|Rimshot Radio in the DFW Area
John Callarman, email@example.com
Krum Star - January 2, 2003
Krum now has a newspaper, obviously. Can a radio station be far away?
Well, actually, that's not such a silly question as it seems. The Federal Communications Commission has granted a construction permit to an Oklahoma broadcaster to move one of its stations from its city of license, Healdton, Okla., to its new city of license, Krum, Texas.
When the transmitter and antenna of this station and a few others with construction permits to move closer to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, plus one new station, there will be 49 FM and 31 AM stations vying for listenership in the fifth largest radio market in America.
Broadcast industry observers who write about the media refer to the phenomenon as "rimshot" radio, where stations on the fringes of metropolitan areas broadcast for the larger market. Those writers, for the most part, attribute the trend to deregulation, which allows corporations to own a virtually unlimited number of radio stations and does away with most public service programming requirements.
The Healdton station, KICM on 93.7, now serves the Ardmore market, along with its sister station, KNOR, on 97.7, which was moved recently from Pauls Valley. The 97.7 signal will continue to serve Ardmore/Healdton when the 93.7 signal moves to Krum.
Well, not exactly to Krum. Though Krum is the official city of license, the transmitter and antenna for its station will be in the very southwest corner of Cooke County, about halfway between Slidell and Forestburg. The tower dominates the skyline as one drives northwest on FM 455, and some people in the know about broadcasting tower sites nationwide say it is the tallest broadcasting tower in America.
KICM will not be the only station with an antenna on the tower and a transmitter at its base. Already broadcasting from that tower are KMEO on 96.7, KKDL on 106.7, and KZMP on 101.7, each with a different city of license. KMEO is licensed to Flower Mound, KKDL to Muenster and KZMP to Azle. KMEO and KZMP, by the way, are move-ins, rimshotters, that used to program for the Sherman-Denison area.
Dick Witkovski, the Dallas-based broadcaster who owns KICM, told the Krumudgeon on Tuesday that his station in Bridgeport, KBOC on 98.3, would also be moving to that tower.
Pilot Point and Sanger also are cities of license for FM stations, but about the only time you'll hear those cities mentioned is at the top of the hour, when the legal identification consisting of call letters and city of license must be given. Pilot Point's station, KTCY on 104.9, carries Spanish language programming, with its antenna on a tall tower located three miles west of Collinsville. Sharing that tower are KSOC on 94.5, still licensed to Gainesville; KWRD on 100.7, now licensed to Highland Village after starting out at Bowie; and KESN on 103.3, now licensed to Allen after its owners bought the station in Commerce and moved it to the Collinsville transmitter site.
The stations licensed to Sanger are KTPW on 89.7, a Christian rock station, and KTDK on 104.1, which relays The Ticket, KTCK, the Dallas sports station on 1310 on the AM dial. There's also a station licensed to Howe, KHYI on 95.3, which carries Texas-style country music for Dallas-Fort Worth.
Stations are required to have a studio in the city of license, Witkovski says, and there will be a studio in Krum when the station makes the move sometime in August. Target date is Aug. 1, but it may be a few days later. Witkovski said he used to own the commercial station licensed to Sanger, and there is a studio in Sanger's Radio Shack store that still can link to the transmitter.
Denton at one time was well-served by a locally programmed station, KDNT on 1440, and on FM at 106.1, not to mention the University of North Texas' station, KNTU, on 88.1. KDNT has become KTNO, a Spanish-language religious broadcaster, and has a construction permit to move its transmitter (and its city of license) to University Park to put a better signal into Dallas/Fort Worth. KDNT-FM eventually became KHKS (Kiss-FM), one of more than 1,200 stations owned by Clear Channel, the largest broadcasting chain, and its transmitter was moved some years ago to a forest of towers atop Cedar Hill, south of Dallas. The city of license is still Denton, but the transmitter is more than 40 miles from the county courthouse. Most of the FM and TV stations licensed to Dallas or Fort Worth have transmitters and towers on Cedar Hill.
The other commercial FM station whose city of license is Denton is KHCK on 99.1, (Kick-FM), which airs Tex-Mex music from a tower 10 miles north of Decatur. Even KNTU changed its city of license, in a cooperative move that enabled some other stations to move. Though the transmitter and tower site did not move from its location near the UNT observatory north of town, its city of license somehow became McKinney.
There once were two area stations on 107.9, one at Corsicana, the other at Gainesville. They combined, moved a single transmitter to a tall tower just south of Lake Ray Roberts, and changed the city of license to Lewisville.
On the AM band, two medium-market Texas cities have lost stations to Dallas-Fort Worth. KMKI on 620, now licensed to Plano, and KCAF on 990, now licensed to Farmersville, used to be local or regional stations at Wichita Falls. The oldest station in Waco, which used to be WACO on 1460, has a construction permit to move to Burleson and serve the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Also, the Spanish station on 1600, KRVA, now licensed to Cockrell Hill, used to be McKinney's local station. There's an Oklahoma station that has been authorized to move into the northern part of the Metroplex. KJON, now on 850 at Anadarko, will build a three-tower directional array between Celina and Prosper, and its city of license will be Carrollton. An application for a new AM station on 700 has been filed with the FCC with Wylie as its city of license.
So Krum will have a lot in common with these other cities of license . cities whose names will be mentioned around the top of every hour on a radio station programming for the Metroplex. Local radio it is, but in name only.
By the way, anyone interested in tower sites and broadcasting in the Metroplex can find pictures and narrative on the Internet at Fybush.com. Click onto the "Site of the Week Archives" and scroll down to Dallas/Fort Worth to find the four parts of a trip Scott Fybush of Rochester, N.Y., took to our area in October 2002. The Krum/Flower Mound/Muenster/Azle tower is pictured in Part IV.
John Callarman, Krum TX