Popular radio station returns to the airwaves

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

The studios of Sunset Media are getting ready to bring old favorites and new features online with two new radio stations — 93.7 KKYT The Coyote and 94.5 KWTY. Owners Eric and Kim Kauf-fman, fixtures in local radio for 20 years, said they are excited to launch the newest phase of their project, which will bring the local voice to the greater Eastern Sierra region.

“We look at this as an opportunity to reach L.A. traffic, since for a long stretch of the road we’ll be the only station in earshot,” said Eric Kauffman.

“We never left Ridgecrest. The transmitter is in Olancha — where it always has been.

“We continue at 121 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., where we have been for seven years.

KKYT will continue to play Hot Country and NBC News, as well as The Big Show featuring Eric and Fritz.

“With local news 10 times a day, real-time weather reports and news updates when they happen, we are retaining all the features our listeners have asked for.

“We have a couple thousand loyal online listeners who have been with us since November, but I know a lot of people have been waiting for this to come back on the air.”

For KWTY, the Kauffmans are partnering with Chuck Contreras of Post Rock Communications, who brings his experience working at Paramount Pictures/CBS to the local project.

“I love home-town radio stations, and I fell in love with Ridgecrest,” said Contreras. “I can’t wait to join the Kauffmans in being a part of the fabric of this community.”

Contreras has more than 30 years previously in the radio business, like Kauffman, some of it in Texas.

Post Rock Communications owns KKYT. Sunset Media will be running the day-to-day operations.

The new 25,000-watt station will be the only one to feature full coverage on Highway 395 from Ridgecrest to Mammoth, giving the Southern California commuters a taste of the Indian Wells Valley.

“Up to this point we haven’t really been able to reach that crowd,” said Kauffman.

“Now the drivers from Southern California can hear about our restaurants, our hospital and all other reasons they should make this their place to stop on the way to Mammoth.”

The new station will play adult contemporary including Adele, Train, Maroon 5, Colbie Caillat, Matchbox Twenty and other modern favorites.

In addition to the popular Big Show, it will play national news, local and Owens Valley news, ski reports and more.

The Coyote has continued to broadcast online at coyote395.com, where listeners can hear their favorite music and news, along with status updates for Sunset media. Updates are also posted at www.facebook.com/coyote395.

Story First Published: 2012-08-22