What initially looked to be one of the biggest debuts in DFW radio history instead turned out to be one of its quickest disappearing acts. Eighteen days before the start of 2004, a new regional Mexican format was launched on the 104.9 frequency. Instead of focusing on the music of northern Mexico like the market's other regional Mexican outlets (KESS and KLNO), KZMP "El Gato" ("The Cat") concentrated more on the music of central Mexico. The impact was immediate - in its very first ratings period, El Gato debuted in the top 10 and became the market's most listened-to Spanish language radio station, despite the less-than-adequate market coverage of the 50kw signal. However, what was more amazing than El Gato's debut was what happened next. While it's quite common for a station with a new format to see ratings settle in the months following its initial debut, KZMP saw a calamitous plummet. It's impressive 3.8 share debut was followed by a 1.7, and those numbers continued to fall through the remainder of the year's surveys.
To find the biggest stories of 2004, one has to look outside the market's top ten. The first major shakeup came in May. After 23 years of inhabiting the 97.1 frequency in various fashions of top 40 and rock formats, "The Eagle" was eliminated and a gold-based adult contemporary format was installed in its place. Ironically, the morning man on "Sunny 97.1" was market veteran "Fast" Eddie Coyle, who had held down afternoon drive during The Eagle's top 40 years.
Six weeks after Sunny 97.1's debut, DFW was introduced to "Jack", which replaced "Wild 100", the market's struggling second-place top 40. With the promise to "play what we want", the new KJKK featured a jock-less presentation and a playlist designed to mimic genre-crossing playlist of someone's personal music collection. Born in Canada two years prior, the rock/pop/dance/alternative "adult hits" format quickly sprouted clones throughout the US. Despite not cracking the top 10, Jack's ratings were a significant improvement over those of its predecessor.
|12+ Ratings for Winter 2004|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Fa 2003||Wi 2004|
|12+ Ratings for Spring 2004|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Wi 2004||Sp 2004|
|12+ Ratings for Summer 2004|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Sp 2004||Su 2004|
|12+ Ratings for Fall 2004|
|Call Letters||Frequency||Format||Su 2004||Fa 2004|
ｩ2004 Arbitron Inc.
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