Q92 Wichita Officially Launches As Hot AC
The rollout of “Q92” KKGQ Wichita continues as the station debuted its Hot AC format positioned as “Best Mix 90s To Now” on January 1.
Boasting “Best Mix 90s to Now,” the newly formatted KKGQ 92.3 FM kicked off 2015 yesterday as “Q92,” debuting a fresh sound and ushering in a new area of operations for station owner Envision Broadcast Network, a division of Envision Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and improving the quality of life of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Q92 will feature a popular mix of today’s top performers and favorites from the recent past. The station will be broadcast to a 140-mile listening area that includes Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, and covers the state’s most populated regions, approaching three-quarters of a million people. Envision also is working to incorporate web-based broadcasts to allow audiences to listen in from anywhere via the station’s website (Q92Wichita.com) or on their mobile devices.
Envision’s project team worked with a radio programming consulting firm to establish the new format after reviewing existing formats in the Wichita market, identifying overlooked or underserved audiences and evaluating where the greatest opportunity to gain market share exists. The daily schedule is highlighted by a weekday morning show featuring Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy from 5-10 a.m. Other segments and hosts are now being secured and will be announced shortly.
“We’re very excited to be introducing our new station to Wichita,” says Heather Hogan, Envision’s Vice President of Foundation and Mission Services, who is overseeing day-to-day management of the station. “We’re confident we’ve arrived at a format that will offer broad appeal to Wichita listeners, with a great mix of music plus the fun, friendly and sometimes familiar voices of all-local weekday hosts.”
Hogan says she expects the mainstream format, with a primary target audience in the highly sought-after 25 to 54-year-old demographic, to provide an abundance of opportunities tocollaborate with local businesses on special events and promotions. As announced in October when Envision originally disclosed plans to purchase the station, it will also provide a ready and willing vehicle for communicating news of ongoing activity at Envision as well as at other charitable organizations in and around Wichita. The station will provide employment both for individuals who are typically-sighted or visually impaired, and will have equipment adapted for employees who are blind or who have low vision.
“We’re forging a new era in broadcast communications as a not-for-profit organization running a for-profit station,” Hogan says. “We are committed to being an original, entertaining voice in Wichita, bringing listeners the variety of local talk and music they love and organizations a ready and willing resource for building awareness and interest in their activities.”
Update 12/30: KKGQ announced its morning show debuting January 5.
Mornings will be anchored by Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy. The duo is best known in the market for their years in mornings at iHeartMedia AC “B98” KRBB. The station has been airing a broad mix of music promoting the launch since ending Christmas music on December 26.
Envision Broadcast Network LLC, which is affiliated with Envision Inc., will be kicking off their new station on January 5, 2015 with a pair of familiar voices. Dynamic radio duo Brett Harris and Tracy Cassidy will reunite to debut the new station as hosts of its morning program following the acquisition of 92 FM in October.
Heather Hogan, Envision’s Vice President of Foundation and Mission Services, announced plans for the future format and content for the station, which will serve as a source of entertainment for audiences, a medium of communication for Envision and other causes and organizations, revenues to support Envision’s programs and services, and employment for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
“We are delighted to be reuniting Brett and Tracy in our first official move with 92 FM,” Hogan said. “Wichita has been waking up to Brett and Tracy for more than 22 years, and we look forward to bringing them back to the airwaves for the community to enjoy.”
Harris and Cassidy have a long history of involvement with Envision. They have both received the organization’s “Excellence in Volunteerism” award and have participated in benefit concerts, committee involvement and internal events. The two are thrilled to be an official part of the Envision team.
“To have a non-profit agency with which we’ve been passionately involved for years approach us about reuniting on the radio is incredibly humbling and exciting,” says Harris. “We’re absolutely energized. Local radio is not only a terrific investment for a non-profit, but what a way to spread the mission by training kids who are visually impaired to become on-air talent.
Cassidy says working with individuals who are visually impaired has been tightly woven into her radio career since even before she began collaborating on projects with Envision. She got into the broadcast business while working for the visually impaired department in her high school,where she began reading books onto tape and served as the driver for a teacher who was visually impaired. Radio via Envision, she says, felt like a perfect fit.
“I couldn’t have dreamed up a better partnership,” she says. “I’m still pinching myself. The cause and the people within the Envision organization are absolutely wonderful. Plus, knowing that the work we do isn’t lining the pockets of anonymous investors but will instead be funding projects and programs right here in Wichita is very exciting.”
A Local Focus Will Distinguish The Station From Remote and National Noise
Harris and Cassidy agree that the great opportunity afforded by working for a station whose owner is so focused on the Wichita area is that they will be able to return to a local, down-home feel that has largely been replaced by syndication. Cassidy says she’ll have to rein in Harris’ passion for Wichita State Shockers basketball, and looks forward to working with local organizations to deliver their message to the community.
“This is one of the features I am most proud of,” she says. “If you are part of an agency and have a message to convey, you can email or call us, and we’ll talk about how to get it on the air.
Envision has a dream for the whole community – I love that!”
Harris adds that unlike other morning programs, the content of the new program will be family-friendly. Cassidy says listeners can expect to “hear themselves, each other, people who are friendly and funny, people who want to share something neat, or something inspirational. That’s the best thing to have in the morning.”
Update 12/21:KKGQ’s stunting has shifted to Christmas music and teasing on social media that #TheQHitsWichita. Some form of CHR seems likely.
Update 12/14: Envision closed on its acquisition of 92.3 KFTI-FM on Friday and quickly began stunting with a mix of construction sounds and music from blind artists with the KKGQ call letters now in place.
The previous Classic Country format remains at 1070 KFTI.
Update 12/10: When blind advocacy group Envision Broadcast Network purchased 92.3 KFTI-FM Newton/Wichita, KS from Journal Broadcasting it did not include the current Classic Country format or call letters in the acquisition.
With the current format back on 1070 KFTI where it will remain once the sale of 92.3 closes, we now know what will be coming to the station afterwards. Envision has registered Q92TheBeat.com .net, and .org for the station. This follows anonymous registrations for Q92Wichita.com, Q923Wichita.com, 923QFM.com, and 923TheQ.com made since the sale was announced. And the Q branding will work perfectly with the KKGQ call letters reserved for the station upon closing of the sale.
Despite being a non-profit organization, the radio station will continue to operate as a commercial operation. The sale is projected to close in January 2015.