Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Catholic Group Converts Oklahoma City Country Music Station

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Catholic Group Converts Oklahoma City Country Music Station

Article excerpt

The country music format of KKNG-FM radio has been converted to Christ the King talk show programming as part of the Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting Network, company officials confirmed.

WPA Radio LLC, which purchased KKNG from Tyler Media last year, has agreed to lease station airtime 24 hours a day to the nonprofit Catholic group for at least a year, WPA General Manager Mike Miller said.

The company also owns KTLR-AM, which Catholic Broadcasting used for its shows the last few years. But that station was limited to daylight broadcasting times under Federal Communications Commission rules, Oklahoma Catholic Broadcasting President Jeff Finnell said, and public support for Christian talk shows supported program expansion. KKNG's new material is being simultaneously broadcast on both stations during the AM-FM transition. KKNG switched over at the end of February.

"I heard a funny story over the weekend about some guy who had always listened to the country-western music format," Finnell said. "He was listening to his favorite song on the radio when he got out of his truck at 8 o'clock on Feb. 28 to open a gate on his property. By the time he got back to his truck, he was listening to the holy rosary.

"He didn't know what was going on and thought it was a message from God to him specifically," Finnell said. "And, you know, maybe it was."

Country music on KKNG wasn't doing well, Miller said. Younger listeners were being drawn to KJKE-FM for country and the market pie was being sliced too thinly, he said. The Catholic programming niche has less competition.

According to the Arbitron media data company, KKNG's country music format in the Oklahoma City area was ranked second-to-last for listeners over the last year. KKNG had an average AQH rating of 1.4, representing the number of people listening to a particular station for at least five minutes during a 15-minute period compared with the rest of the market. …

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