Radio station bringing a little Country to Valley

By Andrew Wellner
Published on Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:53 PM AKST

WASILLA — Valley country fans have a new, local radio option.
On Friday at 10:09 a.m., 100.9 FM KAYO went on the air playing country music from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Eddie Maxwell, the station’s operations manager and afternoon DJ, said the music — Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and the like — is a good fit for the Valley. The format tested well in the company’s market research.

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman KAYO 100.9 operations manager and afternoon D.J. Eddie Maxwell works the microphone Thursday at the station’s new Valley office and broadcast center off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

The music also fits his personal tastes.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve been wanting to program a station like this for a long time,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell has lived in the Valley since 1987. His morning DJ, Kathy Mitchell, is also local. And his sales team as well. 
“We’re going to be hitting the Valley news and community events that are important to folks in the Valley,” he said.

He said the morning and afternoon shows will include calls from listeners and local news, though the afternoon show will be more music-heavy.

Residents of Lazy Mountain might remember the station’s parent company, Anchorage Media Group, which tried and failed in February to get a conditional-use permit from the borough to build a tower in the area.

Dennis Bookey, general manager for Anchorage Media Group said this go-round they took a different tact.

The community, he said, had expressed concern over the light on top of the proposed 200-foot tower.

“We were able to get by with 99 feet, which did not require the conditional-use permit and did not require it to be lit,” Bookey said.

He hopes the smaller, unlit tower on a different parcel of land will be more palatable to the residents. Also, his company was glad to save the time and expense of the permitting process.

“I think it should be win-win,” Bookey said. “I hope so. We really, really hope so.”
One thing they won’t be able to do, though, is put another transmitter on the tower.

“We will not be able to put other stations on that tower because it is not as tall. There’s just not going to be any room now,” he said.
Which is a shame, Bookey said, because any expansion plans would likely entail a new tower.

“Co-location, anytime we can, boy, broadcasters do it. It’s just a lot of headache to build a site from scratch,” Bookey said.

Maxwell said that so far, broadcasting in the Valley has been going great. The community, he said, has been resoundingly positive in its response.
“We’re getting requests, ‘Hey do you have this one?’ Or, ‘Hey thanks for being in town we love you,’” Maxwell said.

Country Legends Web Site for more information