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'The Party" to become 'The Bridge'

Radio Works' 104.3 FM changing formats this Sunday

032421.N.DG.RADIOCHANGE
Brad Behrends of Worthington created this logo for "The Bridge," a Radio Works station to be located at 104.3 FM. (Submitted photo)

WORTHINGTON — “The Party” is over, come Saturday night.

KZTP-FM, the Radio Works station known commonly as “104.3 The Party,” will be changing its format, effective Sunday. The station’s call letters will remain the same, but the music will transition from Top 40 to Christian and 104.3 FM will now be known as “The Bridge.”

Chad Cummings, vice president and general manager of Radio Works, said the decision to make the switch wasn’t one made overnight.

“2020 was a very difficult year because our only source of income on the radio is advertising,” Cummings said. “When many of our customers were closed or else reduced in capacity or limits, they didn’t advertise. It just made us look at the business side as a whole.”

While doing that, Cummings noted that he examined trends from beyond the past year to take a closer look at where growth was — and wasn’t — taking place in the company. While he’s confident that there are currently plenty of “Party” listeners, he also sees an opportunity for

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something new.

Cummings gathered information from a group that he created on Facebook that included some of Radio Works’ programming staff, a representation of Worthington clergy and individuals from local organizations that have ties to ministry. That led to a decision to blend a combination of contemporary Chistian and worship/praise music and, as each day progresses, add in a mixture of “alternative” Christian music that includes styles like rock, rap and more.

“One thing that we’re going to add to make it local is area ministers who will be part of our programming,” he explained. “We’re going to have a daily devotional, ‘A Walk Across the Bridge,’ broadcast throughout the day that’s recorded by people involved with churches and ministries in our area.”

That local touch, Cummings added, is something that’s a critical component of all Radio Works stations.

“The thing we’ve always focused on is local radio and giving people stuff that they can’t get on Pandora or Spotify — things like local weather, local sports and local news,” he said.

Between the new music format and maintaining a source of local information, Cummings feels good about the switch.

“The biggest thing we looked at is what’s around us, and was there anybody else already doing it?” he stated. “While there are other Christian statons, we’re going to it a little differently and provide more local information than those other Christian stations are providing.”

Cummings noted that an effort was made to reach out to potential advertisers and ask them what they’re listening to, what demographics they hope to reach and what they’re hoping to accomplish in their business. Also important, he said, was learning what potential customers of those advertisers may be most inclined to listen to.

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KZTP will continue to be home to local sports, Cummings said, and listeners will continue to have the ability to stream games live on the station’s website. There will be no changes at the other Radio Works stations, which include: AM 730 KWOA, 95.1 KUSQ-FM (The Hot Country Highway US95) and 93.5 KITN-FM (Rock It FM).

“What we want is to provide something based on listening to the wants and needs of the communities we serve,” Cummings said.

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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