KRAZE will hit the local airwaves next month.
That’s the name L.A. Radio Group Inc. has chosen for its new Red Deer radio station, which is scheduled to commence broadcasting at 101.3 FM on July 24.
Troy Schaab, who owns L.A. Radio Group with his wife Sonia Sawyer, said on-air testing will begin July 8. But KRAZE’s official startup won’t happen until 1:01 p.m. on Friday, July 24.
Schaab, who is also known as Troy Stevens, said the new station will have a “new music format” catering to the tastes of listeners in the 18- to 44-year-old demographic.
“We will be basically a top-40 radio station,” he said, explaining that local market research indicated there was a void in this area.
L.A. Radio Group has been operating Sunny FM out of Lacombe since 2006. Schaab said that station has targeted listeners in the 25-plus age range, “belting out the memory music and the hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.”
“We are exactly the opposite on this one,” he said. “This one is new music.”
Although KRAZE and Sunny FM will share some resources, such as administrative and technical staff, the two stations will have separate sales and programming personnel. They will also operate from different locations, with KRAZE setting up at 6751 52nd Ave.
Schaab said the Red Deer station will employ about 16, including morning show hosts Mike Diesel and Tasha Chiu, mid-day announcer Rebecca Page, drive-home show host Kwame, and evening broadcaster Blake Ransom.
“We had close to 300 applicants apply for on-air positions alone,” pointed out Schaab, adding that these came from across the country and even beyond.
In addition to 24/7 music, KRAZE will provide news updates every 30 minutes in the morning, and less frequently in the afternoon. It will also cover community events.
L.A. Radio Group was one of three broadcasters to receive licences for Red Deer from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission last fall. Also receiving broadcast licences for Red Deer from the CRTC were Harvard Broadcasting Inc. and Touch Canada Broadcasting Limited Partnership, but neither have announced a time line for startup.
Schaab said he’s confident KRAZE will succeed in the Red Deer market. Sunny FM has actually experienced increased advertising sales since the current recession hit, he said.
“Two years ago there wasn’t as much of a need to advertise with everything booming like it was.”
The signals from L.A. Radio Group’s Lacombe and Red Deer stations will both be transmitted from a broadcast tower west of the city.