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Friday, August 16, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Another Format Change For Kmgi-Fm

Fans of KMGI-FM's upbeat morning show, "The I Guys," who were upset over the show's cancellation and the station's sudden shift this week from an adult contemporary format to oldies-based contemporary, are in for an even greater surprise today.

At 3 p.m., the station was tointroduce a dramatic change, said Anna Shreeve, KMGI's general manager.

Exactly what that change is, she wouldn't say. But listeners can expect a shift to music that will target either a much older or much younger audience, according to Alpha Trivette, one half of "The I Guys." He learned Monday morning that the show was being canceled as a result of the change.

Kelly Stevens, co-host of the show with Trivette, and Jeff King, host of the afternoon show, also were fired Monday.

Some listeners called The Times to complain about the change in music at KMGI and the demise of "The I Guys."

Rebecca Hofstadter said she and her co-workers listened to the show every morning.

Scott Schneider, another disappointed listener, said clever skits and characters like Dick Tater, "The World's Only Potatohead Detective," who solved crimes involving other vegetables, kept fans loyal.

But not enough of them. Shreeve said the reason for the big switch is ratings.

The lastest Arbitron ratings show the station ranked 22nd in average share of radio listeners. There are 33 stations in the Seattle area.

KMGI's sister station KIXI-AM, which offers an oldies format (music of the '40s, '50s and '60s), ranked 13th. No format change is planned at KIXI, Shreeve said.

Trivette said the firings and change in format did not come as a total surprise. He and Stevens agreed with management that their show, aimed at women ages 25 to 54, may not be in sync with a dramatically different format.

"We had a great time," Stevens said. "We'd like to say thank you to our fans. We've made a lot of friends and we'll be back." The pair hope to work together on another station in the Seattle area, he said.

Robert Unmacht, editor of the M Street Journal, a national radio trade publication that tracks format changes, said the decision to abandon the old format is a good one.

While a glut of adult contemporary stations make that format appear to be the trend, the number of adult contemporary stations has been declining while the number of country stations has been growing. In Seattle, the top station is KIRO-AM, a news-talk format.

Unmacht called this week's shift at KMGI a smokescreen to draw attention from the bigger change planned for this afternoon.

"They want you to think they're switching to oldies," he said this week. "I'm 90 percent sure they'll switch to alternative modern rock."

"There are rumors going around that we're switching to oldies, country, progressive rock, nostalgia," said Shreeve, remaining secretive.

"That's a lot of fun."

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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