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New Sacramento radio station continues stunt over weekend

(Image courtesy iHeart Sacramento, Graphic by The Desk)

A new radio station operated by broadcaster iHeart continued its “stunting” period over the weekend and into Monday morning.

No details have been revealed about what iHeart decides to put on KSTE-FM (107.9 FM) beyond its meme-based programming that is generating more than a little interest in the station.

Until last week, the frequency was silent in Sacramento after the area’s other large radio broadcaster, Entercom, decided to surrender its broadcast license for the channel several years ago. The decision to give up the license was intended to satisfy regulatory scrutiny over the company’s proposed — and later finalized — merger with CBS Radio as well as to placate some local activists who were challenging Entercom’s public service duties following the death of a radio contestant nearly two decades ago.

Last year, iHeart was the highest bidder at a broadcast auction operated by the FCC concerning the 107.9 FM license, as well as dozens of others across the country. The company quickly licensed the call letters KSTE-FM to the station. iHeart also operates KSTE-AM (650 AM), a local talk radio station in Sacramento.

Last Wednesday, iHeart activated KSTE-FM with an all-day marathon of orchestral music from the 1970s-era film series “Star Wars.” The following day, it looped the War song “Cinco de Mayo,” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday” came one day later. Saturday saw Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park” played on repeat.

The playlist on Sunday was more diverse, with iHeart choosing songs related to mothers in honor of Mother’s Day. Monday was a return to the single-song campaign, with “Manic Monday” played endlessly by The Bengals. (There are plenty of songs with “Tuesday” and “Wednesday” in the name, should iHeart continue with the theme.)

Little is known about what iHeart intends to use the station for, though the company registered the website for the endeavor and is urging prospective advertisers to contact the station.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).