J.D. Freeman, the ever-vigilant and always informative Dallas-Fort Worth market manager for Clear Channel Radio, delivers some breaking news -- well, broken news, if you want to get technical about it. Because almost one year to the day since Clear Channel announced that KZPS-FM (92.5) was going commercial-free under the Lone Star 92.5 moniker, with a heavy focus on Texas-bred music, the man behind the format change is gone. As of yesterday, Lone Star program director Duane Doherty is no longer with the station or Clear Channel; Freeman, of course, cannot say why, as it's a personnel matter, and "I really don't comment on employees leaving," he tells Unfair Park.
Doherty's exodus comes less than three months after the station fired longtime local radio fixture Redbeard, who occupied the afternoon drive-time slot. Freeman says the station doesn't yet have a replacement for Doherty, and it's become clear in recent months that both he and Clear Channel are not happy with the direction of the station, which has been tinkering with its format in recent months as the audience has drifted away following the initial surge of interest.
"I want to see bigger ratings, I want to see a larger audience," Freeman says. "We're getting ready to do a major advertising campaign, and I feel the station needs to be a little more musically focused." Which means? "In coming weeks you will hear sounds on the radio station that are primarily classic rock with a Texas influence, I would say."
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This morning, amongst homegrown familiars ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Lone Star playlist also included Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac, and Kansas. --Robert Wilonsky