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Spy Wars Continue In Oklahoma City

105.3 The Spy TheRealSpy TheSpyFM KINB KSYY 96.9 Bob KQOB Oklahoma City Kingfisher Enid

Back in December, the planned purchase of Alternative “105.3 The Spy” KINB Kingfisher/Oklahoma City went awry leading to a messy divorce between Citadel Broadcasting and Spy Programmer Ferris O’Brien.

Since then, O’Brien’s version of The Spy has continued online at TheSpyFM.com, while the 105.3 signal has continued to air a jockless/commercial free version of the same format also using The Spy moniker. In recent days a war of words has begun online as the terrestrial version launched a website at TheRealSpyFM.com and has been teasing a move to 96.9.

That station is Classic Rock “96.9 Bob-FM” KQOB Enid, which has struggled since Clear Channel flipped crosstown 94.7 KHBZ to 80’s Rock “94.7 The Brew” KBRU in December 2009. 96.9 is a Class C with 98KW at 1430 feet with coverage of the majority of the Oklahoma City market, while 105.3 is a Class A 930 watts at 833 feet. KINB remains in Citadel’s Last Bastion Station Trust as it must be spun-off to stay under the ownership limit in Oklahoma City.

969TheSpy.com and 969SpyFM.com were both registered today to someone who appears to have a connection to the O’Brien version of The Spy as attempts to block possible usage by Citadel.

Instant Insight: I’m not sure what’s to be gained by Citadel keeping the Spy moniker alive on FM. Ferris O’Brien has positioned his webcaster as an underdog and has the support of the local underground media. The longer both companies keep using the moniker, the better chance of listener confusion. Establishing a new brand would give Citadel a fresh start free of the stigma of O’Brien’s legacy with the moniker.

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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.

4 Comments


  1. “Establishing a new brand would give O’Brien a fresh start free of the stigma of Citadel’s legacy with the moniker.”

    (Fixed it for ya.)

    You really should dig deeper and learn about what’s been happening involving all of this. It’s quite a story.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      It may have been phrased improperly, but I was crediting the previous version of the station as opposed to praising Citadel’s. Citadel is the one who has more to lose by continuing to use the moniker.


      • They’ve already lost a considerable amount of credibility in the local market by running what amounts to little more than a two month bullying campaign against O’Brien.

        I think they Citadel has no intention of running an indierock FM. They’ve been unable to get any advertisers because Ferris’s clients have been unwilling to forego their loyalties. 105.3 has been running without advertising since Citadel began took it over in December Further, they have no support from the local independent music community. Their Twitter account had five fans, and their Facebook page had a little over 100, and most of those were Citadel employees.

        Ferris’s Spy leapt over the 6000 mark on Facebook just this week.

        Citadel has just been using 105.3 to be vindictive. Because they could.

        It’s time to end it.


  2. Also, every trace of Citadel’s “Real Spy FM” has been wiped from the Internet.

    And I’m not connected with Ferris or the staff of thespyfm.com, although I am flattered that you would suggest a connection. I’m just a fan – albeit one with rolled up shirt sleeves.

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