Posted by Eulogist on November 06, 2008 at 13:59:39:
In Reply to: WKTI Milwaukee is gone, WLWK-FM appears posted by madcityradio.com on November 06, 2008 at 13:56:47:
We come today to mourn the death of 94 WKTI -- once perhaps Milwaukee's mightiest radio brand but now just a memory to those of us who, day by day and year by year, see more of the radio of our youth pass us by.
While it first took shape as a Top-40 station in 1974, the 'KTI we all came to know and love was truly born in 1981 when Dallas Cole brought in Bob Reitman. Later additions of Gene Mueller, Lips LaBelle and Danny Clayton turned the station into a powerhouse for anyone that was, or knew, a young adult in the mid-80's.
Wacky promotions like the "Cabbage Patch Drop," kitschy sayings like "Ya Ya, Milwaukee!" and "that number again" and our first exposure to Madonna, the new wave movement and Bruce Springsteen are some of the trademarks of the station that was "hip and young" after WOKY and WRIT had passed us by, after WZMF had (literally) smoked itself out and before KISS-FM had a dancing fat dude.
'KTI held onto its legacy for as long as it could, with Reitman & Mueller staying with the station deep into the 21st Century and Lips holding on until the very end. As time moved on and the audience aged, 'KTI tried to hold onto it with Flashback Fridays and voices that were, or still are, recognizable from other stations, such as Cindy Huber and Kidd O'Shea.
Alas, after a reasonably weak attempt at trying to be young, hip and edgy again in the morning with an outsider in Matthew Blades, the station seemed to be unable to overcome the difficulties facing both all of radio and its parent company of Journal Communications. Unable to avoid nighttime syndication, or find a better fit than John Tesh, and with the format feeling a little hackneyed between the trying-to-be-cool Blades, the old-school Lips and Tesh, WKTI succumbed and the blue-and-yellow logo, which went perfect with your ball-and-glove logo Brewers cap during the station's heyday, disappeared today.
It's a kind of sad day, I think, for those of us who have basically spent our whole adult lives listening to 'KTI. I suppose I'm not technically part of their target demographic as a 20-something male, but I liked their music and there was always something cool to me about listening to the same station and voices that were cool to my sister when she was in high school and I was a baby.
Alas, time moves on and one has to wonder if the bold letters of any station's calls are enough to keep it afloat anymore. Us lifelong Milwaukeeans can see the bold letters of WOKY, WKTI, WLZR and QFM in our bumper sticker memory bank. Now, we instead get "The Wolf," "The Hog," "The Brew" and even "The Lake" as radio across the dial gets more "The Same."
But that's beside the point. Alas, poor WKTI. We knew you well. A fond farewell to you on this day of your death.
Ya ya, WKTI. Ya ya.
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