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GarCo having good air days

Ryan Graff

Glenwood Springs’ KMTS radio station is still No. 1 among Garfield County listeners, but the rest of the market could be looking at some changes.Glenwood Springs’ KMTS radio station is still No. 1 among Garfield County listeners, but the rest of the market could be looking at some changes.Among them: satellite radio’s arrival, Jack FM’s new format and a new transmitter for KMGJ (Magic) in Glenwood Springs. The changes showed themselves in a study by Phoenix-based Radio Index Inc. of 403 people from Aspen to Rifle. Local advertising agencies ReMix Media and Tindall/Jaycox Marketing Inc. commissioned the study with funds from local radio stations. The numerical representation in the study is complicated. It doesn’t represent a percentage exactly, but is a combination of listener preference and time spent listening. For example, a score of 4.8 means that an advertiser could reach 4.8 percent of people listening to radio, in a single 15-minute block, by advertising on a particular station, said Dave Johnson, ReMix’s owner.In breakout numbers that included only markets from Carbondale to Rifle, XM and Sirius scored 2.2 and 2.8, respectively.Satellite radio has more of a market penetration in Garfield County than in any other market Radio Index has studied, Johnson said. Though Johnson didn’t have a definitive explanation, he did venture a guess. “If you take Aspen to Rifle, there’s some people here that like the latest and greatest,” he said. Satellite radio’s scores paled in comparison to those of other stations. Leader KMTS, for example, scored 12.8, followed by KRVG, with 10. But satellite also beat out some traditional radio stations in Garfield County, including KNFO, KSNO and KOA. Though satellite showed up in Radio Index’s Garfield County study for the first time, local radio stations didn’t seem worried. People still want to hear local news and weather on the radio, said Gabe Chenoweth, general manger of KMTS. “It’s never going to be cost effective for satellites to broadcast information about western, rural Colorado,” he said. In major markets, satellites broadcasting news may be more effective. New variety station Jack FM, formerly adult contemporary station Choice FM, made a splash.Jack scored 9.4 in the ReMix survey. Though no previous comparison numbers for Jack are available, feedback at Jack has been positive. “We have listeners all over the coverage area that think it’s the best change to happen to radio in 20 years,” said Steve Wodlinger, mountain director for Jack’s parent company NRC Broadcasting. In addition to the changes with satellite and Jack, one more change could be on the horizon. When ReMix commissioned the study, Grand Junction-based Magic’s signal didn’t reach farther than Rifle. Even with the limited geographic region, Magic ranked fourth, with a score of 8. “A good majority of kids in Rifle are listening to them,” Johnson said. The station’s listener base could grow with a new translator installed in Glenwood since the study, he said. The changes aren’t likely to turn Garfield County radio on its head, however, Chenoweth said. “There are always little changes that are going on,” he said.


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