Station's format change may yield more airtime for local music

Lawrence bands could have a new outlet for their music after radio station X 92.9 FM switched formats this week from classic rock to "active rock" and promised to play local music.

People can upload music online at x929.com for station programmers to consider for air play, general manager Ron Covert says. We talked with Covert about the station's role in Lawrence as potentially filling a void left by 105.9 FM The Lazer when that station went mainstream in 1999.

lawrence.com: What kind of music are you going to play?

If you have to nail the format down, it's active rock, which will cover a lot of the current stuff plus some of the best gold from the '90s. Chili Peppers, and some Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, stuff like that.

You might have something like the Lazer's old "Local Music Show"?

We haven't gotten completely worked out exactly when all of our local stuff is going to be. But our plans right now are to have a weekly local music show as well as feature local artists throughout the day, all week long. We'll start implementing some of the local music starting as early as next weekend.

Why play local music?

Obviously, when the Lazer was changed years ago by the other company that bought the station from Hank (Booth, who is now the station manager for X 92.9), they changed the Lazer, took the local music off. In our opinion we think that was a big mistake because this market really loves to support the local bands and local music scene. Based on the research and everything that we've done in the market, we decided that we wanted to bring some of that back. We wanted to allow another over-the-air broadcast venue to be able to showcase some of that local talent.

Is this station filling a void left by the old Lazer?

Is it filling a void in the market? Yes. Is it filling the void left by the Lazer? You know, that was a long time ago, and I can't say that this station is the old Lazer, because it's not, because the music has evolved since then. I think that probably this station will embody the attitude of what people remember of the old Lazer, being much more local, much more involved in the local music scene, and being Lawrence's radio.

What stations will you be similar to?

We'll share some of the current music on alternative stations, but if we had to pick something that we would be closer to, we'd be closer to The Rock in Kansas City. But their library is about 75 percent gold music. We'll be probably 60 to 70 percent current and recurrent-type stuff. Newer rock.

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