"It's actually not a classic rock station," says Trila Bumstead, general manager of Q104.5 FM. "It's a classic hits station. I think it's broader than a rock format. You're going to hear some songs that are going to be outside the classic rock format."
For over a year, 104.5 KMCQ picked up a cult following of listeners attracted by the station's wide selection of classics from the '50s through the '70s -- from Frank Sinatra to KISS -- few, if any commercials, and a campy, lo-fi, DJ-free environment. We've been hooked since the word go, and named it Best Radio Station earlier this month. No sooner had we done that did the station re-brand itself into Q104.5.
Bumstead says the re-branding has largely been for marketing purposes, to give the station more of an identity. Since joining the station -- she owns 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon, but is on contract with Queen Cities to run Q104.5 -- Bumstead says she and the stations' program director, Jay Kelly, have been updating the playlist (some songs were still in mono), and sharpening the station's editorial mission.
"(The changes are) ever-so subtle," she says, "it's still a classic hits station. But we're trying to brand it as such. I think it's just more specifically branded now than it was before."It's still run on a shoestring. It's still got camp. But we're hearing more '80s and we're in for a few more commercials. That's because the station's owners, Queen Cities Broadcasting, has brought Bumstead in to, you know, try and make a business out of this thing.
"I do think that something above zero but subastantionally less than what other commercials stations in the market are doing is tolerable for us," Bumstead says. "We do plan to have commercials on the station, because it needs to be a financially viable entity."