KWXY, KGX radios back with a list of local hosts

More than four months after the story Coachella Valley Radio Stations “Relaxing Music” KWXY and “Real Talk” KGX Suddenly Go silent, the new owner of the stations says he’s bringing them back with a bang.

“It was just an idea that I was going to change something,” said resort owner Louie Comella, “but now it’s so big I can’t even believe it”.

The stations, which will be renamed KWXY “Music Radio” and KKGX “Alternative Talk Radio”, are expected to start in 2022 with a full roster of new hosts and shows, most of which will be hosted locally and nearly all will be geared towards a Coachella Valley audience. , according to Comella. New hosts include local and national entertainment figures such as acclaimed game show and radio host Wink Martindale, Jim Heath of rockabilly band The Reverend Horton Heat, and longtime local radio figures Dan McGrath and Joey English, among others.

Both stations will keep the channels they had before the unscheduled shutdowns, including AM stations that each aired for more than 50 years. KWXY will broadcast locally on 92.3 FM and 1340 AM, while KKGX will broadcast on 99.1 FM and 920 AM.

Comella said that KWXY’s new “Music Radio” format will feature music from a wide range of genres and generations, such as big band, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll from the 1940s through the 1970s. The station will organize the music so that it gradually passes through the different styles throughout the day, according to Comella.

“It’s not like a stark contrast when you sign up for the big band radio show and then go through some crazy reggae,” he said. “It’s a variety of music, but we are not a variety music station.”

Over the weekend, Comellla said that KWXY will air a series of shows featuring emerging artists in a wide range of genres targeting different segments of the local community, including “Country Music Hour”, “Punk Rock Radio Show “, the” Rockabilly Show “, a Broadway music show and a Latin music show called” Es La Realidad “.

KKGX’s programming will include a “hyperlocal morning show” featuring reporters from Coachella Valley, a news show called “Smith and Company” hosted by former NBC Palm Springs presenter Joe Smith, and four comedy shows that “all local scenes flow, ”according to it will also include an entertainment talk show focused on people playing at Coachella Valley casinos and other live entertainment venues and a hyperlocal Joey English talk show, among others.

The stations will be live again on Sunday, December 12 with a four-hour special on Frank Sinatra – scheduled to air on Sintra’s birthday. The special, hosted by Wink Martindale, features interviews with Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Dick Clark, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and many more. Most of the interviews only aired once, on a local Los Angeles radio station in 1977, according to Martindale.

“I spent two years putting this in place and interviewed anyone and everyone who knew Frank Sinatra and was closely associated with him,” Martindale said.

Dubbed “Sinatra: Remembering an American Legend,” the special will air on both radio stations at noon Sunday. It will take place again around 5 p.m. Sunday, according to Comella.

Martindale, a Palm Desert resident who will host shows on KWXY and KKGX, was extremely optimistic about the prospects for the upgraded stations.

“I think it’s safe to say that there’s never been a radio station in this market that even comes close to what we’re going to do with KWXY and KKGX,” Martindale said, “from a point of view. musical view (or) from a content viewpoint. “

Wink Martindale (right) celebrating his 88th birthday in Palm Desert with KWXY and KKGX owner Louie Comella (center) and his wife Sandy Martindale (left).

After the Sinatra special, both stations will begin streaming Christmas music until December 27, according to Comella. At this point, KWXY Music Radio will launch its full line of music and programming. KKGX will broadcast a mix with less Christmas music as filler from December 27 through January 1, when that station will launch its full lineup.

The relaunch of the stations comes several months after Comella initially planned to broadcast them. The new owner, founder of Houston-based media content company IVOX Media, said the station’s equipment was in such a disrepair it took months to repair. “It was so over the top,” he said.

Comella said he also needed more time to consult with local artists on the best content for the Coachella Valley market, plan and organize queues for both stations, and research the right voices locally relevant to the market. broadcast.

“I just didn’t want to date something average,” Comella said. “It’s not average. We’re building a national listening station with legendary broadcasters and unique content from this great city.”

Comella said both stations will be accessible through their respective websites or through a smartphone app – downloadable through the websites. The sites will be active when the stations go live on Sunday, he added.

The director of IVOX and the owner of the local radio station said he and his team had “funked” inside the cathedral city headquarters in preparation for the new stream of hosts and guests.

“I had some nice neon signs made,” Comella said. “There are pictures of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, all these icons that were part of the station. It’s very stylish, it’s old school.”

Comella said he plans to leave the old KGX signage outside the building as a tribute to the heritage of the stations.

“It is a historic building,” he said. “You know where you are.”

James B. Cutchin covers business in the Coachella Valley. Contact him at james.cutchin@desertsun.com.


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