Herald and Journal, Jan. 14, 2002

KWOM 1600 AM switches to oldies format

By Lynda Jensen

Local radio listeners who set their dials to 1600 on the AM frequency will start to hear a different tune.

The new sound is an "oldies" format adopted by KWOM Classic 1600 AM radio, based in Watertown, Sunday, Jan. 13 at 12:06 p.m..

The station is playing music from the '50s, '60s, '70s and early '80s, commented KWOM General Manager Mike Parry.

The new format features such artists as Elton John, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Some musical artists, such as the Carpenters and Barbra Streisand, will be carried over from the previous format, Parry said.

"It's aggressive oldies on the AM signal," he said.

The change will impact more than 287,000 listeners across eight counties, from Mora to Glencoe, and Hutchinson to the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

The new format appeals to the Baby Boomer generation, and reflects a wider music library than before, Parry said. This music appeals to listeners in the age bracket of 25 to 54 years old, he said.

There are also many people from around the area who are part of the radio network.

Among them are Winsted resident Randy Heuer, who operates the Saturday morning "Old Tyme" show from 6 a.m. to noon, announcer Randy Asplund, who is sports director, Maurice Nickles, who does a Sunday morning religious program, and James Hershey, who is a sports announcer.

Previously, the radio format featured music from the '30s, '40s, and '50s. The demographics were not as successful with this formula, Parry said.

Even though the music is different, listeners can expect to keep their favorite shows, such as the Linder Farm Network, local high school sports, and Elise Iverson's "Old Country" show from 1 to 3 p.m. each weekday.

"Some things will change ­ a lot of things will stay the same," commented Bruce Johnson of KWOM.

Local news, up-to-the-minute color radar weather, and funeral announcements will also remain the same.

KWOM's web site, which carries daily sports results and current funeral announcements, is also undergoing a revision to reflect the format change.

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