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CBS Gets Fresh In St. Louis

Y98 98.1 KYKY Fresh 102.5 KEZK 93.7 The Bull KSD 100.3 The Sound WSDD St. Louis Jeff Kapugi Mark Edwards Anderson Ed Goodman Kelly Corday

CBS Radio is rebranding AC 102.5 KEZK St. Louis, MO as “Fresh 102.5” on December 27 when it ends its Christmas music programming. KEZK, which has historically kept an older, softer lean will become a tad more current and upbeat as it names Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Chicago, Daughtry, Billy Joel, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Bryan Adams, Faith Hill, and Lifehouse among its new core artists.

KEZK has struggled in recent years amidst competition from Bonneville’s Variety Hits “106.5 The Arch” WARH, Clear Channel’s Classic Hits “Rewind 103.3” KLOU, and CBS Sister Adult CHR “Y98” KYKY battling 102.5 for the traditional AC audience.

The CBS St. Louis cluster has been undergoing an upheaval recently as Jeff Kapugi, most recently at Tribune, became PD of KEZK and KYKY. Ed Goodman, who had been with KEZK since 1992 is leaving the morning slot at the station as part of the “Fresh” relaunch. Y98 middayer Kelly Corday was let go last week.

CBS has held Fresh1025.com since February 2008. In the past week they added 1025Fresh.com and 1025FreshFM.com to their holdings.

Instant Insight: The changes may not be done either. The new “Fresh 102.5” will have more audience overlap with the aforementioned Y98. A number of factors lead us to believe CBS will soon shift KYKY in a CHR direction. Earlier this year, CBS reacquired radio rights to the St. Louis Cardinals for 1120 KMOX. KMOX has recently lost its traditional #1 spot in the market to Clear Channel CHR “Z107.7” KSLZ. The original PD of KSLZ is none other than Jeff Kapugi as that station appears ripe for a head-on competitor. Another sign, KYKY’s positioning statement “More Music, Better Variety” is being shifted to Fresh 102.5.

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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.

3 Comments


  1. When I first found out about this change via Twitter, I was not too impressed. And the logo is a dead giveaway to what the format is leaning into on December 27. I know Radio Insight doesn’t follow jingle packages, but I do sense this as a “clone” to what Fresh 102.7 (New York) and Fresh 105.7 (Chicago) are using. We’ll see how that goes when the relaunch happens after Christmas…


  2. At the risk of getting flamed, I think the “Fresh” format could end up in Boston right after the Holidays, perhaps at the expense of oldies WODS-103.3.

    No radio station uses the call letters WBFS, meaning the station can be called that for “Boston’s FreSh”. Although a Miami TV station uses WBFS, I think that wouldn’t stop CBS under relaxed FCC call letter guidelines from getting WBFS-FM for 103.3.

    BTW, http://www.fresh1033.com and http://www.1033fresh.com aren’t, according to Whois, being used at this writing (December 9th) by anyone, so a switch from “Oldies 103.3” to “Fresh 103-3” may or may not occur.

    On the one hand, I could see CBS going for it here in the Hub.

    On the other hand, a “Fresh 103-3” would go up against soft AC powerhouse WMJX-106.7, which has long been the top-rated music station in the market.

    CBS would have to pull out all the stops were they to do this, and target WMJX as being “Your Mother’s Soft Rock Station” with “A Blend Of Music That’s Stuck In 1979”.

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      Joseph,

      There’s NO way CBS flips WODS to Fresh in the foreseeable future.

      1) The station that would get hurt the most would be CBS’ Mix 104.1.
      2) WODS is doing well in its target demographics and billing well.
      3) If any station were to get head on competition it would be Clear Channel’s Kiss 108 and Jam’n 94.5.

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