KWGO Starts Minot Country Duel

102.9 WGO KWGO Minot Country Kicks 97 KYYXProgrammers Broadcasting Hot AC “102.9 WGO” KWGO Burlington/Minot, ND has flipped to Country with the same moniker.

Northpine reports that the station is targeting Clear Channel’s “97 Kicks-FM” 97.1 KYYX by emphasizing local announcers and content. KYYX’s lineup completely features syndicated content from other Clear Channel markets.

In a response to a listener questioning the change, KWGO wrote on Facebook:

After much thought and careful consideration, we decided it was time to do what was best for our community and provide Minot residents with what they had been asking for – a Local FM Country station, with local content and local announcers. Country is the most popular music format in the U-S. We hope you will give the new music a chance. You may find that New country isn’t your Grandma’s Country!

Clear Channel’s Minot cluster is continually used as an example as what’s wrong with consolidated radio. A 2002 overnight train derailment created a toxic cloud over the city, with 911 operators telling panicked residents to listen to Clear Channel’s 910 KCJB for information, however the station and its sisters continued playing music with no updates as EAS never was activated.

Programmers Broadcasting also owns Classic Rock “94.9 The Zoo” KTZU in the Minot market. Both stations signed on in 2005, after the incident above.

  1. Joseph_Gallant says

    If KWGO-102.9 should succeed with a locally-programmed and produced country format, it may send a signal far beyond Minot.

    It may be a wake-up call to broadcasters that localism does matter.

    But if KWGO doesn’t get much of a listening audience, it may prove to Clear Channel (among others) that people don’t care how or where their favorite radio station is programmed.

  2. Steve Varholy says

    Whether people care or not is really not the issue. The issue is, as a licensee, whether you are fulfilling your service obligation to the community or whether you are strictly a jukebox no different than the satellite-fed stations of yore that only provide the service to the community of cashing their checks. Many of the problems radio faces is that many are now approaching the business as a vacuum to suck up advertising dollars rather than actually providing something of more value to the community.

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