

Update 3/15: As the stunting with blocks of artists or music styles continues, KLCK is promoting that it will debut its new format on Wednesday, March 16 at 12:00pm.

Two of the domains we reported on below have been moved to the hosting company utilized by Hubbard. Sports989.com goes to a not found page, while 989Rocks.com is password protected. Based on what we’ve heard and the KVRQ call letters we fully expect “98.9 Rocks” to be the brand launched tomorrow afternoon.

Update 3/12: The stunting on 98.9 continues with six hour blocks of music. Following Frank Sinatra yesterday were The Eagles and heard today were Garth Brooks and Showtunes.

In addition to the multiple Sports domains, there was an anonymous registration for 989Rocks.com in late February, which better fits the KVRQ call letter application as well. With CBS Classic Rock 102.5 KZOK pulling a 5.6 share and Entercom Active Rock 99.9 KISW at a 4.6, there are plenty of Rock listeners to pull from in the market.

KLCK-FM Program Director Lisa Adams has exited with the format change, however we have been told that the airstaff is still in place, which is an odd move if Sports is indeed the direction.

Original Report 3/11: Hubbard Radio pulled the plug on Modern AC “Click 98.9” KLCK-FM Seattle at 12pm today and is currently stunting with nonstop Frank Sinatra.

The station’s website has been replaced with quotes from multiple songs including Beatles’ “In My Life”, Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers”. Floating question mark bubbles which when clicked on bring up the video for Rick Astley’s “Never Going To Give You Up”.

As we reported earlier today, Hubbard registered many domains pointing to a flip to Sports. Additionally the station has applied for new KVRQ call letters.

“Click 98.9” registered a 1.9 share in the January PPMs in a crowded Hot AC field that also includes Sinclair’s “Star 101.5” KPLZ and iHeart’s recently repositioned106.1 Kiss-FM” KBKS.

More details as they become available.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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