Clear Channel introduces new station, Wild Country 97.1-FM, cuts talk format

2013-02-15T00:00:00Z Clear Channel introduces new station, Wild Country 97.1-FM, cuts talk formatCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Clear Channel rolled out a new country music station at noon Thursday, replacing the all-talk KNST 97.1-FM.

Wild Country 97.1-FM enters a market long dominated by Citadel Broadcasting's KIIM 99.5-FM.

The station introduced itself Thursday with a pledge to play 10,000 contemporary Top 40 country songs commercial-free. Expect to hear everyone from Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean to Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood.

This is Clear Channel's second foray into the country music market in recent years. In 2001, it moved its KWFM Cool Oldies from 92.9-FM up the dial to 97.1- FM to make way for KOYT 92.9- FM Coyote Country. Two years later, the company pulled the plug and launched a Spanish-language music station.

KNST, which was broadcasting on both the AM and FM dials, will now broadcast only at 790-AM.

Clear Channel marketing director Nikki Van Doran said other Wild Country personalities will be added next month.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

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