The Buzz

By Erika Engle

Wednesday, April 4, 2001

It’s like Bob Dylan said ...

THE times they are a changin' ... to the point that it's time to bring back Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond and Roger Whittaker to the radio airwaves.

"It's going to be a fresh approach to adult standards done locally," said Jeff Coelho, general manager of KUMU AM/FM, and KAHA FM, owned by Washington, D.C.-based Emerald City Radio Partners LLC.

Coelho is shooting for a May 1 start date for the new format once referred to in the industry as MOR, for middle of the road. He said 70 percent of the music the station plays won't change, but after the changeover "you won't hear Celine Dion singing the theme from Titanic."

He said Westwood One, which has been delivering adult standards on AM via satellite had become too modern, and had gotten off target for the station's listeners.

"We'd be real happy super-serving the 50-plus demographic," he said. Coelho said the AM station gets a 1.4 rating share but he anticipates the format adjustment will bump the ratings up to 2 percent of the market, or a 2.0 share. "It'll be a unique sound, as few AM stations are still playing music," he said.

Coelho said KUMU 2, as it's called, will begin its broadcast day at 5:30 a.m. by simulcasting with 94.7 KUMU FM, which features morning personality Lee Kirk, with news and traffic from Jessica Rich.

At 10 a.m. the stations will split, with the AM playing adult standards via computer automation until afternoon, which Coelho is looking to fill. Coelho said the station has options for nights and overnights, such as continuing with computer automation or simulcasting the FM signal.

On the FM side, Coelho plans no changes. Mid-days will be handled by KUMU veteran George Rudolph, afternoons by Don Sullivan, and from 5 to 7 p.m., broadcast old hand Bill Baist. From 7 to midnight the station carries a syndicated show out of Seattle which gets KUMU a 9.4 rating, Coelho said, among 25- to 54-year-old women. Kelly Robins is the overnight personality on KUMU FM. Emerald City Radio Partners owns 14 AM and FM stations in Honolulu, on the Big Island, in Santa Rosa, Calif., and Charleston, S.C.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4757, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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