August 31, 2005

Report: Infinity To Flip 106.9 To Talk

The Sacramento Bee has reported that Ken Kohl -- who resigned as operations manager of Clear Channel's KFBK Talk 106.9and KSTE in Sacramento on Monday (August 29) -- is headed to the Bay Area to set up Infinity's new FM talk station, which will debut on 106.9 FM some time in October.

Infinity has purchased the 106.9 signal from Family Stations as part of the deal which sent KFRC/610 to Family in April. The deal helped Infinity satisfy an FCC requirement that would allow the company to acquire KOVR-TV in Sacramento.

According to the Bee, Kohl "will be program director of an Infinity-owned former Bay Area religious educational station, KEAR (106.9 FM), which is expected to turn into a talk station aimed at a younger demographic once details are worked out."

One of those details is that Infinity will not take full possession of the 106.9 facility until the Oakland Athletics' season officially ends, as the result of an arrangement with Family Stations which keeps the A's broadcasts on 610 AM until the team's season is over.

With the A's now in the thick of a run for the playoffs, their season could extend through the month of October.

"I leave with mixed emotions," Kohl told the Bee. "KFBK involved everything I went into radio for, but I do feel my work is done here. I'm excited about this new challenge in San Francisco."

Kohl's contract with Clear Channel -- which also saw him serving as program director of the company's talk combo KNEW and KQKE in San Francisco -- was set to expire shortly. There has been speculation that he is also in line to oversee operations at Infinity's all-news KCBS/740, which could provide the "synergy" between the news station and talk station that media consultants stress so often.