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KMVN 93.9 FM does the hustle into that good night

April 6, 2009 |  2:56 pm


The mausoleum for L.A. radio stations is getting awfully crowded this year. Starting April 14, the disco-leaning station (and most recent home of popular host Rick Dees, pictured) KMVN "Movin 93.9 FM" will pack up the rayon and spangles for good. At that point, Grupo Radio Centro, the Mexican radio firm, will assume control of programming and marketing, with a clause to buy the station outright within seven years. The $7-million deal means 93.9 will flip to a Spanish-language format, and Dees is currently out of a regular morning-show slot.

"These have been challenging times in media, and this is just the best move for us," said Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications, the company that had operated KMVN until the deal. "The hardest thing is that it had been trending up in ratings, and we think the world of Rick, but it's the right decision for us now."

Dees, a staple in local pop radio for decades, plans to continue and expand his radio and digital content company, Dees Entertainment. However, the format switch does mean the end of an unusual station playing vintage disco, freestyle and contemporary club singles that often seemed too niche-targeted to survive in difficult times even for more mainstream stations. So, in tribute, we'll send KMVN off with a little Debbie Deb to the pearly gates of interesting but underprofitable L.A. radio experiments.

--August Brown

Photo by Myung J. Chun / LAT