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BU sports to get more air time

Aug. 31, 2004

By ERICA DELEON, staff writer

Three local radio stations changed management this summer, enabling Baylor sporting events to reach larger audiences. The Simmons Media Group bought stations KLRK-FM (92.9), FOX Sports KRZI-AM and ESPN KRZX-AM in June. The two AM stations are Baylor's flagship stations for sporting events.

"We think it's going to be a better situation for Baylor because Baylor will reach more of the market," Daryl O'Neal, regional vice president for Simmons, said.

Robyn Kenagy | Lariat staff
Tom Barfield (left) talks on-air with Butch Henry at the radio station at 1018 N. Valley Mills Dr. in Waco Monday afternoon.

The media group paid to local radio veteran Van Goodall $1.5 million for the trio. Prior to the purchase, the AM stations broadcast simulcast ESPN sports programming. Now, the AM stations are two separate sports stations: KRZX will carry ESPN and KRZI will carry Fox Sports.

Ninety percent of the time the stations will air different programs or sporting events. The stations will simulcast when localized sporting events air.

If the stations don't have any other contractual obligations, Baylor sporting events can be heard on both sports stations, O'Neal said.

"What we want to do is super-serve the 25-54-year-old male demographic. By owning both stations we should be able to gather 100 percent of the sports market," O'Neal said.

O'Neil described Star 92.9 as a bright adult-contemporary station geared toward the 25-54-year-old female demographic instead of the older female demographic to which it previously catered.

O'Neal said the changes took time and money. Simmons spent $100,000 in new equipment, hired people locally and found out what kind of music people wanted to hear. Rob Reed, 92.9 program director and morning show host, spent over a decade in the radio business. He ran a community radio station in Cameron for 13 years before he took the reins at Star 92.9 in June. Reed's first order of business was to find out what listeners wanted to hear.

"The feedback has been tremendous," Reed said. "When we put the new format together we urged people to tell us what they wanted. We're slowly putting it together."

Jaylene Jones, a Midland senior, said she likes the format so far.

"What I enjoy is that I get to hear songs I haven't heard in five years," Jones said. "I like the overall variety of the songs being played."

The morning show currently is mainly music programming, but some news and entertainment segments will be added soon, Reed said.

Fall promotions for the station are currently in the works, and the station is looking for a morning show co-host. Currently, the morning show is running an "Office of the Week" promotion, which spotlights local businesses. Winners receive Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Along with the many changes, Simmons will be changing locations from a strip center on 1018 N. Valley Mills to the downtown Holiday-Hammond building in early fall.