104.1 FM Ames/Des Moines Resurrects “EZ” as KOEZ

October 18, 2019

My friend Jon Ellis reports on Northpine this morning that Saga Communications’ KMYR has changed call letters to KOEZ. This corresponds with a positioning change from “More 104.1” to “104.1 EZ FM.” Ironically enough, this brings 104.1 back to the 1980s when they were KEZT “EZ104”, playing a Beautiful Music format, aka “A Softer Place to Be.”

I’m curious as to why Saga didn’t just resurrect the KEZT call letters? Because they were used for so many years in the Ames/Des Moines market, I’m guessing there would be immediate name recognition. In any case, 104.1 has come full circle as KOEZ, now playing lighter music for easier listening.

By the way, the KOEZ call letters were last used by 92.3 Newton/Wichita, Kansas. They gave up the calls in 2000 after flipping to Adult Contemporary as KMXW “Mix 92.3”

Happy National CB Radio Day aka “10-4 Day”

October 4, 2019

I’ll bet you didn’t know October 4th was a national holiday! It is, thanks to former President of the United States Jimmy Carter. On October 2, 1978, President Carter proclaimed this date to be forever known as “10-4 Day” by issuing the following statement:

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Citizens Band radio. CB is now a widely used emergency communications system. It helps keep motorists safe on our Nation’s highways by providing faster notification of highway accidents, increased detection of reckless driving, and more information to reduce traffic delays. The CB is also effective in emergencies unrelated to motor vehicles. By allowing for citizens’ participation in public safety, we greatly enhance that safety.

The growth of CB use in recent years is extraordinary. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now issued nearly 14 million licenses. More than 20 million Americans have used a CB radio at one time or another.

While CB is primarily for emergency use, the non-emergency channels bring enjoyment and companionship to millions of Americans, including my own family.

In recognition of the fine service provided by Citizens Band radio, I join with CB organizations across the country in celebrating ’10-4 Day’, October 4, 1978.”

If you’re lucky enough to still own functioning CB radio equipment, get on-the-air today and make some contacts. You never know who you’ll find out there, just waiting to talk to you on 27Mhz. Happy 10-4 Day, fellow Radio Geeks!

Rewound Radio WOR-FM 98.7 Labor Day Weekend Special

August 28, 2019

Leave it to Allan Sniffen to come up with another great Rewound Radio special for Labor Day weekend! As you may recall, Rewound Radio brought us a full July 4th weekend of Dan Ingram airchecks. Not to mention the WABC Memorial Day weekend special!

For Labor Day, Allan is presenting the glory days of WOR FM Stereo in New York City. “The Big Town Sound” on 98.7. Original WOR-FM shows from 1967 to 1971. You’ll hear the original WOR DJ’s, music, and the distinct sound of Drake/Chenault Top 40 Radio in the 1960s and 70s. This special presentation lasts 3 full days: Saturday, Sunday, and Labor Day Monday. Don’t miss Rewound Radio’s Labor Day weekend tribute to WOR-FM!

High School Football Games = AM DX Opportunities

August 23, 2019

It’s that time of year again! The 2019 high school football season has begun. Friday night lights, cheerleaders, popcorn, and, all too often, AM radio stations that stay on their daytime power/directional pattern in order to broadcast the games.

I call these “football emergencies.” Many AM stations which are required to drastically reduce power and/or use a restrictive directional pattern at night will conveniently “forget” to drop to their required after sunset parameters when broadcasting play-by-play of local sporting events. The reason is so that more listeners (and advertisers) can receive the games clearly. Problem is, this is a blatant violation of FCC rules. The FCC does allow AM stations to operate their daytime facilities during bonafide emergencies. These include earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and floods. Some program directors and general managers seem to believe this rule also applies to high school football games.

A quick scan through the AM dial on an autumn Friday night reveals several potential violators. In the age of the Internet, it’s pretty easy to determine who you should and should not be hearing from your location. Once you’ve made a positive ID on the station, check their coverage map at radio-locator.com. If you’re hearing a station from 200 miles away that is licensed for 170 watts nighttime and you’re in their directional null, it’s a pretty good bet they’re not operating within their night parameters! To confirm, try to receive this same station on a different evening. My guess is that you won’t hear a trace of them.

Since we’re not FCC enforcement agents, we might as well turn lemons into lemonade. I consider these “football emergencies” to be great DXing opportunities. This is your chance to log stations which would otherwise be impossible from your location. It’s usually very easy to identify stations running local ball games since the towns will be mentioned frequently. Also, these games tend to be heavily sponsored by local merchants. Small town advertisers almost always include their locations in their spots. “Joe Blow’s Construction, located at 123 Main Street in Anytown. Joe Blow’s Construction. Call them today at 666-3333. Joe Blow’s Construction, for all your construction needs.” These ads stick out of the pile like a sore thumb.

Let us know what you’re hearing during these “football emergencies.” Happy DX’ing!

Got A Remote Today? Watch out for the Prize Pigs!

August 5, 2019

Let’s talk about PRIZE PIGS! Every station had ’em, but some were worse than others.

May, 1991. I had just moved to Florida and needed a gig. Was hired to do 7-Midnight at a country station in Ocala. Nearly every week, I had a Saturday afternoon remote.

The station’s “hook” in getting people to come to the remotes was customized T-shirts. Our logo appeared on the front with the sponsor’s logo was on the back. It was a great promotional idea except for one small problem: the PRIZE PIGS!

There was a small but determined group of pests who would show up first at EVERY remote. These enterprising folks always arrived early, just to make sure they got their share. They all demanded shirts, of course. One for Mr. Redneck, one for Mrs. Redneck, and one for each of the 6 kids.

And FOOD! OMG! If you had ANY type of free food at the remotes, these people would be on you like flies on you-know-what. At one of my events, Domino’s had co-sponsorship and gave us 15 large pizzas, designed to last the duration of the remote. They were gone in 15 minutes!

Besides taking all the shirts and eating every morsel of food, the presence of these prize pigs was a deterrent to actual customers showing up at the remotes. Their appearance left much to be desired. As a bonus, they were severely lacking in personal hygiene skills. That unbeatable combination of body odor, stale cigarette smoke, and last night’s beer was always enjoyable when standing in close proximity. Especially in the hot Florida sun.

We eventually implemented an “18 and over” rule and extended our “one winner every 30 days” limitation to remote shirts. The piggies would show up anyway, thinking they could pester us into giving them a shirt. Or, they thought we wouldn’t remember their faces from the previous 9,652 remotes they attended.

Prize pigs are everywhere. But I’m tellin’ ya, nothing beats country listeners in North Florida for tenacity, consistency, and determination!