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94.9 The Vibe Brings Classic Hip-Hop To Salt Lake City

94.9 The Vibe KHTB Alt 101.9 Salt Lake City Trax Cumulus Classic Hip-HopAfter simulcasting on both frequencies for the Labor Day weekend, Cumulus has completed the move of Alternative “Alt 94.9” to 101.9 KENZ Ogden and debuted Classic Hip-Hop “94.9 The Vibe” on KHTB Provo.

KHTB is running the Westwood One syndicated programming out of the gate including morning host Tony Zazza, middayer Miss Eklass and afternoon/evening host Zakk.

Cumulus Media announces that today it moved its Alternative station in Salt Lake City, formerly known as Alt 94.9/KHTB, to 101.9 on the FM dial and will rebrand the station as Alt 101.9. In its place, Cumulus today launched the all-new Classic Hip Hop station, 94.9 The Vibe on KHTB. The station turned on the Classic Hip Hop format today at 5:00 p.m. Mountain. Concurrently, the two stations launched new websites today at www.949thevibe.com and at www.alt1019.com.

94.9 The Vibe launched with wall-to-wall music and will play a unique mix of hit music from the biggest stars from the early days of Hip Hop. The new station has a totally unique take on Hip Hop, giving Salt Lake City Hip Hop fans big old school Hip Hop hits, mixed with some R&B “throwbacks” from the ‘80’s, ‘90’s and early 2000’s. Westwood One, the leading provider of 24-hour radio formats, syndicates the Classic Hip Hop programming for 94.9 The Vibe.

Rick Vaughn, Program Director for Cumulus Salt Lake City said: “94.9 The Vibe is the beat of the Salt Lake Valley. There is so much great Hip Hop and Rhythmic music that just wasn’t getting played here. The Vibe is mass appeal and FUN! Look out!”

Original Report 9/4: As we first reported in this morning’s Daily Domains, Cumulus Media is in the process of another format shuffle in Salt Lake City.

Alternative “Alt 94.9” KHTB Provo has begun simulcasting on 101.9 KENZ Ogden as Cumulus prepares to move the Alternative format back over to 101.9 likely utilizing Cumulus’ new “Underground” branding. That move eliminates Variety Hits “Trax 101.9” as Cumulus will next launch Classic Hip-Hop “94.9 The Vibe” on KHTB.

Cumulus’ Salt Lake City cluster has not been performing well at all recently. Four of their five FMs are at a 1.8 share or below including KHTB at a 1.6 and KENZ at a 1.4 in the August 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings.

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 Mark W.


    Not performing well at all “recently” ? It’s been a LONG time since any of these stations have performed well! Mediocre performance during the last few years of Citadel ownership has turned into rotten performance under Cumulus ownership.

    When Cumulus hired Rick Vaughn, I predicted one of these underperforming signals would be flipping to either CHR or Classic Hip-Hop.

    K-Bear and B98.7 are both disasters. Trax and its predecessor both stunk. ALT’s ratings have consistently been lower than that of its predecessor, Z-Rock. It was a gigantic mistake to blow up Z-Rock without moving much of its music to KBER. The 60% active rock / 40% classic rock mix that K-Bear featured in the late 90’s through mid/late 2000’s would’ve worked well. The current day Rock 106.7 airs a sloppier version of that format – adopted shortly after Z-Rock went poof – and consistently draws much better ratings than KBER. A year or 18 months ago, K-Bear tried to respond by spiking some tracks from RATM and Korn alongside its standard dinosaur rock fare. It didn’t work.

    KBER is to SLC what Rock 100.5 is to Atlanta. Both stations are abject failures and will never amount to anything meaningful from a revenue standpoint.

    As if the multitude of underperforming stations in SLC or Atlanta isn’t enough, I recently noticed the Cumulus country station in Indy is now getting beaten badly by its competition. These guys have no clue how to win a head-on battle in a large or major market.

  2. Profile photo of airplane777


    I am not sure how well a rap station will go over in SLC. Keep in mind the LDS Mormon population is strong in Utah. Which is a culture that promotes strong family values and and seeks after wholesome entertainment. If a station in SLC promotes filthy lifestyles, bad suggestive lyrics it will suffer in the ratings. If a station wishes to win over SLC it must promote LDS Mormon culture and remain wholesome. I can see 80s love music, 90s pop and even classic country doing really well there. The LDS Mormon youth would listen to an Active rock station, but if it got to edgy or if it played too many songs that were not chart toppers it would fall out of favor also.

    • Profile photo of elcartero


      The market has had a rap station for over two decades: KUUU “U92”. Lance pointed out on another post that there’s a good-sized Latino population there to support it. The market may be predominantly Mormon but SLC proper is as cosmopolitan now as the average Western U.S. city.

      BTW, Citadel ran a great “Country Legends” outlet (I used to listen online) on 107.5 which lasted for about five years, then got sold to EMF. Interestingly, before that it was the first home of KENZ.

    • Profile photo of ksradiogeek


      If rap truly didn’t work in Salt Lake, U92 wouldn’t be here.

      • Profile photo of only1moore


        I agree. KUUU has been around since 1999 and has done very well ratings wise thanks to local ownership. As for whether KHTB can siphon off U92’s with Classic Hip-Hop that remains to be seen but it could do better than the previous formats that 94.9 had since Hot 94.9 moved down the dial.

    • Profile photo of Rob Zerwekh


      The LDS influence is not as strong as it used to be. SLC has seen a lot of transplants move to the valley, many of them Hispanic or Pacific Islander. I agree classic country would work there, though.

    • Profile photo of henry


      That was true 25 years ago. Perhaps even 10 years ago. But the Wasatch Front is a rapidly-changing place.

      Shifting demographics: About 40% of Utah’s population isn’t Mormon. About 55% of Salt Lake County isn’t Mormon. Among Mormons, as many as half aren’t practicing and/or are Mormon in name only. And of the remaining Mormons, a heck of a lot of ’em like hip-hop.

      For example, I was a hardcore devout Mormon through college (not so much now). But even while I was a returned-missionary Mormon undergraduate student at BYU, I was surprised how many of my friends like old school hip-hop. I learned about Tupac and Dr. Dre in the dorms. And by my mid-20s I found myself listening to U92 almost exclusively. I’m far from alone. There’s a reason U92 has that sweeper where they shoutout “to the MoMos living in the bubble.”

      TL;dr Millennials Utahns aren’t their uber-conservative parents. I think 94.9 could scratch an itch.

  3. Profile photo of airplane777


    I hope it works for them, I do have to admit SLC stations have been pretty boring lately.

  4. Profile photo of charles57


    U92 reports to the trades as Rhythmic because you can’t sell Rap to advertisers in Utah.

    Rob brought up the idea of Country Oldies. Cumulus’s best-performing Salt Lake station does Country, so the older-skewing Nash Icon approach would’ve been a good complement. That’s not happening since Cumulus is going for the quick fix rather than the long term.

  5. Profile photo of oasisrulz


    Same illogical thinking, the know it all suits always move the no-ones listening mentality of Rock formats to the inferior signals and the great money making Urban formats to the superior signals….Just the way it is..

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Except that is the opposite of what happened here. 101.9 KENZ is located on Farnsworth Peak just outside Salt Lake City, while 94.9 KHTB’s antenna is located outside Provo.

      • Profile photo of oasisrulz


        But with twice the power…wouldn’t that compensate for the distance and it would cover more area than KENZ.

  6. Profile photo of Cory


    Now you know he doesn’t let facts get in the way of his hatred for “non-white” formats. I’m surprised he didn’t throw in an inner city remark to boot.

    That said, I’m not sure if this will make the cloud’s long-term standing any better in SLC, given the already evaporating ratings of classic hip hop and moving an already failing ‘Alt’ brand yet again.

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