Naked City

It's Catchier Than "BLANDFM"

For the past couple of months, Clear Channel Radio -- the nation's most massive radio conglomerate -- has been billing the Austin station it owns at 96.7FM as "KISSFM." Strange, considering the station's legal call letters are KHFI, not KISS. The real KISS-FM, owned by Cox Communications (which also owns the Austin American-Statesman), is located in San Antonio. But what's even stranger is that Clear Channel has named 36 other U.S. stations KISSFM(!).

"'KISSFM' is a format," says Clear Channel spokesperson Pam Brown of the station's Britney-and N'Sync-slanted music. "We own the slogan. 'KISSFM' is an owned format and slogan." Local Clear Channel General Manager Dusty Black explains that KHFI announces its legal call letters once an hour, as required by law. Meanwhile, Cox doesn't seem to care. Caroline Devine, general manager at the San Antonio KISSFM, says that since Clear Channel isn't using the name in San Antonio, "we have not entered into any legal issues."

"Naked City" kind of likes the multiple KISSFM concept, as it nicely illustrates how corporate conglomeration is homogenizing radio broadcasting across America.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Lee Nichols
Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015

Beer Flights
Beer Flights
Celis: welcome home

Aug. 17, 2012

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle