New station on the block 

KTFM features artists from the era before Bobby Brown went to jail

If the Spinners' "One of a Kind Love Affair" or KC and the Sunshine Band's "Please Don't Go" are at the top of your all-time favorites list, then a new radio station will likely make you shake your polyester-clad booty.

But first, you'll have to reprogram the preset buttons on your stereo tuner: Houston-based Border Media Partners has launched the "new" KTFM 94.1, bumping Mexican Regional station KLEY, also a Border Media-owned station, to 95.7. That move eliminated country station KBUC, the former tenant of that frequency.

To confuse matters further, the "old" KTFM is now modern/classic rock station KSRX, an Infinity Broadcasting station, and occupies 102.7.

The "new" KTFM features R&B/pop artists of yesteryear: Bobby Brown, Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Commodores, Prince, Janet Jackson, and Kool & the Gang. "We did a music and perceptual study of the market and discovered a hole here that no other station is filling," says Raul Rodriguez, vice-president and marketing manager for Border Media Partners. KTFM targets women ages 30-44.

While San Antonio has several urban stations, including KSJL and KBBT "The Beat," those stations lean toward contemporary hits, rather than oldies. "Everyone in the radio market is our competitor," Rodriguez says.

Although KTFM is broadcasting their 20,000-song playlist without deejays, it expects to get human voices on the air by March. The station employs 80 people.

Of its 34 stations, KTFM is Border Media's first to broadcast in English and to depart from Spanish pop or Mexican Regional music format.

In 2003, Border Media started with two stations, one in Laredo and McAllen, expanding later that year to six. In 2004, with big-bucks backing - $25 million - from two Wall Street investors the privately held company purchased 28 more stations clustered along the U.S.-Mexico border and Interstate 35 as far north as Dallas.

"We buy underdeveloped properties that are upgradable and in a high-density Hispanic area," Rodriguez says, adding that national advertisers will likely be eager to reach the 5 million Hispanics, including Mexican nationals, who live in Border Media's coverage area. "Everybody looks at Miami, LA; they've never looked at this area before."

By Lisa Sorg


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