Monday, July 17, 2017


Phoenix has always been a challenging place to establish a new noncommercial station. The last new noncom voice that was added to the market was KBAQ as a partnership between KJZZ and Arizona State University roughly 15 years ago.  

 But now a move by Latin Pop noncom KNAI might make 88.3 FM available to new owners.

This post is based on facts but my conclusion is wishful thinking. Because what I am suggesting is actually possible, I am going to send a copy of this story to Jim Paluzzi, Bill Shedd and Jon Hoban at KJZZ/KBAQ to let them know what I am thinking. 

As you might know, the Cesar Chavez Foundation has successfully operated KNAI 88.3 FM for the past two decades. According to estimates provided by Nielsen Audio, KNAI has more weekly listeners than any other subscribing noncom station in the market. However KNAI shares 88.3 with end-times ministry Family Stations.

The Chaves Foundation owns many stations in the western US
Last Friday, Radio Insight reported [link] that the Chavez Foundation is planning on converting KNAI into a commercial station via their purchase of now-silent FM translator K270BZ, 101.9 FM.The plan is that 101.9 FM will repeat KNAI-AM.

The sale has yet to be filed with the FCC.

Harold Camping, religious huckster
This will open up 88.3 FM full-time for other sharing station KPHF, owned by Family Radio. If you have been following station transactions in recent years, you know that Family has been selling stations ever since founder Harold Egbert Camping predicted the end of the world in 2011. The over-hyped apocalypse theory was part of a fundraising effort by Camping. It pissed off Family’s faithful and Camping died shortly thereafter. Family Stations has been in a downward spiral ever since.

Family already owns a Phoenix FM translator at 88.9 FM that repeats Family’s flagship station in San Francisco.  So, they might want to make a deal.

Bill Compton

Phoenix would be a terrific market for a noncom Triple A. 

Not only does it a verdant local music scene, there is a tradition of progressive rock radio since the legendary Bill Compton established KDKB in the late 1960s. 

So, maybe something good will happen in the Valley of the Sun.

Both KJZZ and KBAQ did well in the June 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM estimates.   

KBAQ was increased its weekly cumulative listeners by 10% compared to June 2016.


WAMU continues its news dominance in the nation’s capitol. 

Not only did the number of estimated weekly listeners rise by 7% above June 2016, WAMU is the top station in the market in average-quarter-hour (AQH) share. In June 2017 WAMU had an AQH of 9.3%, again topping commercial giant WTOP (8.7%).

In Boston, the epic battle between WBUR and WGBH continues with both stations adding weekly listeners since June 2016. 

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