On the road and around the dial with Keith McGowan in FNQ

A couple of months ago, recently retired 3AW talk host Keith McGowan loaded up the “Blue Ranger” and went to explore the wilds of Far North Queensland while listening to some stations along the way.

Never one to withhold his opinions (which are not necessarily those of management) he’s provided heaps about 4KZ and KIX Country.

4KZ commenced broadcasting from Innisfail in 1967 and claim to have The Gulf to Townsville as their listening area. A new transmitter was recently hooked up and the 10,000 watts makes for a good clear signal.

In 1987 4KZ commenced their Saturday afternoon “Trading Post” and 25 years on, the trading is as brisk as ever. From 1pm to 4pm several blocks of calls are taken from listeners all over the region wanting to buy sell or swap. A limit of $5000 is placed on each item.

The Buying Selling and Swapping was broken up with music that hit me between the ears. Plenty of 60’s and a little bit of 70’s. All familiar music. The guy chatting away sounded familiar to me. He was very good. I guessed he’d worked in a much larger market or should be. Funnily enough I didn’t catch his name, so in an effort to find out who it was on the air, I went to the 4KZ home page and emailed.

Several days later I have not heard back from them so I can’t tell you who it was. If broadcasting stations have a home page, and provision for listener questions and comments, the least they can do is reply.   

It’s a big Country

I am a big consumer of country music both old and new, and whenever I get into “KIX Country” I search the dial and tune in. “KIX Country” was recently shed by Fairfax and picked up by Grant Broadcasters who proudly boast they are a 100% Australian Family company operating out of Bundaberg. “KIX Country” can be heard through more than 20 frequencies in Queensland, three in South Australia, and one in NSW (Tamworth).

Not all of these spots on the dial are very strong, and you can lose signal pretty quickly. But despite my eagerness to tune to “KIX Country” I am always let down. It appears to me they have a playlist of 100’s of songs, and tracks by complete unknowns. I believe “KIX Country” should cull the crap and play more familiar and popular songs and artists.

I have listened to “KIX Country” for hours on end, and heard nothing I was glad to hear. And whilst I’m about it, I don’t want to hear snippets of “country news” gathered from the Internet about some obscure USA singer whose bus broke down in Milwaukee.  “KIX Country” have a website and when I looked at it I learned the Glen Campbell Tour was cancelled. On another page I got all the details of the forthcoming Glen Campbell tour and told to book now. If you are going to have a www it must be kept up to date and tended to daily. “KIX Country” advertise “The Best Country In The World”. Fortunately they are in it but they sure aint playin’ it. 

We’ll have more from Keith tomorrow as he makes his way through Townsville and the Fraser Coast.