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Fresh 102.5 St. Louis Returns To KEZK Branding

Fresh 102.5 KEZK St. Louis Todays Hits Yesterdays Favorites Vic PorcelliAt 7:05 this morning, CBS relaunched “Fresh 102.5” KEZK St. Louis as “102.5 KEZK“.

The broader AC format promises the addition of more of “Yesterday’s Favorites” to the “Today’s Hits” especially much more from the 1980s. No changes to the previous airstaff, which includes Vic Porcelli in mornings, Trish Gazall in middays, and Greg Hewitt in afternoons.

KEZK is adding a few new wrinkles with “No Repeat Workdays” and an hour of all-80’s at 12pm daily.

Listen to the relaunch of 102.5 KEZK at FormatChange.com.

CBS RADIO St. Louis announced today that Fresh 102.5 has re-branded as 102.5 KEZK on-air, online and through mobile devices on Tuesday, May 26th at 7:05 AM during the Vic Porcelli morning show. As 102.5 KEZK, the station updated its look, while continuing to play the Adult Contemporary hits listeners have come to love and expect from Fresh 102.5, plus LOTS more ‘80s music.

Fresh 102.5 will maintain its status as “St. Louis’ Official At Work Station” by playing today’s hits from artists like Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, plus yesterday’s favorites from bands like Hall and Oates, Michael Jackson, Madonna and more.

CBS RADIO St. Louis Senior Vice President and Market Manager John Sheehan said, “The KEZK call letters have always been synonymous with Adult Contemporary radio in St. Louis. Bringing back the familiar name, along with an updated sound, will give St. Louisans a great at-work listening option during the work day.”

The revamped station will continue to feature the same great personalities, on-air at 102.5, streaming onlineat www.kezk.com and through mobile devices, including:
Vic Porcelli – weekdays, 5am – 9am
Trish Gazall (pronounced “Gazelle”) – weekdays, 9am – 2pm
Greg Hewitt – weekdays 2pm – 7pm
John Tesh- Sundays, 6:00- 9:00 AM

102.5 KEZK’s playlist and station information can be found at www.kezk.com. The station will connect and engage with listeners via multiple online platforms and social networks including personality blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Update 5/25: As CBS prepares to relaunch 102.5 KEZK on Tuesday morning, all indications are the station will return to using its call letters as its primary branding.

The all 80’s stunting this weekend should be a sign of things to come as the station returns to a broader AC playlist to attempt to siphon off some listeners from iHeartMedia’s market leading Classic Hits 103.3 KLOU, while retaining its role as the only Mainstream AC in the St. Louis market. KEZK.CBSLocal.com has been reactivated and is redirecting to the station’s current website.

KEZK rebranded as “Fresh 102.5” in December 2010 amidst declining ratings and the need of Mainstream AC’s across the country to rebrand to attract younger listeners. Emmis’ launch of CHRNow 96.3” KNOU in January shook-up the market as the demise of Classic Hits “K-Hits” KIHT led to the surge of KLOU to the top of the market’s ratings while adding yet another station to compete for 25-44 female listeners. KEZK has trended downward from a 4.2 share in February to a 3.6 in April since then.

Original Report 5/22: A change is on the way to CBS AC “Fresh 102.5” KEZK St. Louis.

KEZK began stunting around 8:30 this morning with all-80s music, which will last through Tuesday at 7:05am when they “will reveal a new sound and a new station name“.

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.

13 Comments

  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    How about all-sports??

    CBS could move play-by-play sports (Cardinals and Blues, if my memory serves me correct) now on KMOX-1120 over top 102.5, and use those broadcasts as the cornerstone of an all-sports format, along with CBS Sports Radio and “Sports Open Line” moving from KMOX.

    • Profile photo of joseph_gallant


      Typo!

      I meant to say “now on KMOX-1120 over to 102.5”.

    • Profile photo of Cory


      The only issue with Sports is that CBS usually announces that sports is coming well in advance so the potential listeners know what’s ahead.

      My money is on Classic Hits, given the stunting.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      KMOX is thriving because it has the St. Louis Cardinals. There is no chance in hell that CBS moves the Cardinals to an FM station, especially during baseball season.

      And St. Louis already has “101 Sports” [WXOS] in the region’s FM band.

  2. Profile photo of Beachguy


    If that was their idea, I would suspect them to follow the lead of WIBC and WBDO in moving their AM to FM and then making the AM all sports. *IF* that was the plan, which I am not very confident they plan that. I lean toward the WSB model, at least for now, of simulcasting.

  3. Profile photo of JustinT


    No way sports is happening. WXOS “101 ESPN” is hardly setting the world on fire… plus with the Rams on the edge of leaving, the world of St. Louis sports is likely to get smaller very soon.

    This sounds like the next domino to fall after the launch of . There’s just way too much Hot AC content in the market at this time between Fresh 102.5, hot AC Y98, adult CHR Now 96.3, adult-friendly CHR Z107.7, and adult hits 106.5 The Arch — the latter which missed the cues to ditch its current-heavy playlist and grab some of KLOU’s monster shares. CBS knows classic hits — if thats the direction they take KEZK, it’s going to be a very exciting battle in St. Louis.

    • Profile photo of JustinT


      *after the launch of Now 96.3.

      But you’re all smart RadioInsight readers, you knew that.

  4. Profile photo of Rob Zerwekh


    I think K-Hits is coming back. CBS even uses the name in Chicago.

  5. Profile photo of BC


    Smash Hits

  6. Profile photo of Mark W.


    This change in direction is similar to what CBS just did in Cleveland with its station on 102.1 FM.

    Will be interesting to see if CBS elects to revert the music format on 103.7 KVIL in Dallas to Mainstream AC. Although that station never dropped its “103.7 KVIL” branding, it is running a *very* tight Adult CHR playlist these days and trails the similarly formatted “102-9 Now” (iHeart) in the ratings badly. I believe DFW is the largest market in the country without a Mainstream AC outlet.

  7. Profile photo of mbatchelor


    Outwice of the 80s lunch, I can tell very, very little difference between what they are playing now, and what they were playing a week ago, except perhaps one more 80s song an hour or so. Also, I’m not sure going to the KEZK branding was a wise move, those calls were synonymous with soft rock and easy listening. The current format is still playing a lot of upbeat current pop, and sounds even a bit more like WARH, which is another failing radio station. I predict they will make their annual flip to Christmas music and never return after the holiday, as I don’t see this making a lick of difference in their ratings. I thought they might put something decent on there, this is a big let down.

    • Profile photo of JustinT


      I think it’s such a huge letdown because we were promised a “new name and new sound” on Tuesday morning… yet we received an old name and the same sound.

      Maybe a few KLOU listeners will like the 80’s lunch, and I guess they won’t have to pay for the Fresh rights anymore… but in a market hungry for classic hits, it’s hard to argue this is the best response CBS could come up with. It’s almost an injustice to feature this “format change” on the Format Change Archive! 🙂

  8. Profile photo of Andrew Duong


    Perhaps we need 103.7 KVIL in Dallas to bring back 80’s music like it’s sister 102.5 KEZK in St. Louis! We don’t have any other AC in Dallas besides to Adult Hits KJKK 100.3 JACK FM. It’s no wonder why I’m planning to relocate back to Oklahoma City with my families there where we they have a real AC Magic 104.1 KMGL or perhaps Miami since they have a soft AC WFEZ and an AC WLYF which borderlines mainstream AC and soft AC. All stations here and there much better than Dallas radio stations. CBS’ KVIL is pretty much a clone of CC’s hot AC KDMX. We have two hot ACs, two CHRs, two new country, and no AC, no classic country, how much worse can Dallas radio get? Hopefully, I’ll get a job in one of the cities with a better AC station or at least w/ an AC station after I graduate with an electrical engineering degree this year or hopefully we’ll have an AC that plays 80s, 90s, and present music again in DAllas . If it weren’t for KVIL to bring back an AC format with 80s music, perhaps Cumulus could give-up their CHR on KLIF for another AC format anytime soon? I do understand the AC format is not very successful these days.

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