Omaha radio station KOOO, 101.9 on the FM dial, changed its music format from classic rock to adult hits, starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The station, which had called itself “the Big O,” now is “the Keg.” A press release said the new tag is geared to remind listeners around either side of age 40 of their days sipping beer and listening to Guns N’ Roses, Journey, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Van Halen and Def Leopard. The emphasis shifts from programming that included 1970s pop hits to more of a focus on 1980s music, said Andy Ruback, the station’s general manager.
“Omahans want more of this music than they have been getting,” Ruback said, citing results of a recent survey of potential listeners ages 25 to 54. KOOO’s recent ratings have consistently placed it toward the bottom of Omaha’s top 10 for that demographic, he said. He expects the new format to boost ratings among 25- to 54-year-olds.
Todd “Crash” Davis will be KOOO’s new morning on-air host. Dave Wingert’s last day as morning host was Monday. Wingert’s future at the station is not yet decided, Ruback said.
He said the station is also excited about some future concerts it will bring to Omaha. He declined to name artists or concert venues.
KOOO is owned by NRG Media, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NRG owns 45 radio stations in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois. Omaha is its largest market. Among its six Omaha stations are KOIL 1290 AM and KQKQ 98.5 FM. It also owns stations in Grand Island, Lincoln and Kearney.
NRG’s Iowa markets include Algona, Humboldt, Webster City and Boone.
NRG is the result of a 2005 merger of Waitt Media’s radio assets and NewRadio Group LLC. At the time of the merger, NRG was the seventh-largest radio network in the nation.
In October 2013, Waitt & McCarthy Capital, based in Omaha, sold its stake in NRG. Cyrus Capital Partners of New York City became the station’s new equity partner. A stated goal at that time was to expand the network to new markets.
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