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.
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.