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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rock 94 1/2 back on top

KHTQ-FM (Rock 94½) once again sits atop the local Arbitron radio ratings for the second straight quarter. The combination of “active rock” (read, hard rock) and top local personalities including Gary Allen has pushed this KXLY-affiliated station to the top.

Three other stations were bunched near the top, including the light-rock sound of KLXY-FM (Classy 99.9), the country of KDRK-FM (Cat Country 93.7) and the news-talk of KXLY-AM (NewsRadio 920).

The impressive showing of the latter illustrates a general surge in news-talk this quarter. KQNT-AM (NewsTalk 590, the home of Rush Limbaugh) and KGA-AM (The Big Talker, 1510) also had significant boosts.

“News-talk stations were up 10 to 15 percent,” said Dan Mitchinson of KGA. “The elections played a huge role in that.”

The newest entry in the Spokane talk market, the liberal Air America on KAQQ-AM (1280), is not reflected in this ratings book. The ratings period ended in mid-December, two weeks before Air America launched.

Air America gives Spokane four news-and-politics talk stations, which is a lot for a market this size (and that doesn’t even count the public radio stations). It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Here are the Arbitron rankings, fall 2004, based on average quarter-hour share, copyright 2005 Arbitron Inc.:

1. KHTQ-FM, active rock, 7.0

2. KXLY-FM, adult contemporary, 6.7

3. KDRK-FM, country, 6.5

4. KXLY-AM, news-talk, 6.4

5. (tie) KISC-FM, adult contemporary, 5.9

5. (tie) KKZX-FM, classic rock, 5.9

7. KIXZ-FM, country, 5.6

8. KCDA-FM, hot adult contemporary, 5.1

9. KQNT-AM, news-talk, 4.9

10. KEYF-FM, oldies, 4.4

11. KYWL-FM, rhythmic hits, 3.8

12. KZZU-FM, contemporary hits, 3.4

13. KZBD-FM, classic rock, 3.1

14. KGA-AM, news-talk, 2.8

15. KEZE-FM, hot adult contemporary, 2.5

16. (tie) KAQQ-AM, adult standards, 2.1

16. (tie) KICR-FM, country, 2.1

18. KTSL-FM, Christian, 1.8

19. KEYF-AM, adult standards, 1.6

20. (tie) KJRB-AM, sports, 1.1

20. (tie) KVNI-AM, oldies, 1.1

22. KXLI-AM, sports, 0.8

Once again, it’s worth noting that Arbitron includes only commercial stations – not public radio stations – in its rankings.

Patty Duke to Chicago

Patty Duke, Coeur d’Alene’s resident Oscar-Emmy winner, is in Chicago this weekend doing five performances of “Love Letters” as a fund-raiser for the Theatre of Western Springs.

Why that particular suburban community theater?

Because she’s doing the show with Jack Phillips, former artistic director of the Spokane Civic Theatre. She and Phillips did several “Love Letters” performances in Spokane in 2001. Phillips took the job of artistic director of the Theatre of Western Springs after he was dismissed from the Civic last summer.

This is Duke’s first performance since her heart surgery in November.

By the way, Phillips recently learned that he will be the recipient of the American Association of Community Theatre’s award for a lifetime of leadership in community theater, the Art Cole Award.

Have you heard of Channel 52?

Did you know that Spokane has a TV station called KHBA on channel 52 (UHF)?

Well, not many people do. But KHBA has been broadcasting on a low-power signal for 10 years. The station carries 24-hour-a-day Christian programming from the 3 Angels Broadcasting Network based in Illinois, a supportive ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The signal can be picked up over most of the Spokane area, north to Deer Park, east to Post Falls and south and west to Edwall. It is not carried on cable.

“A lot of people don’t know we exist because the station has been low-profile in its approach,” said Joe Stanfill, station manager since June. “But we’re planning on boosting the profile.”

The station will do that by developing some local shows (it currently has none) and by working on upgrading the signal.

A Ritz-y ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

Now, I’m not saying that this would be the most thrifty way to see the all-Elvis musical “All Shook Up” on Broadway, starring Cheyenne Jackson from Newport, Wash., and Spokane.

But it would certainly be a high-class way to go.

The Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park is offering a weekend package including overnight accommodations, two “All Shook Up” tickets, luxury-car service to the theater, dinner for two in the hotel’s 2 West Steakhouse, and a chocolate “amenity.”

All for just $699 per couple. Yes, you’ll have to figure out some way to get to New York, too.

The offer runs weekends from March 4 through June 25.

If you’re interested, call (800) 241-3333 or go online to www.ritzcarlton.com.

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