Tuesday at 7 pm, non-commercial 90.9 KTBG-FM launched a new Indie Rock format in Kansas City. The new “Bridge” represents a new breed of public radio music stations and was built from the ground up by PD Jon Hart and his team. It’s been my pleasure to consult and assist on the construction of yet another new format for public radio. The new station is made possible with the purchase of KTBG-FM by KCPT-TV in Kansas City, which moved the tower and the facility into market 34 from its previous home in Warrensburg, MO, some 60 miles away. KCPT-TV GM Kliff Kuehl deserves major kudos for purchasing KTBG and investing in the move-in to Kansas City. Yesterday was a soft launch, with local air talent coming on air January 6. For more background on the purchase and move-in, click here.
The new Bridge is taking a leap into new music discovery with a heavy dose of Indie Rock currents, local music and eclectic library tracks. This is not your father’s Triple A format. Instead, the library is much newer and focused on the last few years, the currents are spinning fast and heavy, local music is prominent and the surprises are aplenty. You can stream the new format here: http://kclocal909.org/.
Listeners in KC now have an authentic new music discovery station without all the smoke and mirrors that define commercial competition. The best local bands in KC now have a home on the radio. Local venues and clubs now have a partner to promote the local music scene as well as national touring acts. Local arts, culture and charitable organizations now have a vital broadcast partner to benefit all of Kansas City. KTBG’s new video in-studio performance rooms will be a model for others to follow.
On the heels of the re-launch of WFUV-FM in New York in October as “New York’s Music Discovery,” pubradio contemporary music stations with 24/7 formats are taking major leaps forward in programming strategy and execution. Following the lead of already successful Indie Rock and Triple A stations KCMP “The Current” in Minneapolis, WYMS “RadioMilwaukee,” KKXT in Dallas and WXPN in Philadelphia, “The Bridge” in particular is making a large generational leap in its commitment to a younger target audience. Public radio is now filling significant format voids in major markets around the country, and it’s been my pleasure to work with all of these stations.
Long live “The Bridge” in Kansas City! And, long live new music formats appealing to younger audience on public radio! This is just the beginning of what promises to be a continuing evolution of 24/7 contemporary music stations on public radio that appeal to the masses.