Kicked off with 24 hours of Madonna, iHeartMedia’s brand new Minneapolis-St. Paul FM station 96.7 Pride Radio aims to be “The Pulse of LGBT Twin Cities.” But like so much of FM radio these days, the behind-the-scenes geography is more diverse.
The brand manager, Don Parker, is based in San Francisco, where he also serves as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia San Francisco and Sacramento. In addition, both of Pride 96.7’s weekday evening on-air personalities – Pacey (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.) and Christie (10 p.m. – 2 a.m.) – are spinning from the Bay Area. The rest of the station’s weekday rotation will be beaming in from San Diego, Washington D.C. and Tampa, Florida.
“96.7 Pride Radio will have a wide variety of pop music hits and dance remixes from the ‘90’s to now,” explains Parker to FishbowlNY. “As of now, we don’t have any Prince songs in rotation.” (We had asked, naturally, if Minneapolis-St. Paul’s most famous musical resident was in the launch mix, which started pulsing on the dial and elsewhere at 5 p.m. CT Thursday.)
Another logical question for us was the idea of celebrity bumpers, e.g. the placement in-between songs of sweeteners like – “Hello, this is Elton John and you’re listening to Pride 96.7!” Parker confirms he is in the process of gathering such items. The station’s on-air personalities will also occasionally feature in-studio guests.
“96.7 Pride Radio’s on-air personalities are all members of the LGBT community with local and national fan bases,”says Parker (pictured, at left, with Nick Jonas). “To provide an accurate representation of our diverse communities across the country, they are based in various cities throughout the U.S.”
Adds Hartley Adkins, iHeartMedia’s executive vice president of operations, in the release: “June is Pride Month, and I can imagine no better time to launch a station this important to the Twin Cities community. This groundbreaking station represents a place for amazing music and entertainment, but also a platform for the LGBT community. 96.7 Pride Radio is a destination to express opinions, be heard and connect.”
Parker is a radio vet whose years of industry experience include launching Houston’s KTBZ “The Buzz” and previously serving as NextMedia Group’s vice president of programming. For the next two weeks, Pride 96.7 is playing music without commercial interruptions. The station actually sits on the Twin Cities FM dial at 107.9 and can additionally be streamed across iHeartMedia’s various digital and mobile Apps. On the Web, the station is anchored to a very dynamic URL: PrideRadio.com.