By Mary Owen
Cowboy Country radio is back.
Starting this month, local AM station KENC will stream its broadcasting through KCKX AM 1460, located in Woodburn for the past 18 years and locating a second into KENC’s Stayton studio. With the merge comes all of KCKX’s programs, including country classic music plus select contemporary new traditionalists, bluegrass, folk, Americana, and local artists. Local news and weather will top the offerings on most weekday mornings.
“You’ll hear great shows like Red Steagall’s ‘Cowboy Corner,’ Phil Nusbaum’s ‘Bluegrass Review,’ Terry Herd’s ‘Into the Blue’ and Mother Earth News’ regular contributions,” said KENC owner/operator Ken Cartwright, who goal has been to “bring local radio to our area to deal with local issues and programming.”
According to Cartwright, he has been interested in buying KCKX from owner Don Coss for the past three years, but that idea changed over the past three months to working together.
“We’ve been meeting some time discussing how to return AM 1460 to the Santiam Canyon community ‘home’ – the Stayton area,” he added. “KCKX has been broadcasting in Spanish for the past three years, with some success. Now with our desire to work together, this seemed like a great opportunity for us both to make the transition.”
Both stations will offer 24/7 programming, Cartwright said.
“Our studio will stream our broadcast on a dedicated circuit to the Woodburn studio for a redirect to the Stayton transmitter,” he added. “Both studios will use the same formats so it will be seamless to the listener.”
The merge will allow Cartwright to “enter into KCKX with a smaller risk than just buying it outright,” he said.
“For Don, it gives him a community person, me, heavily invested in the community social and political structure to become the familiar voice and face that local stations need.”
“We never lacked for a responsive and loyal audience,” Coss said. “However, it did not prove to be profitable as a business…. We decided three years ago to serve our growing Hispanic population throughout the Stayton, Salem and Santiam Canyon area with a format of Christian Spanish, then Spanish new/talk/sports, which we have today.”
Cartwright will discontinue broadcasting KENC on low-power AM, and broadcast part of the day from his studio over KCKX, which remain broadcasting from Woodburn.
Additionally, Cartwright said he will continue to provide Internet access to local news and programs for listeners when the station airs live.
“It will continue to be the portal for Community Internet Television, a joint venture with many Stayton area contributors,” he said.
For more information, call 503-769-5362.