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 Hard-rock station KUFO shut down

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PostSubject: Hard-rock station KUFO shut down   Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:09 pm

KUFO 101.1, a hard-rock format station based in Portland, has been replaced by a simulcast of KXL 750 AM, which has a news and conservative talk radio format. Both are owned by the Portland-based Alpha Broadcasting.

Alpha Broadcasting sent out a press release about 9 a.m. Tuesday that read, in part, "Newsradio 750 KXL is taking its news, information and talk shows to the FM dial effective immediately, now as a simulcast on 101.1FM. As a result, KXL-AM/FM will now deliver news and information ... utilizing the powerful signal at 101.1FM."

KUFO was not mentioned in the press release, and on Tuesday, there was no evidence of the station on Alpha Broadcasting's website. The group acquired KXL and KUFO in September 2009, said Brian Jennings, the company's director of talk programming.

The move, Jennings said, was designed to "protect the brand" of KXL.

"There's been a movement in the last 10 years, all across AM radio, where AM radio stations have chosen to put an FM radio signal with their AM signal," he said. "More than 80 percent of Americans are listening to FM radio, not AM radio."

He said that although KXL has sometimes been among the top 5 stations in the Portland market, he believes the jump to FM will put them there consistently.

"I fully expect to be top five in prime time," he said. Radio prime time, also known as drive time, happens in the morning and afternoon when people are commuting.

He said that the decision to replace KUFO was a "pure, simple business decision," and that they did not consider swapping the stations' frequencies because music does not work well with the AM format.

He could not say whether KUFO would continue on in another iteration.

"I can't address that because I'm not a music programming director, I'm a talk programming director," he said.

The move prompted an outpouring of anger from KUFO fans, many of whom took to Facebook to express their displeasure.

"Bring back kufo and get the hell out of portland," was one of the calmer (and printable) posts on KXL's fan page.

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