Changes to come for area radio stationsWORTHINGTON — Big changes are coming to the region’s airwaves within the next few days.
By: Ryan McGaughey, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Big changes are coming to the region’s airwaves within the next few days.
Radio Works, owned in part by Chad Cummings of Brewster and John Daniels of Sioux City, Iowa, as well as Ted Mahn of Hot Springs, Ark., and Cy Chesterman of Sioux City, will officially complete its acquisition of Three Eagles Worthington on Jan. 1. Three Eagles currently includes KWOA’s AM and FM stations, as well as KITN-FM; Radio Works currently operates KUSQ-FM.
“We have big plans for all four stations,” Cummings said last week. “The first week of January is our target to introduce our formats on the four radio stations.”
KUSQ, now known as US 104, will move down the FM dial to 95.1.
“KUSQ is currently a 6,000-watt station and the move to 95.1 will make it a 100,000-watt station,” Daniels said. “It’s a greatly increased coverage area, and greater penetration.”
KITN-FM, located at 93.5 on the dial, will see a rock format that varies from the current classic-rock music currently heard in Worthington.
“We’ll be playing new classics — from very select ’70s rock to lots of ’80s rock and early ’90s and grunge,” Cummings said. “We’ll call it ROCKIT FM.”
“I grew up on Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Doors, but I’m at a point now where just like something a little less extreme, or even a little NPR,” Daniels said. “That’s what we really do with our stations — to have variety both in music and in the age groups listening to us.”
The current home of KUSQ, 104.3 FM, will become home to a format that, according to Cummings, has yet to exist in the Worthington region. Call letters have yet to be announced.
“We’re also going to offer the younger and female demographic a station that we’ve never had here,” he said. “It will be contemporary hits radio. … We’re calling it ‘The Party,’ and it will be a little more aggressive with current music.”
KWOA-AM, located at 730, has been around since 1947, Cummings said, and has a range that can allow a listener to clearly hear the station as far as 200 miles from Worthington during daytime hours.
“It’s a huge pioneer station,” Cummings said of KWOA-AM. “We plan to continue the core of it with local programming, local news, sports, farm and weather in the morning. Then, in the afternoons and evenings through the overnight, we’ll offer a nostalgia format. It will be ‘music of your life’ — the music of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams... It’s for a generation that has not been served by any station here.”
The KWOA-FM call letters will be dropped, Cummings said. He also said all operations for Radio Works will begin a transition from the current downtown Worthington location to the Three Eagles location on Nobles County 35.
Besides offering a variety of listening options, the four Radio Works stations will become entrenched in the communities they serve, Daniels said.
“Since we’ve been here with US104, we’ve made it a point to be involved with what our community does, and tell everyone what’s going on in the community,” Daniels said. “With this expansion, it gives an opportunity for further involvement — and it’s more than Worthington.”
“We have employees who live in Rock Rapids, Iowa, Rushmore, Brewster, Heron Lake, Luverne, Adrian. … We’re going to be an active part of the whole area,” Cummings added.
A local-first philosophy currently drives US104, Cummings said, and that will continue with the three additional radio stations.
“Instead of one outlet we’ll have four, and that’s exciting,” Daniels said. “I’ve come to meet and get to know a number of local businesspeople here, and it’s fun for Chad and me both to do radio like we believe radio should be done.”
“We’re just playing radio,” chimed in Cummings, smiling.