Thursday, April 1, 2010

No April Fool’s Joke: KMXQ Dark

By John Larson

SOCORRO - When listeners of Socorro’s only local radio station, 92.9 KMXQ-FM, turned on their radios Friday afternoon, Mar. 29, all they heard was static.
General Manager Virgil Vigil told the Mountain Mail the station had ceased broadcasting as of 1:38 a.m. Friday afternoon.
Vigil said the owner, Lakeshore Media in Chicago, had sold the KMXQ license to another broadcasting company, Cochise Media Licenses, based in Jackson, Wyoming.
“We were told to shut it down Friday,” Vigil said. “That’s all I can say.”
Vigil said the five other employees of the radio station were told they would no longer have a job as of Thursday, Mar. 31.
Vigil was asked by the new owner to oversee the facilities on Highway 60 until further notice.
When the station will resume broadcasting, and with what music format, is still up in the “air.”
Whether the station will continue broadcasting Warrior sports in the fall remains to be seen, Vigil said. “George Funkhouser and Manny Marquez have done a great job calling the basketball and football games all these years,” he said.
The radio was first assigned the KHBN call sign in 1985, but in 1987 the call sign was changed to KMXQ and had a country music format which continued airing until last Friday.
In addition to acquiring the broadcasting license for $60,000, Cochise Media has also applied for a construction permit. The company has not publicly announced the reason for the permit. Cochise Media is owned by Ted and Jana Tucker.
In a telephone conversation, Tucker told the Mountain Mail that decisions concerning KMXQ’s return to the airwaves, and its format, will be made as soon as negotiations with government and privates entities are finalized. “It will be at least a few weeks,” Tucker said.
Cochise Media owns several radio stations including two in New Mexico, and also in Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona. Formats for the stations vary from classic rock to Spanish.

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