Those who tune in to Q103.5, an area easy-listening radio station, got a surprise this week: country music.
The radio station, based in Junction City, has been broadcasting easy-listening music since 2005 but changed its format Monday, said operations manager Robert Elfman. Q103.5 is owned by Eagle Communications, which also operates KJCK-FM 97.5 and KJCK-AM 1420.
The change to country came after the station’s management re-evaluated what kind of music would be the most popular.
The only other country station in the area is KXBZ-FM 104.5 (better known as B104.5), owned by Manhattan Broadcasting.
“We were looking for something for the broadest appeal,” Elfman said. “There was a good demand and we have a good market for a country station.”
Beginning July 25, the station played Christmas music for three days. The event, which they called Christmas in July, was a front for the transition. At 6 a.m. on Monday, the station officially changed to country.
The format change was sudden to some 103.5 listeners who voiced their disapproval via the station’s Facebook page. But Elfman said there was “no subtle way” to warn listeners in advance.
Despite a few unhappy listeners, Elfman said overall, the new format, along with its new DJs and lineup, has been received quite well.
“It’s overall been positive,” Elfman said. “People will have another choice for country music.”
The station’s new website is Q1035.com.