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KDGE Dallas Drops Alternative After 27 Years; Flips To AC Star 102.1

Star 102.1 The Edge KDGE Dallas iHeartMediaKDGE flipped to AC “Star 102.1” at 5pm today.

The station will launch with commercial-free Christmas music for the holiday season before debuting its AC identity in late December. iHeart is promoting Madonna, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, and Kelly Clarkson as core artists for the new station.

With the format change of KDGE, morning hosts Adam Smasher and Shawnda McNeal and afternoon host have exited the station. Middayer Alan Ayo has moved over to sister Rock “97.1 The Eagle” KEGL for the same 10am-3pm daypart replacing the voicetracked Big Rig out of WXTB Tampa. KEGL is also adding more of former KDGE core artists such as Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers to its playlist.

HeartMedia Dallas announced today the debut of Star 102.1, the new home of Mainstream Adult Contemporary (AC) for Dallas Fort Worth. The station kicks off today at 5 p.m. commercial-free featuring around-the-clock Christmas music through the holiday season.

Shortly after Christmas, Star 102.1 will play hits from major artists like Madonna, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, and Kelly Clarkson. The full programming lineup will be announced soon.

“We are excited to introduce the New Star 102.1 to our listeners! We believe this format will resonate well with the Dallas/Fort Worth audience and is a great complement to our other stations in the market,” said Patrick Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Dallas Fort Worth. “While we are kicking off commercial free with Christmas music, we can’t wait to reveal the station’s full programming lineup in the upcoming weeks.”

97.1 The Eagle will become Dallas Fort Worth’s official home to all things rock, now featuring music from former Alternative Rock station, The Edge, including hits from artists such as Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

iHeartMedia is a leading media outlet in the Dallas market and its content is available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast station; online via its branded digital site; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio, the all-in-one streaming music and live radio service – with its more than a billion downloads and 90 million registered users. Fans can listen to 102.1 and 97.1 on the stations’ websites at KEGL.com and star1021online.com, and on iHeartRadio.

Original Report 11/16: After 27 years in the Alternative format, iHeartMedia has pulled the plug on “102.1 The Edge” KDGE Dallas.

The station is now stunting with a loop of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” and REM’s “End Of The World As We Know It” while directing listeners to sister Rock “97.1 The Eagle” KEGL proclaiming “The Sound Of 102.1 The Edge Has Moved To 97.1 The Eagle”. A new format will debut on 102.1 on Thursday, November 17 at 5:00pm.

The final songs on the station were Foo Fighters “All My Life” and Fitz & The Tantrums “Out Of My League”. KDGE ranked 21st in the market with a 2.1 share in the October 2016 Nielsen Audio ratings. KEGL was 13th with a 3.1.

KDGE launched in 1989 on 94.5 and moved to 102.1 in 2000 when the 94.5 frequency was sold to Radio One.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
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.

21 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Ryan Williams


    Another run at “Sunny” launching with Christmas music?

    • Profile photo of joseph_gallant


      If “Sunny” works so well in Houston, maybe it can work in Dallas/Fort Worth, after (as Ryan Williams suggested) several weeks of Christmas music.

      My guess is that indeed, KDGE-102.1 will go all-Christmas as an interim format before launching their official new format after the Holidays.

      • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


        No. Probably going to go Urban. After all, that’s iheart’s modus operandi as of late.

      • Profile photo of RageRadio


        Sunny has been been tried before on 97.1. Didnt work then, don’t see why it would now

  2. Profile photo of only1moore


    I always thought iHeart was committed to keeping the format around in Dallas-Ft. Worth. So much for that!

  3. Profile photo of stelly


    If 102.1 goes Urban, how long until Cumulus takes 93.3 “Underground”?

  4. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    This move may have spooked CBS, whose KLUV has hurriedly gone all-Christmas…

    http://www.dfw.com/2016/11/16/1154015/kluv-launches-christmas-format.html

  5. Profile photo of Michael R.


    My guess is they’ll flip it to AC under “Sunny” or “Lite” or some similar branding and would say “For quite sometime, you have been telling us there was something missing from metroplex radio choices”.

    We already have a 2-way Urban battle as it is between KBFB 97.9 The Beat and KKDA-FM K104.5. If they do an Urban format on 102.1, it better be a Classic Hip-Hop variant to compete with Boom 94.5.

    Another possible format change…which I believe will be highly unlikely is simulcasting KFXR Talk 1190.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      102.1 The Edge was the lowest-rated music station in iHeart’s Dallas cluster. You’re suggesting that it be replaced with a gimmick format like Rap Oldies? Even Bob Pittman would say that’s a stretch.
      Adult Contemporary is iffy as KLTY owns that niche even though it’s a Christian A/C.

  6. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    If iHeart does flip WDGE-102.1 to Adult Contemporary (after five-and-a-half weeks of all-Christmas), they can fill two dayparts of their broadcast schedule with shows syndicated by sister company Premiere Networks: the newly-syndicated Brooke and Jubal for morning drive, and Delilah at night.

    Brooke and Jubal aren’t yet in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; Delilah is currently heard only on an HD-2 subchannel of KDMX-102.9 (which is a sister station; it would be easy for iHeart to move her to 102.1).

    Delilah does have an all-Christmas version of her show available; I don’t think Brooke and Jubal do, so it’s possible that if KDGE goes AC, Brooke and Jubal might not start ’til January. But the Christmas version of Delilah could probably start immediately.

    This way, iHeart saves a lot of money, especially with a syndicated morning show instead of a local show.

    • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


      1. It’s KDGE.
      2. Delilah is not getting dumped into Dallas again. Even if it is a Premiere show. Her affiliates in large markets have dropped off significantly over the last almost 8 years.
      3. Brooke and Jubal don’t have their own custom playlists. That’s the affiliates’ job.

  7. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    This afternoon, Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Morning News posted an Edge “obituary” that includes quotes from George Gimarc…

    http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/17/pouring-one-last-zima-kdge-fm-dallas-new-music-alternative-died-27

  8. Profile photo of D.B. randolph RADIO


    With this format switch, this may also be the end of Now 102.9 (KDMX-FM) at some point.
    1.) It is rare for one company to own an AC, Hot AC and CHR station in a single market.
    2.) If ratings were bad for KDGE-FM, ratings could be as bad or worse for KDMX-FM.
    Only time will tell. BUT, I point this out. When your enter http://www.star1021online.com as the web address, you are re-directed to KPRR-FM (Power 102.1) in El Paso. This may be an error on iHeart’s part, but on the other hand, this could be a clue to a new format that could debut after the holidays. As I said before, only time will tell.

    (No mean responses please.)

    • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


      It KLUV is hurting Kiss that bad, they would’ve gone Soft AC. Yes, KVIL left a hole open. But when you have so much crossover between the three formats anymore, it’s just a giant blur.

      KDMX is actually doing very well in the ratings right now. 4.3 in the overall 6+ and second in overall cume. I don’t see them going anywhere.

  9. Profile photo of e-dawg


    Look at Los Angeles kiis 102.7 kost 103.5 and my fm 104.3 kbig

  10. Profile photo of e-dawg


    Look at Los Angeles kiis 102.7 kost 103.5 and my fm 104.3 kbig. Also all three stations are doing well in ratings

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      Or their New York counterparts, Z100, KTU and WLTW.

      iHeart is going the exact same strategy in Dallas with Kiss, Now and Star.

  11. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    The more I think about it… I’m legitimately stunned that KDGE outlasted almost all of their modern rock counterparts from the late 80’s/early 90’s outside of KROQ and WWCD.

  12. Profile photo of unhappy


    This is not good as I see it. I was not overly happy with Atom whatever his name was but I HATE Russ Martin. Bring back KTXQ 102.1 and Red Beard…. I don’t want to hear Michael Jackson or any of the other pukes you plan to have there. Give me Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Jimmy Hendrix, and all the hard head banging bands. I’ll even take some of the ones from the 70’s but not Michael Jackson or Madonna

    • Profile photo of unhappy


      Not that it really matters…I am 52 years old and would rather listen to the afore listed of groups and add a description of dark head banging….Rob Zombie and the such.

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