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KEXX Phoenix Becomes “My 103.9”

X103.9 KEXX Phoenix Classic Rock My 103.9 Dave Pratt Hammer Choice Riviera KSLX KDKB

Update 1/12: KEXX made its flip to what they are calling “Gen X Music” but looks a lot like 80s Rock “My 103.9” at 5:30am with the beginning of Dave Pratt’s morning show. Listen to the debut of My 103.9 at FormatChange.com.

The first hour consisted of:
Talk Talk – It’s My Life
Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me
Van Halen – Why Can’t This Be Love
Blondie – Heart Of Glass
The Tubes – She’s A Beauty
Boston – More Than A Feeling
Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself

The Press Release consists of much of the usual hyperbole we hear nowadays about interactivity and the station being custom designed for the market.

Focusing on the music Gen X loves and wants to hear, My103.9 will be more than just a radio station: it will be an engaging and inclusive community where much of the on-air music and content will be designed through the feedback, requests, and desires of the Phoenix listening audience. Keeping up with their varied and savvy communication styles, My103.9 will invite listeners to stay in constant touch through call-in’s, text messaging, and by participating in the station’s active social network and online community. Through its interactive website – www.myphoenixradio.com – as well as Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, My103.9 will continuously engage with the audience to better understand exactly what they want and, in turn, will give them specifically what they ask for.

Adding to its authentic nature and inclusive appeal, My103.9 team members will regularly hit the streets of Phoenix to reach out directly with listeners and gather their insights and opinions – not just on the music, but also on the current events, topics, lifestyle issues, and community outreach programs that matter most in their lives, to their families, and to the Phoenix community at large.

“This is going to be a completely Phoenix-centric radio station – created for Phoenix, designed by the people of Phoenix,” states COO Jose Rodiles. “Our goal is to entertain our listeners by building a station that is rooted in audience feedback, completely in sync with their lifestyle and priorities, and dedicated to playing the music they want to hear. We want to really get to know our audience and become a part of their lives in a way that just hasn’t been done before. We are extremely excited to launch this type of format and offer a distinctive new way for the people of Phoenix to connect and become part of the My103.9 family.”

While audience feedback will direct a large portion of the musical content, core artists heard on My103.9 will include U2, The Police, Blondie, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, The Eagles, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Pretenders, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and many others.

INSTANT INSIGHT The Pratt and Alternative Rock combo was clearly failing on 103.9. The station was down to a 0.8 share in recent months so a change of some sort was needed. However, with its rimshot signal a niche format is more like to succeed than a very narrow 80s Rock playlist with much of the music already heard on Variety Hits “98.7 The Peak” KPKX and Rock KDKB. Unless there’s something unique to the market, which I don’t see or hear so far, there’s no incentive for the listeners to tune to a fringe signal over one that covers the entire market. Riviera is banking on Pratt to be what brings people in, but what about the 21.5 hours a day his show is not on the air?

Original Report 1/9: Riviera Broadcast Group Alternative “X103.9” KEXX Phoenix will drop its format in the next few days and become “My 103.9“.

Morning co-host Kassi Jayde tweeted the details (and then deleted original) as well as posting a picture of the new station logo and saying more will be revealed on Thursday. Early tweets had the format pegged as Classic Rock, but it now appears to the format will be more along the lines of Adult Hits. We’ve heard a few airstaffers have been let go with the changes.

103.9 has had a Modern Rock format under a few different names since October 2001, when 103.9 acquired the intellectual property of “106.3 The Edge” KEDJ. Via 106.3, it can trace its current format back to 1993.

In the December monthly, the station’s rating’s share dropped to a 0.8. A move to Classic Rock would pit the station even more against Sandusky’s trio of Active Rock 97.9 KUPD, Rock 93.3 KDKB, and Classic Rock 100.7 KSLX. Clear Channel Hot AC “Mix 96.9” KMXP has had a strong Alternative component to its playlist and has led the market in most younger male demos in recent years.

The new format should be a better match for morning host Dave Pratt, who made his name in the market for years at KUPD. The music played during his show normally does not match the remainder of the X103.9 playlist, skewing much older. Here’s is the playlist from 7 to 9am today, which should give an indication of what to expect on the new format.

Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me
Matchbox Twenty – Bent
Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Blues Traveler – Run Around
Ratt – Round And Round
Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Bon Jovi – Never Say Goodbye
Talking Heads – And She Was
Billy Squier – Everybody Wants You
Pearl Jam – Glorified G
Steve Miller Band – The Joker
Green Day – Holiday
Scorpions – No One Like You
Lifehouse – Hanging By A Moment
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Refugee
Tonic – If You Could Only See Me
Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

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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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