Archive for Wednesday, September 8, 1999

CHANGES

September 8, 1999

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A petition won't change format changes at a Lawrence radio station, the general manager said.

A gradual format change at a Lawrence radio station will continue, despite the efforts of a group of protesters who showed up with a petition to express their displeasure with the change, a station official said.

About a dozen youths showed up outside the offices of The Lazer, KLZR-105.9 FM, on Tuesday to ask that the station not add popular music to its play list.

But station manager Bob Newton said the gradual format change will continue.

"There's people who like what we were doing and those are the people that you are going to hear from" with any change, Newton said.

"The research shows that eliminating some of that harder rock music and by adding some of the more listener-friendly music, we hope to broaden our listenership."

Carry Lindsey, a local parent and listener, said the group presented a petition with 254 signatures to station officials asking them not to change the alternative rock format.

The former format led to the station being cited by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the "Top 10 Stations That Don't Suck" in the United States.

"I think that what the focus should have been was expanding their advertisement base, instead of changing their format," Lindsey said.

"I think it's like losing a historical building," she said. "It's The Lazer which is what makes Lawrence unique."

Station officials said they have been gradually changing the station's format, following a listener study that found that playing Jewel, Paula Cole, Smash Mouth and Better Than Ezra would attract and retain more listeners than groups such as Godsmack.

Lindsey said the format is what distinguished KLZR from other stations in the Kansas City area.

"It's a loss to the community," she said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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