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New music director signs on at KGSR

Gary Dinges, Static

Staff Writer
Austin 360

There's someone new picking the tunes you hear on 93.3/102.7 KGSR-FM.

Kristen Kurtis, a recent arrival from Spokane, Wash., has signed on as the station's music director. You also can hear her on air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kurtis replaces Mark Abuzzahab, who took a gig in Dallas earlier this year.

"KGSR has a great reputation," she said. "I've known it was a really cool station for years. When I heard about the opening there, I got really excited."

"She's a tremendous talent and I'm fortunate to have found her," said KGSR program director Chris Edge. "Not only will Kristen be sharing her perspectives on all the music we play on KGSR, but you'll also get a good dose of who she is as a person. The world today — through social media — is about sharing who you are and what you stand for, and Kristen will deliver on that."

One of Kurtis' first priorities is increasing the size of the station's music library.

"It's really hard to explain how we pick new songs," she said. "A lot of it is gut."

KGSR typically tests out new music between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Kurtis said. Listener feedback and data on audience retention rates help decide what stays and what goes.

"We're making sure the choices are well-rounded," she said. "It's very apparent to me that there's a lot of heritage here, and I want to make sure we continue to expose our listeners to that."

Kristen Kurtis

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays

93.3/102.7 KGSR-FM

On the web: KGSR.com

Wendy Williams, Bobby Bones feud

"You'll never be Wendy Williams."

That's what the TV talk show host told 96.7 KISS-FM's Bobby Bones during a rather heated on-air exchange Aug. 16.

Williams was promoting an appearance at Lakeline Mall for the Fox 7 Austin Idol competition, but the interview quickly veered off course when Bones asked about some high-profile controversies during her days as a New York City DJ.

The daytime diva — with publicist in tow — made it abundantly clear she didn't want to discuss her past, but Bones pushed on. Things, as you might imagine, quickly turned ugly.

Williams also popped up on sister station 102.3 the Beat, chatting with morning host Zannie Kaye. Things went better there, with Kaye posting on Facebook: "Wendy Williams is def an original. And a REAL sweetheart!"

"The Wendy Williams Show" airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on Fox 7.

A departure at KMFA

Afternoon host Rich Upton and 89.5 KMFA-FM have parted ways.

A 22-year veteran of the classical radio station, Upton sent me this farewell message to pass along to his listeners:

"If you shared weekday afternoons or Saturday mornings with me, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your time, your calls of support, your helpful information about music and composers. Thank you for listening and caring enough to call or write. And thank you to those who called just to connect with me. I appreciate you, and I wish I could have told you that. I don't know what's in store for me now, but I know I will miss you. You were an important part of my life for over two decades, for which I again say: Thank you."

"KMFA appreciates Rich's years of service to the local classical music community and thanks him for his work," program director Keith Neisler told me. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

You can reach Upton at rupton@austin.rr.com.

Some good news for Glenn Beck fans

I've been hearing from lots of people who need their Glenn Beck fix.

Border Media pulled the plug Aug. 15 on 98.9 the Big Talker, the talk radio host's Austin home for the past two years.

Fans aren't out of luck, though: Beck can be heard weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. on 1200 WOAI-AM. The San Antonio station comes in loud and clear across most of Central Texas, and streams online at radio.woai.com.

As for the Big Talker's other syndicated programming, there's no word yet on new homes for Andy Dean, Jason Lewis and others. If I hear anything, you'll be the first to know. I promise.

Around the dial ...

"Austin Hellenic Radio," a weekly show highlighting Greek music and culture, is back from its summer hiatus. Catch it Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. on 91.7 KVRX-FM.

Austin's most-played song is …

… LMFAO's `Party Rock Anthem.'

Again.

The two stations that make or break songs in our fair city, Beat 102.3 and 96.7 KISS-FM, played the hit song a combined 230 times Aug. 15-21, according to AllAccess.com.

Nicki Minaj's `Super Bass' was a close second with 226 spins.

Meanwhile, `I Wanna Go,' the latest from Britney Spears, continues to rocket up the charts.

Here are the top five songs played on a random sampling of local stations:

96.7 KISS-FM

LMFAO, `Party Rock Anthem' - 111 spins

Britney Spears, `I Wanna Go' - 110

Nicki Minaj, `Super Bass' - 109

Katy Perry, `Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)' - 107

Lil Wayne, `How to Love' - 61

101X

Foster the People, `Pumped Up Kicks' - 50 spins

Red Hot Chili Peppers, `Adventures of Rain Dance...' - 49

Black Keys, `Howlin' for You' - 47

Naked and Famous, `Young Blood' - 25

Coldplay, `Every Teardrop is a Waterfall' - 24

93.3/102.7 KGSR

Decemberists, `This is Why We Fight' - 32 spins

Mumford and Sons, `Roll Away Your Stone' - 32

Head and the Heart, `Lost in My Mind' - 31

Red Hot Chili Peppers, `Adventures of Rain Dance...' - 31

Bob Schneider, `Honeypot' - 29

KASE 101

Dierks Bentley, `Am I the Only One' - 48 spins

Luke Bryan, `Country Girl (Shake it for Me)' - 48

Lady Antebellum, `Just a Kiss' - 48

Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood, `Remind Me' - 47

Jake Owen, `Barefoot Blue Jean Night' - 41