After 3 years, KUPA-AM prepares a resurrection


POSTED: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The long-dark KUPA-AM 1370 will spring back to life March 15 with Fox Sports Radio programming from the mainland.

To be branded Fox Sports Radio 1370, its weekday lineup will include the “;Jim Rome Show”; from 6 to 9 a.m., the “;Dan Patrick Show”; from 9 a.m. to noon (a rebroadcast of the original 3-6 a.m. airing), “;Myers & Hartman”; from noon to 1 p.m., “;Petros & Money”; from 1 to 4 p.m., “;Tony Bruno”; from 4 to 7 p.m., “;JT 'The Brick'”; from 7 p.m. to midnight and the “;Stephen A. Smith Show”; from midnight to 3 a.m. KUPA also will air Fox Sports Radio's entire weekend lineup.

“;It's such a strong lineup,”; said General Manager T.J. Malievsky, longtime Hawaii broadcaster.

“;Later, we'll do more local (programming),”; and he plans to add staff but is scouting for a “;highly visible”; location for studios and offices, facilities required by the Federal Communications Commission.

“;I'm going to take my time and find street frontage, and put an office in there so we can really stand out. ... I'm not in a hurry.”;

However, he has lined up a couple of sponsors so far and will have local commercials airing when the station comes back to life. The spots can be added to the broadcast stream remotely, he said. Malievsky has most recently been working for Indiana-based LeSEA Broadcasting Network's KWHE-TV as well as its international operations.

KUPA is licensed to Broadcasting Corporation of America, owned by Utah-based Nupetco Associates LLC, led by Neuman C. Petty and several family members. Malievsky got the station a long-term lease for a tower site in Mililani at the behest of the owners, who have now retained him to serve as general manager.

The station went on the air with Fox Sports Radio about three years ago under then-operator Nathan Drage, but after a few months it lost its affiliation, its transmitter site and its ability to be on the air — and has been off the air since, with repeated requests to the FCC to remain dark.

KUPA has not had a consistent on-air presence since Utah-based Diamond Broadcasting Corp. bought what was then KIFO-AM 1380 from Hawaii Public Radio in 2002. Its frequency changed shortly thereafter.

The big dog in Hawaii sports radio is KKEA-AM 1420, branded as ESPN 1420, featuring a mix of local and national ESPN sports-talk and sports event broadcasts.

General Manager Randal Ikeda met Malievsky for the first time yesterday and is ready for the competition.

“;We never saw them as leaving,”; he said.

National radio host Jim Rome had a show on KKEA for a time, “;but we got too many complaints,”; Ikeda said.

“;He appeals to a younger male audience. We tend to skew older, more conservative.”;

He is confident morning man Bobby Curran and fellow local hosts, including Josh Pacheco, Chris Hart and Gary Dickman, have little to fear.

“;We believe that local content will always resonate well with the Hawaii audience — actually, any audience,”; Ikeda said.

“;National content, while it can be excellent, typically doesn't do as well.”;


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).