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It's (almost) time to adjust those radio presets

KFMA AND CALIENTE TO SWAP SIGNALS

The Lotus Communications Group has had good ratings success with its three Tucson FM signals, but the company thinks there's room for improvement with two of its stations. As a result, starting March 21, new-rock format KFMA 92.1/101.3 FM will broadcast at 102.1 FM. La Caliente KCMT FM will leave the 102.1 frequency for KFMA's current slot at 92.1 and 101.3.

The move is about signal penetration and a recognition, based on Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) diary results, of where the bulk of the stations' listeners are located. According to Lotus Tucson GM Steve Groesbeck, the diaries say KFMA has strong listenership in Marana and Oro Valley, but the 92.1 frequency is weaker in that area than it is in the southern portion of the city. Meanwhile, 102.1 has much better signal strength in Marana and Oro Valley.

"We've been with Caliente for 12 years now, and the signal has always been a bit soft in the south part of the city, which is where most of our diary listeners fall," Groesbeck said. "After we looked at a bunch of options we realized there was nothing we could do with the signal because we're protecting the signal out of Mexico (meaning 102.1's strong signal is directional and has better strength and range pointing north), but we did an engineering study, and after a review we decided it was better for both stations in reaching their respective target audiences. The signals kind of reverse. Almost 80 percent of the KFMA respondents come from Marana and Oro Valley, where the signal is weaker."

For La Caliente, the market leader among Spanish-language stations, the overwhelming majority of those diaries are geographically concentrated.

"Originally with Caliente we thought the Hispanic population was more diverse, but with the diary responders, 77.8 percent come from the south," Groesbeck said. "This was a no-brainer. The goal is to strengthen both, and we think this will do that."

HANSEN LASHES OUT AT MORALES' MEDIA WATCH COMMENT

In last week's Media Watch, which featured the efforts of Javier and Andy Morales' combined website venture, allsportstucson.com, Andy Morales made a reference to his coverage of high school sports being lifted, without attribution, by other media outlets. He singled out Greg Hansen's Sunday Notes column, which runs in the Arizona Daily Star.

"I grew up here, so when I see a kid with the last name of Nehls who's playing at Foothills, I can go up and say, 'Is your dad (former UA basketball player) Joe Nehls?' When I see a girl named Parker I can ask, 'Is your dad (former UA football and NFL player) Glenn Parker?' And I'll write about that. And then after I've written about it and posted it online, I'll see it in (Greg Hansen's) Sunday Notes, which is always amusing to me."

Hansen didn't take very kindly to Morales' assertion.

"Nothing could be more ludicrous than me (or anyone at the Star) picking up any sort of material from him," Hansen said via email. "I know he did blogs for the old Citizen site, but if I read even two of them over the years that's a high estimate."

More by John Schuster

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