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.
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.