Will The Virus infect the X?Don @ IdahoRadioNews | September 5, 2009
Earlier this week, more than 100 Idaho Radio News voters weighed in on the relaunch of KQLZ. In one poll, we asked what format everyone though WOULD launch – and country was the overwhelming answer.
Then for some reason we also asked what format you actually wanted to hear – and modern rock took the day. So I guess everyone gets some satisfaction.
After about three hours of “99.1 The Bronco,” Impact segued to The Virus – which surprised many, but in hindsight the group has a pattern of doing this… so maybe it should not have.
Let’s look at the potential impact of the move. The first and most obvious station in the cross-hairs is KQXR/100.3 The X – which is just up the dial and has similar (for now) call letters to The Virus. KQLZ is making noise about bringing alternative music “back” to the Treasure Valley. I could try and formulate a long in-depth look at the music – but KQLZ’s mix seems to be a bit less hard core. I’ll let you listen and decide for yourself beyond that.
The X has never really seen a serious threat – and with nearly 15 years playing some form of new rock, is the heritage player.
Impact also appears to be using The Virus to put pressure on other competitors to boost its other properties. While KQLZ has no overlap with KWYD/Wild 101 – it has quite a bit of overlap with KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM and KZMG/Magic 93.1. If The Virus can take even a small portion of audience from these stations, it could help increase Wild’s lead over the other pop stations.
The Virus also could take some listeners from KJOT and KKGL/96.9 The Eagle – and that might give KSRV/96.1 Bob FM better positioning among rock stations.
Will this work? Time will tell. The 99.1 frequency has been very unstable over the past decade and has seen very little success. The best number I have for 99.1 is fall 1998, when The Music Monster scored a 3.8 12+ rating, before quickly falling back to a 1.9. The frequency has not broken the 2.0 barrier since then.
The X has seen a general downward trend, with the days of 7.0+ ratings long gone. However, the latest series of moves on the station have moved the needle from a low of 3.1 back to a respectable 4.6 this spring.