CBS Radio to Change L.A. Station Format

In a move that is sure to shake up Los Angeles radio, CBS Radio announced plans Wednesday (Feb. 17) to change formats on KLSX-FM from Talk to a Top 40-based format called AMP Radio. With the change, CBS Radio ends its syndication of The Adam Carolla Show, which aired on half a dozen stations.

The new station’s debut, set for Friday (Feb. 20) at 5:00 p.m. PT, will pit KLSX against Clear Channel’s KIIS-FM, one of the nation’s best-known Top 40 brands and the number-one-rated station in Los Angeles. AMP Radio could also pose a challenge to other mainstream stations in the market, including Clear Channel’s Adult Contemporary stations KOST-FM and KBIG-FM, and Emmis Communication’s Rhythmic KPWR-FM.

Strategically AMP Radio format gives CBS Radio a more demographically balanced station portfolio for attracting advertisers. Of the group’s seven stations in the market (excluding Country KFRG-FM in Riverside-San Bernardino), three skewed heavily male, including Alternative KROQ-FM, KCBS-FM (JACK-FM) and the old KLSX.

“We’re trying to cast a wider so we can go after more advertising opportunities,” said Dan Weiner, market manager for CBS Los Angeles. “I don’t know if this alone will turn around the economy, but everything starts with good content.”

The format flip was also calculated to take advantage of the new portable people meter ratings service, which has tended to benefit more mainstream formats. Since September, when the PPM service went live, KLSX’s ratings began to dip below the 1.4 overall rating share the station got under the diary service.

The new format will also launch with a full array of digital extensions, both online and mobile. Although AMP Radio will be currently available as part of CBS Radio/AOL Radio’s mobile application, AMP Radio will also soon have its own dedicated iPhone application.

AMP Radio got its start a year ago as an HD2 station broadcast by KCBS-FM. While the format won’t be an identical copy, it will play the hits from artists such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Rihanna, T.I., Kanye West, Usher, Britney, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry, among others.

For the launch, AMP Radio will play 10,000 songs in a row with limited commercial interruption. The station is talking to a limited number of advertising partners for the launch.