Corresponding with my buddy Josh Holstead (aka Rowdy Yates) this morning, he asks me:
were you made aware of the ‘rebranding’ of KILT on Thursday?
No, no I was not. Off to Google, and I find this:
KILT (100.3 FM) changed its imaging campaign as of 5 p.m. from “Real Country Variety” to “New Country, The New Bull @ 100.3.”
My first thought was, “The New Bull. How appropriate.”
And then there was this:
promising “less twang, more bang” for their mainstream country listeners.
Less twang, more bang. Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like a rehash of the Young Country thing that was such a dismal failure in Houston with KIKK 95.7. In fact, it looks like they’re doing the exact thing with KILT that they did with KIKK, albeit on a longer timeline:
1. Fire all the deejays.
2. Rebrand and skew toward the younger demographic.
3. Start throwing shit against the wall program-wise to see what sticks, and finally,
4. Change to a different format altogether.
You’d think they’d have learned from the last time. I don’t know if KILT is (or was) as highly-revered a brand as KIKK was, but there can be no doubt that CBS/Infinity has trashed it just as thoroughly as they did the KIKK brand. On one hand, it’s sad that all my KILT heroes — Hudson and Harrigan, Pat Hernandez, Robert B. McEntire, Dan Gallo, and Rowdy Yates — aren’t on the air at the station anymore. On the other hand, I am sure they’re all quite glad not to be a part of this. I’m glad for that and for them, too. I think one of the commenters here nailed it:
“we’ll do it in a fun and edgy way that reflects the contemporary lifestyle of today’s country music fan” — thanks for the tip off that this will be unbelievable (sic) dumb and vapid.”
I don’t doubt it will be. That seems to be the demographic they’re shooting for. Reportedly one of their bumpers billed it as “Jason Aldean’s kind of party station,” they went literally hours at a time without playing anything from George Strait, and the oldest song heard so far was Tim McGraw’s 2004 No. 1 hit “Live Like You Were Dying.”
Such a dramatic and disheartening fall for what was a No. 1 station that would play Merle Haggard at 3:00 on a weekday afternoon. As I told Mr. Holstead, I knew KILT was pretty much dead, but it’s sad to see them shoveling yet more dirt on its grave. But I’ll never, ever forget what it once was.