R&R/Friday, April 29, 1983
   Continued from Page 22
(KSLQ, KXOK and WMET/Chicago). On weekends it's Mike Jeffries (KSLQ and KADI), and the most recent staff addition is weekender Bobby Day from KWK, who also has a long-running local TV show.
                    Record Store Impact
     Naturally, the record companies were thrilled that a hit-oriented radio station was back in the market, but Ed told me of one record store in particular that saw immediate reaction. "Streetside Records commented to us that when we add records, they can tell within two weeks if it's going to be a hit. The biggest problem we have is that many outlets are racked by sources outside the market, and that serves as a sense of frustration.
     "Retail sales are very important as well as some key stations on a national basis. We also pay close attention to MTV. From the beginning, vise used the phrase 'in touch' in conjunction with our request lines. From day one we took requests as serious input, so St. Louis literally told us what they wanted to hear. Every request is logged. The most important factor is that the record sounds like KHTR, or it doesn't get on the air," Ed stressed.

                    Advertiser Reaction
     St. Louis is a very conservative town, and Missouri is known as the "Show Me State." What about advertisers and their reactions to the format? Tim replied, "Had we done this on our own, or been the first to try this, then I'm not sure what advertiser reaction would have been. But since some of our own stations broke the ground for us, the opposite took place. The success of WBBM-FM and WCAU-FM caused the agencies to take a quick look, and the early monthlies from Birch confirmed we were on the right track. Our rates are higher now than when we were A/C and we carry more inventory on a consistent basis than before."
     Ed told me that commercials on the station are limited to a maximum of nine units and only three stops an hour. "We do our promotional announcements outside of stop sets, which allows our jocks the freedom to get involved with what's going on and at the same time have more fun with station content."
     The lineup is very familiar to St. Louis, with the exceptions of morning man Bob Scott, who came from WKRC/Cincinnati and afternoon personality John Frost from WHYT/Detroit.   Middays is Kevin McCarthy (ex-KSLQ, KS94 and KADI), nights features K.C. Van Allen (KADI, KXOK), and all-nights is Craig Roberts

Remember when radio stations had a representative at each high school? Well, KHTR calls them "ambassadors," as Ed explained. "We're on the streets every day, especially at the schools. We have an ambassadors program at each high school. One person is our rep, who helps us direct the flow of station information into the school and information about the school back to the station.
     "We have also brought a St. Louis legend, Bob Kuban (who had a hit in the mid-60s called "The Cheater"), back into the limelight. He'll be leading the `Hit Radio Band' which will be all over town at different parks and events. We've also been involved with the March of Dimes `Walk America,' and later this summer will participate in the Like Cola `Run For Youth.' We're making every effort to get out and mingle. KHTR is going to be everywhere."
                        Not A Fad Format
     Based on the rumored switch of Doubleday's KPKE, Denver from AOR to CHR, I asked Ed about his feelings regarding a similar switch by KWK or any other St. Louis station to CHR. "Personally, I welcome competition. When you're in a footrace and you look over your shoulder, then you're going to be caught. The best thing we can do is remain true to our purpose and focus . . . this will cause us to evolve naturally. We have to continue to make the market react to us."
     Concluding our conversation, I asked Ed if he thought the new trend toward CHR was just another fad or simply broadcasters rediscovering a format that works when properly executed. "I don't think this is just a fad we're going through right now. Are Y100, Q105, or Z93 just a fad? Hardly. They've done nothing but play the hits irk their markets for years while everyone else got off base.
     "These are the stations that watched everyone else change while they remained on course, just as we plan to do.  Fortunately, today's music has helped us accomplish this since it's become so exciting." Ed likened it to the music around 1963, just prior to the Beatles.  He then echoed a bit of formatic philosophy which seems to be gaining ground among CHR programmers.  "We don't have to be everyone's favorite station to win, but with a high cume and some brand loyalty we can be alot of people's second favorite and come out number one."

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