Dance Down Two Stations

Highway Vibe 99.7 98.1 98.9 KHWY KHWZ KRXV Barstow Las Vegas Party 97.7 KLTO San Antonio Austin

Two recent converts to Dance music have jettisoned the format.

EMF Broadcasting has closed on its purchase of “Party 97.7” KLTO McQueeny/San Antonio from Univision. The station, acquired for $1 Million, has joined EMF’s Air-1 Christian CHR network as KZAR. The previous Dance CHR format which debuted in early Feburary remains on Univision’s 98.5 KBBT-HD2.

The Highway Vibe” trimulcast serving the I-15 corridor in between Las Vegas and Barstow, CA has returned to its previous Hot AC format while keeping the current name for now. The Highway trimulcast of 98.1 KRXV Yermo, 98.9 KHWY Essex, and 99.7 KHYZ Mountain Pass, CA along with a booster in Las Vegas assumed the Vibe programming in September following the demise ofVibe 94.5” KVBE on July 1.

INSTANT INSIGHT: Naysayers will be quick to point to these stations as yet another reason why the Dance format will not work on terrestrial radio. Until the format is put on a station that has a competitive signal in a market the argument is moot. Niether KLTO or KHWY had that. Nor did Energy 92.7 in Chicago or recent attempts at the format in New York, Phoenix, or San Francisco. No station that has attempted the format commercially has been on a signal that fully serves a given market.

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  1. BRH says

    Unless you are willing to go back a few years. Cox did dance formats on full market signals in Miami (Party 93.1), San Antonio (106-7 Jamz), and Orlando (95-3 Party) in the earlier part of the 2000’s.

    1. Chris says

      True, but each of those had issues too. Remember that WPYO/Orlando was not a full market signal until after it flipped to CHUrban. It was then that Cox either moved the antenna closer to Orlando or upped the power (I don’t remember which). WPYM had the best signal of those three, effectively covering the entire South Florida market. WPYM was successful by Cox’s own admission — but they perceived a more lucrative position in filling the rock void after the heritage rocker flipped. Also, keep in mind that WPYM was ran as a jockless jukebox, and only after the switch to Rock was a full airstaff was hired. Whatever would have happened to their ratings if Cox hired a full airstaff and spent real money on promotions is anyone’s guess, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the station would have performed at least marginally better.

  2. MattParker says

    OK, now San Antonio needs a danz station.
    So does Las Vegas.

    1. Steven says

      There is another dance station in the Las Vegas area, Jelli 96.7. Jelli took over 94.5 & 96.7 (both of their signals reach Las Vegas).

  3. Stelly says

    With the recent influx dance-influenced hits from Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, LMFAO and the like (plus some David Guetta and Afrojack sneaking into the Top 40), I think that the pure Dance format is due for a comeback any day now. Noting the past failures of the aforementioned Cox stations, as well as KDL stations in DFW and LA, some owners/market managers/PDs may be skittish on the prospect.

    I think there are three ways to get the format back onto radio…

    1) The KLTO way: pop-leaning rhythmic infused with 1-2 hits from the dance airplay chart per hour to “introduce” the music to listeners who might be familiar with it in the clubs, but not on the radio. Eventually, KLTO increased the dance tracks to 3-4 per hour before dropping them completely about a month before the flip to Air 1.

    2) An HD2/FMX simulcast: While I don’t think Dance has quite the appeal necessary for an in-town blowtorch, I love the idea of putting unique niche formats FM translators, and Dance is one those formats. There are several Dance stations on HD2s, but no HD2/FMX simulcasts just yet (other than a short-lived tease in Austin last year.) I think that once we see one relatively successful HD2/FMX pop up with a Dance format, others will start to follow (see Comedy.) I think the format has the best chance of success using this method, which I think would work in larger markets like Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta, etc…

    3) A dayparted Rhythmic AC/Dance: Here’s one tailored for the small-medium markets not ready for a pure Dance format. During the daytime office-listening hours, an 80s-2000s rhythmic AC—not unlike the Movin stations—dayparted heavier at night, shifted harder and using the 3-5 dance tracks-per-hour formula. If I remember correctly, the original Mega 93.3 in Austin started out using this method in 2001, shifting to pure dance about a year later.

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