Mixed Reviews on KZPS Format Change

After posting about how much I liked the new format over at KZPS 92.5, I wake up this morning to find that I might be in the minority. Media types are all abuzz over the lack of traditional advertising spots which is unique and groundbreaking in the radio business. FMQB which covers media trends says:

Clear Channel unveiled a new format today in Dallas, as Classic Rock KZPS flipped to “Lone Star 92.5.” After being tried out as an HD-2 side channel, the new format mixes “outlaw” Country with Southern Rock and Alt-Country music. The Lone Star format was created by programmer Duane Doherty, who says, “All we had on the HD-2 channel was the music and the response was incredible. In a sense, we’re recapturing the early days of FM – when your jock was a trusted guide through what was new and important. Lone Star is the music we love in Dallas without the hype.”

Also, Lone Star 92.5 will not air traditional spots. Instead, the station will have “sponsors” whose content will be integrated in throughout the hour. “There’s a credibility and an authenticity of partnering with sponsors who share our passion for this music,” said Kelly Kibler, director of sales for CC Radio/Dallas. “We’ll only have one airline, one cellular carrier, one beer. This is about sharing an experience and a commitment to the incredible creativity of these artists. To do that honestly and well, you have to step up. Traditional commercials are fine for many radio formats, they just didn’t work here.”

Lone Star 92.5 will feature such artists as ZZ Top, The Old 97’s, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and of course, Willie Nelson. In fact, the Red Headed Stranger will also serve as the voice of mcbone_8.jpgthe station.

Bo Roberts (left) nuzzles with Mavs owner, Mark Cuban at his previous radio gig. 

 For those concerned about the fate of the inexplicably popular Bo Roberts & Long Jim White morning show, fear not. MediaWeek reports that they will be staying on board:

The station’s line-up will include current morning men Bo & Jim and former night guy Jon Dillon will now handle middays. For afternoons, Redbeard, the longtime Dallas radio personality is coming out of retirement and his syndicated “In The Studio” show will continue to run on the station. Cousin Deke, the station’s imaging director, will handle nights.

With the format flip and restructuring, midday host Cindy Skull and afternoon driver Crash exit.

Listener feedback has been decidedly unkind.  Commenters on Steve Blow’s entry in the DaMN metro blog had this to say:

Local rock radio is dead. It’s run by idiots and programmed by people even worse than that. -Chuck
Took 3 songs this morning for me to yank the station off my presets. – Don

And Bob commenting on this blog:

…I think the new format bites and wherever Bo and Jim end up is where you’ll find my staion [sic] knob.
Signed,
One very upset listener

Ouch. Strong words from a Bo & Jim lover. Bob, looks like your knob will be hanging at 92.5 for awhile longer. I was more than a little surprised to hear that Bo would be held over, the website promised no yappy DJs, so we’ll have to wait until the official launch on April 30th to see how much actual music gets played during morning drive time and how much time is spent making prank phone calls that haven’t been funny since the 500th time they did it back in 1982.

Getting back to the music, here’s an hour from yesterday’s playlist:

ZZ Top “Heard It On The X”
Willie Nelson “Ten With A Two”
Allman Brothers “Blue Sky”
Lynyrd Skynyrd “I Know A Little”
Old 97’s “Barrier Reef”
John Mellencamp “Rain On The Scarecrow”
Bob Dylan “Someday Baby”
Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues”
Molly Hatchet “Gator Country”
Arc Angels “Living In A Dream”
Pat Green “Take Me Out To A Dancehall”
Stevie Ray Vaughan “Pride And Joy”
Jimmy Buffett “Hello Texas”
Drive-By Truckers “Let There Be Rock”
Ian Moore “Nothing”
Hank Williams Jr. “Family Tradition”

Sounds pretty salty to me. If they can keep that kind of content, keep the promise of no commercial interruptions (one airline, one phone company, one beer…sounds like a George Thorogood song) and keep Bo Roberts quiet for 5 minutes at a time they have a chance to change commercial FM radio for the better.

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31 thoughts on “Mixed Reviews on KZPS Format Change

  1. John Lehman April 25, 2007 / 5:41 am

    You sir are the idiot… People who grew up on classic rock mostly do not like country… this format sux so bad i was nearly in tears when i heard it the other day! my morning commute revolved around the freakin’ fool file. I hate you corporate schmucks who think they know what people like. Go back to HD!

  2. semitough April 25, 2007 / 5:55 am

    Thanks for coming out John! Technically the post was about what I like. Pointing out that others didn’t agree. Back when I listened to this music it wasn’t classic yet. It was simply rock & roll and George Jones had a place in my box of 8 track tapes right alongside Jethro Tull. So don’t preach to me about what people who grew up on classic rock like or don’t like. And don’t be a crybaby. Man up.

  3. Thomas Lauer April 28, 2007 / 5:28 am

    How very interesting. Thank God I keep an open mind….I eagerly await the totality of this change from the final decision on play material to the commercial free concept and the DJ’s. I am a huge fan of Bo, Jim and Randy…..even though I hardly ever get to hear them anymore, but it is like this: I am happy and content if I know they are close and available….and that is what counts. Bo, Jim, Randy: You still rock, you always will rock, and this Navarro, Ellis, Kaufman and Henderson County Area feels your heartbeats and knows you are with us…..and we are with you. Besides, how bad can it get with BioWillie, with his pot smoking, down home brand of tax evasion and outdoor parties, that kind of stuff does make for great entertainment at times. Maybe this is a good thing….and if not, we will always love our boys and still do. Rock on Bo, Jim and Randy….don’t break the team up anymore, it took too long to get the team together. This has to be better than the old Clear Channel days when everyone would wander around the stations thinking “Ground control to Major Tom”.

  4. semitough April 28, 2007 / 6:04 am

    That was beautiful.

    Henderson County rocks.

  5. Classic Rock Lover April 28, 2007 / 9:36 pm

    I don’t care what semitough says. If I wanted to listen to country I would have a country station saved on my pre-sets. Bring back the classic rock. You are forcing me to listen to the Bone. I don’t like the Bone, but you are giving me no choice.

  6. Reb May 4, 2007 / 7:32 am

    Growing up in a small town in Texas in the late 60’s and 70’s I was exposed to alot of the older country classics that are being played on Lonestar.

    I have always considered myself a rocker, my first album being Aerosmith, my concerts being Pantera. And I never could relate to the nashville country scene and still dont to this day, but I was able to identify with Waylon, Willie, Haggard, the Outlaws and Skynyrd.

    I am not surprised that alot of people are not going to understand this format or the concept behind it because its not just music but also a mixture of music, culture and one identifying themself with those texas roots.

    Oh I will definately miss Cindy Scull as I enjoyed listening to her midday show and if and when she appears in another station, I am definately going to check her out. Bo and Jim are still here.

    If you really listen to this new format, some of the music really has a guitar attack to it, particulary groups like Drive-By Truckers.
    (Don’t scoff, just check it out) You also have an opportunity to check out songs from an era that had a rebel theme to a Texans way of living. This is also good exposure to get the Texas music scene on the map.

    For now, I am going to give LONESTAR 92.5 a chance to see where it goes.

  7. semitough May 4, 2007 / 8:39 am

    Reb – You win the award for most rationale comment.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Darrell May 5, 2007 / 12:30 am

    As long as Cindy Skull is gone, I’M HAPPY!
    Hate the format though.

  9. Darrell May 7, 2007 / 6:12 am

    Ok, I shot my mouth off before I gave it a chance. I’m kinda liking the format now.
    (I’m still happy about the other thing though.)

  10. Chris May 10, 2007 / 8:18 pm

    Listen up, people. You are no longer free to settle down and get comfortable with a radio station. Your favorite station WILL go away the very moment it stops being a cash cow. End of story. Don’t like it? Too bad. You’re dealing with suits in other parts of the country who couldn’t care less what kind of music is on the radio in a given area. It’s all about selling ads/sponsorships. No more local programming directors. No more local anything. Just the illusion thereof. FM radio is dead. Anyone have thoughts or experience with satellite? As much as I don’t want to pay for radio, I just might.

  11. semitough May 11, 2007 / 11:55 am

    Chris – Satellite is an option and like you, I didn’t think I’d ever pay for radio either. About 4 years ago I got an XM receiver for Christmas. I’ve been hooked ever since. Late last year we switched to Sirius (nothing to do with XM programming, the new car came equipped) and it is good too. If you like classic rock, both services have multiple channels with varying types of programming for different tastes. The only thing I saw with XM was an increasing number of “commercial” stations. Not like on traditional radio, but something of a precursor and not on every channel. Not so much of that on Sirius. Give it a try, I’ve certainly enjoyed it.

  12. Rascual May 15, 2007 / 1:51 pm

    I’ve had it with KZPS and DFW Rock radio in general. I can’t stand the mental whiplash I get when I’m listening to some really good rock / southern rock / blues and then get slapped upside my head with George Jones or George Straight or Hank Williams Jr….. I’ve been listening to the “good” stuff since KZEW 1st went on the air in ’73. When that closed up shop, I moved to Q102, then to KZPS. Followed Bo to KDBN and back to KZPS. I am the guy that started Rascuals.Com (stolen / hijacked a year ago by an unscrupulous turd) to punish KZPS for firing Bo and Jim to start with and get somone to flip formats to Classic Rock and hire them, which happened with KDBN. So, I am truly a dedicated listener, but no more. Not until they take that country swill off the air. Time for me to buy that XM radio now.

  13. Rascual May 15, 2007 / 1:53 pm

    By the way, that picture of Mark Cuban you have up there? That isn’t Bo Roberts standing next to him, thats “squeky” from The Bone.

  14. semitough May 15, 2007 / 1:59 pm

    I wondered when somebody was going to bust me out on that. 😉

    Clearly not Bo Roberts.

    I liked XM’s Classic Rock programming. However, Buzzsaw 19 on Sirius is pretty good too. You might try listening online before you invest. Once you get the receiver installed, antenna wires hidden, et. al. it’s hard to switch.

    Oh…and it’s George Strait

  15. Chris May 19, 2007 / 8:37 pm

    A pre-hijacked archive of RASCUALS.COM is still partially available if you go through waybackmachine.org. Notice the animated logo at the top. It’s a pisser alright!

    btw: Where is Bo now?

  16. semitough May 20, 2007 / 5:35 pm

    Bo & Jim are still doing morning drive time on KZPS albeit with a little more music and a lot fewer commercial spots.

  17. longtimelistener May 21, 2007 / 8:58 am

    We already have 4+ country stations out there. I have now switched to the Bone and now they are finally playing good selections. KZPS left the door open for them. For more and more stations going with mix variety, people I know are now paying for satelite radio so the don’t have to suffer through the selected differ music from there normal preference. People who listen to classic rock want classic rock. This was a dumb move. KZPS had long time listeners who probly won’t give lonestar a chance vecause of feelings. Anyways Loestar good luck and goodbye.

  18. longtimelistener May 21, 2007 / 9:07 am

    You know what would be a great attention getter. Fire the a$$hole that had this idea and bring back the new 92.5 KZPS (put Howard Stern on in the mornings) and blow out the Bone. -Howard Stern and classic rock???? Awesome!

  19. Mark P May 23, 2007 / 9:10 pm

    Lone Star 92.5 pretty much SUCKS, they say they play 65-70% Classic Rock, NOT, it sounds like 75% Rock-A-Billy/Hilly Billy CRAP. Duane Doherty is full of B.S., and oh yeah; lets go ahead and get some always-stoned spokes man, Willie Nelson. About the ONLY thing that works is commercial format, of the lack there of… I hope they don’t chop the hell out of the Bo & Jim show, but they probably will and I bet within a year, BO and Jim will be off the air. Well I am right Bo & Jim are hardly hear on the Air in the AM. One other thing Duane is absolutly right about is that listeners have a lot of choices for music. About 2 weeks ago I went to Dallas and spent the night there, with the hotels lack of security my truck got broken into and the stole my radio, actually I am kind of thankfull in a way, the new radio I am getting has a USB port on the front so I will load my 130+ CD on some Flash drives and I wont have to listen to the crap on the radio. Although I was traveling through Abilene this last weekend and heard 102.7 The Bear, that is what Classic Rock should sound like (they are owned by Cumulus)

    Thanks

    Mark
    Fort Worth Texas

  20. Debbie May 31, 2007 / 12:51 pm

    Well i have to agree with all the upset people i haven’t listened to the radio now since may, there is nothing to listen to except mexican and more mexican or yehaa, and more glad i have a c.d. player in the house and truck let me know when we get a good Rock Station back.

  21. businessgolf June 10, 2007 / 8:08 am

    Semi,

    I don’t know, I am not as provoked as some here and enjoy an old jog down memory lane with some of the tunes they are playing on Lone Star, but I think they have tilled a little TOO far to the C&W side of the meter for the Dallas market. It maybe more favorable for Neil Gay out at the Mesquite Rodeo, but as far as the LBJ Freeway Jockeys, Country generates too much road rage. I will admit though I am glued to the radio when Red and Jon crank up Johnnie Winter and some of the Blues stuff they have that was recorded here in Dallas. I even heard one of Bugs Henderson’s tunes being used as an intro into on of Red’s shows. I just think that the Torn Blue Jean Country they are playing just takes away from what could be a very refreshing and unique format just for Dallas Residences. If they bring back Howard Stern I think I will find out where Mark P stayed and get my radio stolen. They can leave HS for those ameba’s in New York or LA. Bring on a Blues format, that covers most Classic Rock tunes I and most the fans here want to hear…I’ve heard Willie and Eric Clapton playing together ..Willie can hold his own with Slowhand.

  22. RL Williamson July 7, 2007 / 6:10 pm

    I love the new format. Great for a change. My tastes are wide in music. The song list is awesome and many songs I haven’t heard in a long long time are back! Waylon, Willie, and the boys. Plus, all the down home Texas southern rock favs.

    My only grip is that they don’t give a 24 hour song list history on their website. I noticed they finally put up a “last 10 song” playlist though. At least that’s something, but if you’re not near a PC you are out of luck.

    I’ve got this radio station on my wakeup alarm. Great songs in the morning!!! Love it! I think you have a good thing going.

    Keep up the good work.

  23. businessgolf July 20, 2007 / 12:59 pm

    The good thing about KZPS the Lone Star…they have not changed it like I though they would. Clear Channel is known for the deceptive marketing by putting a new format on the air to get people hooked then changing it in 60 days to ALL TALK, their favor format.. I guess I can finally press the SET button on my radio since it looks like it is staying around for awhile…a little too much country for today’s listening pleasure, but it is the only station I know of that is bold enough to play Johnny Winter..

  24. tim October 10, 2007 / 11:13 pm

    corperate a holes,if it aint free they aint gonna play it and this shit sucks

  25. anonymous radio critique November 7, 2007 / 3:19 pm

    for something related about country and rocks alleged incompatibility check out khyi’s website….where they have ringo star pushing a new ray wylie hubbard cd….and let me mention that outlaw country recieved a hell of a lot of flack from cuntry tradtionilista’s back in its day……

    shall we wait for the ratings to give it a thumbs up or down when the “suits” not to be confused with the men in the clean white coats….come to carry certain people with closed minds away…

  26. anonymous radio critique November 7, 2007 / 3:35 pm

    also to mention neil young…crosby, still, nash and young…..is cited as a embodiement of both the rock and folk/country genres on http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_coutry

    to wit brings another point back in the early days of country and rock n roll white men used to do cover version of old blues and r/b songs since high brow white audiences used refuse to listen to such material…the believe being that they were somehow inferior…..so I say open your minds and let the music lift you up….

  27. classic rocker November 8, 2007 / 7:27 am

    I’m grateful the format has changed to C&W. If it hadn’t, I never would have found Q107 in Toronto. Kim Mitchell is on in the afternoons, and it’s really quite interesting to hear classic rock from a rock star’s perspective. (His new album rocks, too!)

    Recently, Kim Mitchell played live in the studio with Paul Rogers, and I have to say, I have a lot more respect for Paul Rogers than I once did. What a talent!

    I miss Bo and Jim in the mornings. We can only hope that someday they’ll move to a station that allows them to have a voice alongside some decent music once again.

  28. Rascual November 23, 2007 / 1:15 pm

    It seems that my predictions were, once again, correct. Once the curiosity factor wore off, and it wore off quickly, the ratings show that people have abandoned KZPS and moved over to KDBN, again. If ZPS would keep the mix they have now, sans the kicker music, they’d be golden. Instead, they’ve so heavilly invested in their image that I doubt anything short of a complete format change, again, along with a complete management change, will ever occur. They just can’t drop the kicker music, even though they should.

  29. semitough November 23, 2007 / 7:35 pm

    I have to admit that I like the impact ZPS had on DBN’s playlist. Seems like they broadened their playlist to include non-Van Halen tunes.

    People’s tastes vary. For me ZPS has the right mix. If others don’t they can listen to whoever the fuck they want to and let the ratings take care of it.

    Bottom line, commenters on two bit blogs like this one are pissing in the wind. The radio station isn’t yours. Whoever pays the bills gets to say who’s on and what they play.

  30. Dave January 12, 2008 / 4:55 pm

    Semitough,

    I’ve come to this thread quite late; but, I’m listening to the station as I type here in Atlanta. I’d love to be able to hear this format here. What is great about the station is its authenticity of music. Whatever you want to call the genres it plays, they are real. Lots of “B sides.” To your complainers, I’d love to be able to have the station on a car preset.

  31. Nimrod November 7, 2008 / 7:53 am

    Just reading this for the first time as I was doing a google search on Bo Roberts. I don’t live in the Metroplex any longer but, if I were there, this is where my tuner would rest the majority of the time. I grew up on classic rock (Q102), metal(Z-Rock) and Alt Rock(KDGE) and I disagree with those that think there is no tie in with classic rock. SRV has been a Dallas staple for as long as I can remember, not to mention a lot of the Alt Country and “Outlae” Country acts are play rock music also. A perfect example would be Hank III. Who remembers David Allan Coe and Pantera together? To me, this station represents a melding of the genres.

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