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16 February 2003

KCLW Featured Cover Story in Houston Chronicle's Texas Magazine


The cover of Texas Magazine - Sunday, Feb 16, 2003.

Houston, TX -- Small-town flavor reaches the big city as Houston, the state's largest metropolis has listeners longing for the hometown flavor of Lasting Value's KCLW 900AM. The station, which is located in Hamilton, TX, about 200 miles northwest of Houston, actually is outside of Houston's listening range. Nevertheless, KCLW was front-page news in the Sunday magazine section of the city's biggest newspaper-- the Houston Chronicle. The four-page feature story chronicled the station's 55-year history and highlighted the importance of local programming to small communities. It also detailed the relationship that the station's deejays and management have with the community and how that relationship plays a critical role enriching the whole community.

The article also talks about the station's uniqueness. "KCLW remains an iconoclast in an era when radio purists lament the growing corporate ownership and the increasing blandness of radio," the article reads. "Big-city radio can't match the down-home style of KCLW," it says.


Sandie Jaggars
The article describes the typical day of each of the air personalities' program and shares the views of several of the station's listeners including some in Houston who listen to KCLW on the internet. A number of people in Houston who read the article in Sunday's paper started listening online at kclw.com. "Your classic country music is the kind of country music that I like and is hard to find on most country radio stations. I am looking forward to hearing your station on the computer," says one email that Sammie Casey, KCLW's General Manager, received. Another reads "I saw your story in the Texas magazine in the Sunday paper. I was drawn to your website and was lucky enough to hear your sermon on Philip and the Ethiopian. I truly enjoyed hearing it and will listen next week."

"Keep up the good work, Lord knows we need GOOD COUNTRY MUSIC in this State ... and these boys with their black hats and shiney belts, tight fittin jeans with holes in'em.... just ain't cuttin it," one reader writes.

Several of the emails Casey received were from people who used to live in Hamilton or the surrounding area and remember growing up on KCLW's music. "It was so good to see a familiar face in the Texas magazine that comes out in the Houston Chronicle. I am originally from Hico so I grew up listening to KCLW and stilll like that type of music over the New Country stuff that is out. I have now bookmarked you so I will be getting to listen online when I can," reads one message.

The press coverage and the station's growing popularity are validation that Lasting Value's strategy of catering to local programming needs is a viable approach to success in small markets. "I'm glad to hear the positive response to the things we have done and the type of programming we have supported," says Lasting Value CEO Meredith Beal. "This definitely validates our strategy to create value with local-oriented programming which, in my opinion, generates greater community interaction, a vibrant, living community dialogue and reinforces listener loyalty," Beal says.

"One of the things I like about broadcasting in small towns is that it gives you an opportunity to see the effects of what you do in real terms in people's lives. In large cities with dozens of stations, it's often hard to perceive your impact," he explains. "But now I see our little station is having impact even in the big cities," he laughs. "I'm surprised to see the press coverage on KCLW in a large market that doesn't even hear the direct signal but I welcome it!" says Beal. "The views shared in the article by our listeners proves that what we are doing is valuable."

Carroll Parham
Air personality Carrol Parham is quoted condemning modern country music. "The music that's played today, it's completely destroyed what we know as country music," Parham laments. "The original country music, it had a lot of meaning, a lot of values." That sentiment is echoed by Casey. "It seems like now, you don't have to have a voice if you wiggle right and have enough to wiggle with," she complains. Parham is a master musician who plays dozens of instruments and owns an opry house in Stephenville. Casey also is an accomplished Country Western singer performing regularly in the area.

There was one inaccuracy in the article, which stated that the 250-watt signal of KCLW limited it's signal to just beyond Temple, TX. but that did not take into account the rest of the station's circumference. KCLW's actual signal coverage is closer to 80 miles or more in each direction. The station's unique, clear channel signal designation enables further coverage than a normal 250-watt station would reach, allowing it to be heard not only in the city of license, Hamilton and its surrounding communities like Stephenville, Gatesville and Lampassas, but also with solid signals in Killeen, Waco, Abiline, as far west as San Angelo and as far away as parts of Ft. Worth and parts of North Austin.

Shawn Horner preparing for his morning sports report.

Air personality Shawn Horner shared the joy he experiences in his dream job. "I always dreamed of talking over the airwaves," Horner says. "That's the only thing I ever wanted to do, is air my voice over the airwaves," he adds.

This is not the first time that KCLW has been recognized in major press. In 1999, KCLW was deemed "Texas' Best Round-the-clock Retro Country Format" by Texas Monthly Magazine. The station also was voted "America's #1 Western Music Station" by the Academy of Western Artists and air personality Chuck Martin, who does the morning show, was named "America's Best Country Western Deejay." Despite its small size, Lasting Value's little, central-Texas radio station is doing big things to bring quality and value to local broadcasting.

Listen to KCLW online at www.kclw.com. For more information, contact KCLW at 254-386-8804 or by email at info@kclw.com