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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Thin Air Community Radio soon will feel the power

It’s full power ahead for KYRS-FM (Thin Air Community Radio, 89.9 and 92.3), which just received approval from the FCC to boost its signal to 6,500 watts.

This eclectic community radio station has long been Spokane’s leading entry in the low-power FM radio movement – and a favorite among listeners who crave something outside the mass market.

The new signal would cover the entire Spokane metro area and probably go all the way north to Colville.

Right now, the station reaches only … well, let’s put it this way: Don’t drive too far while listening to your favorite Thin Air program. The station operates on 100 watts on its main signal and 50 watts on its Spokane translator.

This FCC approval is just the first step in the full-power process. Thin Air will now have to build a new 50-foot tower and a new transmitter, which station manager Lupito Flores said will cost around $230,000.

The station has three years to get the new tower built. A capital campaign will begin soon.

Rock rules on radio

KHTQ-FM (Rock 94½) retained its No. 1 spot in the Spokane market for the third straight quarter in the Arbitron radio ratings.

It plays the likes of Mudvayne, Korn, AC/DC, Godsmack, Linkin Park and Motley Crue, and has a popular morning show (see item below), the “Twice as Much Rock Morning Show” with GA (Gary Allen) and Stunt Double JP.

At No. 2 is KKZX-FM (Classic Rock, 98.9), which leans more toward Led Zeppelin (although “classic rock” now encompasses Pearl Jam, which should alarm all of you children of the ’90s).

Here’s the Top Five, based on quarter-hour share, copyright Arbitron Inc.:

1. KHTQ-FM, rock, 8.4

2. KKZX-FM, classic rock, 7.0

3. KISC-FM, adult contemporary, 6.2

4. KZZU-FM, contemporary hits, 6.0

5. KEYF-FM, oldies, 5.8

Moving up in the rankings: KZZU-FM, KICR-FM, KEYF-FM.

Moving down: KQNT-AM, KDRK-FM, KEZE-FM.

Morning shows

Morning shows are all-important in radio, and the Arbitron ratings reveal some long-popular names at the top.

Tied for first are KZZU-FM’s Dave, Ken and Molly (Sposito, Hopkins and Allen, respectively) and KKZX-FM’s Radio Men (Jim Arnold and C. Foster Kane).

Right behind are KISC-FM’s Morning Crew (Rob Harder, Mark Holman and Tammy Jo) and KHTQ-FM’s aforementioned “Twice as Much Rock Morning Show.”

A special ‘Joseph’

The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre season is just weeks away – it begins June 13 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Now we’ve received word that this summer-stock professional theater is giving away one entire special matinee of “Joseph” on June 27, 2 p.m., to all service/community/civic organizations that cater to what the theater calls “under-served” populations.

Interested in this generous offer? Call the box office at (800) 4-CDATIX or (208) 769-7780 for information and reservations.

By the way, the rest of the CdA Summer Theatre’s season includes “The Producers,” “Dames at Sea” and “Miss Saigon.”

‘Hole in the Sky’

The Spokane Falls Community College drama department opens a notable production on Thursday: “Hole in the Sky,” a drama about the people stuck above the 100th floor of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, written by local playwright and actor Reed McColm.

It runs Thursdays through Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m., through June 7 at SFCC’s Spartan Theatre, 3410 Fort George Wright Drive, Building 5.

It’s free for SFCC students; there’s a suggested donation of $8 for everyone else. Sara Edlin-Marlowe directs.

SJO’s new director

The search is over: Tom Molter is the new Spokane Jazz Orchestra music director.

Molter, a longtime trombonist with the SJO, is also a teacher, composer and arranger.

Meanwhile, here’s the 2009-2010 lineup:

•“Back by Popular Demand,” with guest vocalist Nnenna Freelon, Sept. 26.

•“Holiday Songs of Nat King Cole,” with guest vocalist Horace Alexander Young, Dec. 5.

•“Swingin’ With the Piano Man,” with guest pianist Brent Edstrom, March 13.

•“Memories in Song,” with guest vocalist Greta Matassa, May 8.

Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 1. All shows are at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Rockin’ B Ranch

The Rockin’ B Ranch, Liberty Lake’s popular cowboy supper-show headquarters, opens for its 15th season on June 12, and some new wrinkles are planned for this season.

Every Cowboy Supper Show will include a pre-dinner showdown called “The Ballad of Spokane Bridge,” a melodrama and shootout. Each show will also feature an after-dinner concert with the country-bluegrass Riders of the Rockin’ B.

Of particular note: The Rockin’ B has embarked on a new collaboration with Tim Behrens, well-known from CenterStage and the Patrick F. McManus comedies. Every Cowboy Supper Show will feature a 10-minute “McManus Moment,” featuring Behrens.

The Rockin’ B will also host three special presentations of “The Comedies of Patrick F. McManus,” starring Behrens, on June 20, July 18 and Aug. 22.

The Rockin’ B is also planning Wednesday jazz nights (beginning June 17, then every other Wednesday) and bluegrass nights (beginning June 16, then the third Tuesday of each month).

Cowboy Supper Shows will run every Friday and Saturday in June, beginning June 12, then every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July, August and September (except the McManus dates listed above).

For reservations and info, call (509) 891-9016 or (888) 762-5462.

Arts Awards nominations

The Spokane Arts Commission is accepting nominations for the 2009 City of Spokane Arts Awards.

Categories include Individual Artist, Arts Organization, Arts in Education, Individual Benefactor, Business Benefactor and Arts Community Leadership.

Applications can be found at or in the Chase Gallery at City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at
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