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KPLZ Goes Country

Sleepless In Seattle: As reported via Breaking News, just four hours after Hubbard returned Country to KPNW/Seattle, crosstown Lotus Hot AC KPLZ flipped to gold-based Country at 2pm PT as "Hank FM." Pres. James Kalmenson says, “My father Howard Kalmenson, who founded Lotus in 1962, and I are thrilled to introduce a customized version of Hank FM specifically programmed to serve the vibrant Seattle-Tacoma community."

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KPNW's flip to Country this morning at 10am PT, which was reported via Breaking News, and which OM/PD Scott Mahalick assured was not an April Fool's joke, returned "98.9 The Bull" to the market after just 14 months as Adult Alternative (CAT 2/14/23). The station will retain the KPNW call letters. Fitz, who hosted mornings in the market for 14 years, including on then-KNUC from 2019-2021, returns to that role. Says Hubbard/Seattle VP/MM Trip Reeb, "We understand the disappointment that our listeners felt when we made the switch from 98.9 The Bull to Adult Alternative. We want to make things right." Stream here.

Audacy KKWF, which started the day as Seattle's sole Country outlet, has led the market in seven of the last eight months, often notching record high shares in the process. It was the top commercial outlet with a 7.1 share in the February survey (PPM 3/19) and suddenly finds itself in a three-way battle. KPLZ had a 2.1 share last month, while KPNW had a 0.8. Seattle supported three Country FMs from 1994 to 1996 when KMPS, KRPM and KYCW were locked in a format battle until KMPS and KRPM came under common ownership.

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