Country music fans still upset about the loss of KZLA now have one small consolation: XESURF-AM 540, which until recently simulcast the adult standards format of its sister KKGO-AM 1260, has now gone country.
Granted, it's not the news jilted KZLA fans have been hoping for: So far, rumors that Clear Channel might flip KYSR "Star 89.7" or KBIG 104.3 to country have been just that -- rumors.
Nonetheless, AM 540 owner Saul Levine -- who has flipped the formats on his AM stations several times in recent years -- saw an opportunity to fill the void. Radio and Records picks up on an Orange County Register report:
"Los Angeles and Orange County listeners were pretty upset with the loss of country music on KZLA," Mt. Wilson president Saul Levine told the paper. "We received a lot of letters and e-mails saying, basically, you are the last independent radio owner in the market. Please help us."
Former KZLA jocks Whitney Allen, Paul Freeman, Brian Douglas, and Tonya Campos will all segue to the new station, according to the story. Syndicator Dial Global will consult on music programming. Adult standards will remain on KKGO.
One problem: AM 540, which transmits out of Tijuana (hence those XESURF call letters), doesn't come in all that clear around L.A. Country listeners are probably just as well off tuning in the Inland Empire's KFRG 95.1 "K-Frog," which comes in clear enough to sometimes make the Los Angeles Arbitrons.