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96.3 KTWN Go’s Alternative

96.3 Go Minnesota K-Twin KTwin KTWN Minneapolis Minnesota Twins FM BT Jason Nagle Eric Perkins

At 3pm, KTWN-FM relaunched as Alternative “Go 96.3“. Focusing on current music with a local and independent lean the station is debuting with 10,000 songs in a row positioned as “Where Modern Music Is Going”. The station will remain flagship station of co-owned Minnesota Twins baseball.

The first hour of 96.3 Go consisted of:
Robert DeLong – Long Way Down
Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
Cage The Elephant – Come A Little Closer
Arrested Development – People Everyday
Jack White – Lazaretto
Imagine Dragons – I Bet My Life
Glass Animals – Glee
Sublime – Doin’ Time
Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
Lizzo & Caroline Smith – Let ‘Em Say
Bastille – Flaws
Big Data f/ Joywave – Dangerous
Strokes – Last Night
Bleachers – Rollercoaster
Banks – Beggin For Thread
Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait

Go 96.3 will have a unique sound with diverse musical offerings from artists like Imagine Dragons, Foo Fighters, Atmosphere, Fitz & The Tantrums, and new artists such as Vance Joy, Hozier and Bleachers. In addition, Go 96.3 is excited to return as the exclusive radio play-by-play home for the Minnesota Twins in 2015.

“With KTWIN, we built a new home for the Minnesota Twins but with a radio sound that’s too familiar. Go 96.3 will be different. Our music will be different, our people will be different, how we position the Twins will be different and how we support our sponsors will be different. We are going where music is going, where our baseball team is going and where our community is going.” Joe Pohlad, Executive Vice President of Northern Lights Broadcasting.

“Go 96.3 is a place for music lovers. It’s about familiar bands and new artists. It’s about being online and on mobile. We have some really cool digital stuff coming — I can’t wait.” Sam Gagliardi, Senior Vice President of Northern Lights Broadcasting.

Update 1/1: The “K-Twin” era came to an end as the clock struck midnight on New Years.

96.3 is now stunting with a Siri-like robotic voice identifying as Web counting down to a new “local radio station” launch on Monday, January 5 at 3:00pm. Interspersed are quotes from movies, songs, television shows, and commercials.

In addition to the domains reported on below, Go963MN.com was registered on December 18 and has since been transferred to the servers of KTWN-FM owner Northern Lights Broadcasting. Another indicator of a Go future may have come in the final block of songs played before the end of K-Twin as the station played Passenger “Let Her Go”, Rusted Root “Send Me On My Way”, Los Lobos “C’mon Let’s Go”, and The Cars “Let’s Go” before its farewell block of The Strokes “Last Nite”, High On Stress “Leaving Mpls”, and ending with Semisonic’s “Closing Time”.

Update 12/5: The changes continue at KTWN-FM.

Morning co-host Eric Perkins has announced that he is exiting the station. Perkins was the final on-air member left from the original “K-Twin” launch. Perkins will continue in his primary job as Sports Director at KARE-TV 11. Co-hosts Mark Rider and Rena Sarigianopoulos will remain in place.

A recent job posting hints at a shift towards Alternative/AAA for the current gold-leaning AAA.

Original Report 12/2: A change is in the air at Northern Lights Broadcasting AAA/Sports “96.3 K-Twin” KTWN-FM Edina/Minneapolis.

In mid-November Director of Operations/PD Michael Steele and afternoon host Curt Copeland exited the soon-to-be three year old station. On Friday nine domains were registered for the station: 963Go.com, 963GoDigital.com, 963GoEvents.com, 963GoInfo.com, 963GoMinnesotaTwins.com, 963GoModern.com, 963GoMusic.com, 963GoTwins.com, and Warehouse963.com. The domains were registered by Minnesota Twins Director of Marketing Joe Pohlad. The Pohlad family owns both the Twins and the station, which doubles as the radio flagship for the baseball broadcasts.

With the hybrid mix of baseball and music the station has stayed steady at a mere 1.0 share over the past three monthly ratings periods. Regardless of what type of music the station features following a relaunch, a mix of Sports play-by-play and auxiliary programming on a music FM rarely works outside of football where broadcasts are mainly on weekends and do not disrupt the daily programming flow. Add in that the Twins have been in a rebuilding period the last few years, one that does not seem to be over at that, and it will be hard for any format to find its footing with almost 180 days a year being disrupted by baseball programming (162 regular season games and numerous spring training broadcasts).

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.

10 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Scholarm1111


    This station has been lost in the ratings ever since they switched from chr/rhythmic. Should’ve kept the Twins on WCCO-AM.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    If the station ends up flipping to full-time Sports (or even to Sports-heavy Talk)–which, granted, is still a very big “if”–what happens to 1500 ESPN (KSTP) and 105 The Ticket? The Timberwolves are on WCCO, while the Wild and the Vikings are both on K-Fan. And, right now, K-Fan appears to be way in front in the ratings (although it may be largely because of football).

  3. Profile photo of Mark W.


    These fools should sell the station. Partner up with a bigger, more established station in the market (and one with a better signal) for Twins baseball.

    Adult Contemporary was pulling a 3 share on the 105’s. Why not ditch the Sports and go Adult Contemporary on 96.3?

    Speaking of the 105’s, how much longer will Cumulus keep that loser of a sports format on all three of those signals? I never understood why 105.7 wasn’t allowed to keep the AC format. (CBS Sports Radio could have simply aired on 105.1 & 105.3.)

    K-Twin will ALWAYS be a loser of a station under current ownership.

    96.3 — 105.7 — 107.1: all of these stations are complete wastes!

  4. Profile photo of Scholarm1111


    Not to mention a crater of a hole for either another CHR or a CHR/rhythmic in the way under music-formatted market #13 or wherever the Twin Cities ranks these days.

  5. Profile photo of e-dawg


    Market #13 doesn’t have Adult contemporary, Chr rhythmic, and rhythmic oldies/ac. Most markets with size like Minneapolis have these formats and more frequencies on the fm band.

  6. Profile photo of maytableinc


    To answer the questions about AC format, the AC format has never really worked in the Twin Cities. 102.9 and 105’s never gained much traction in the ratings so it would not be ideal to switch over to a format that never had success. 96.3 was never that big with the rhythmic CHR when they were B96.3, however that might of been because their transmitter was located further away from the city (closer to St. Cloud than Minneapolis).

    Just going to say that the website for this station looks AMAZING. I think all stations should do a launch with a website that look as aesthetically wonderful as this one. Watch out 93.3 & iHeartMedia, you’re up for some stiff competition!

    And to complement their local music commitment, hopefully they also get a full lineup of proactive local radio on-air hosts.

  7. Profile photo of Scholarm1111


    They were consistently above a 3.0 and sometimes close to a 4.0 when they were CHR/rhythmic. They haven’t been above a 1.0 for a couple of years now. Yes, the signal really only hits the West Metro.

    This new format is just a continuation of their failed strategy the past 3 years. They signed on KTWN with as “Alternative” leaning hot AC rock, than it was classic rock with an AAA lean and now just alternative. There are other audiences in the Twin Cities besides White men and one of these days the local radio owners will figure out that it might not be a bad idea to try to serve these listeners.

  8. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    KTWN has no shot in hell of succeeding unless they dump the Twins PBP. Until then, I guess the Pohlad family doesn’t mind wasting money on a station doomed to failure from the get-go regardless of what they put on there.

    That being said, I love the website design for Go. It’s the only bright spot they have. Of course Cumulus treats websites for their stations as total afterthoughts, and iHeart’s design is decent and dependable… but not revolutionary.

  9. Profile photo of Scholarm1111


    Totally agree that the Twins games are a big part of the problem here. The owners only want to put on a format that they feel will attract an attractive demographic that will be compatible with baseball. To them that means, white male rock listeners. This has been their strategy since buying the station, it has very little chance of succeeding as other stations with better signals are already serving this niche in the market.

    • Profile photo of charles57


      And there’s one big hole in the Pohlads’ argument: Baseball’s main audience is at least 45+. Most flagship stations for major league teams have a sports, news/talk or right-wing format. KTWN is the only music station to be an MLB team flagship.

      When the Pohlads drew up this format flip, they should have considered moving the Twins back to 1500 ESPN or WCCO-830.

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