Oahu gets new FM station; Maui rock station rolls down the dial
OAHU has a new FM radio station, KORL-FM 101.1, which signed on at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The mainstay of the station will be Japanese-language programming mixed with Hawaiian music from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, provided by Ikuko Tomita's LTN Hawaii Ltd.
She broadcast her first show on KORL-FM, also simulcast on sister station KORL-AM 1180, live from the Pacific Beach Hotel.
The AM signal was clearer than the FM signal, but that will be rapidly rectified by engineer Kevin Douglas, said Jim Carroll, business manager for Kauai-based Hochman Hawaii-Three Inc., which owns the station.
Tomita was a director of Hawaii-based International Communications Corp., the now-defunct company that owned KJPN-AM 940 starting in 1994. She has been associated with Japanese-language programming on other stations, branded as Radio K-Japan, since KJPN was sold in 2002.
KORL-FM will play smooth jazz when the K-Japan programming is not on the air and will discontinue the AM simulcast after about a week, Carroll said.
The live broadcast yesterday morning was the culmination of a $520,000 deal in which Maui-based Pacific Radio Group Inc. agreed to swap the frequency of KLHI-FM 101.1 on Oahu for Hochman's then-unbuilt KORL-FM 92.5 on Maui, though each company was to keep its call letters.
Pacific Radio avoided having a new competitor move into its market and got $520K, while Hochman got 101.1 MHz, Oahu's last full-power, 100,000-watt FM allotment, President George Hochman said at the time.
MEANWHILE back on Maui, KLHI began airing "make the switch" promotional announcements about two weeks ago, to alert listeners to the frequency swap, said President Chuck Bergson.
It hired an afternoon-drive guy by the name of Jo Jo -- and a rebranded KLHI-FM 92.5 signed on at midnight Friday, Bergson said.
Now called X-ninety-two-five, "where Maui rocks," the station is having fun with the letter "x," giving away XBox video game consoles, promoting listener blogs called X-files and something called triple-x fantasy, but it shouldn't put anyone's knickers in a knot.
"It's just an attention grabber," involving a triple-play of songs, Bergson chuckled.
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