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KDND

KDND

KDND is an FM station licensed to Sacramento, California at 107.9 MHz. It is owned by Entercom. KDND broadcasts a mainstream Top 40 format under the name 107.9 The End. KDND's current format debuted on July 14, 1998, when it changed formats from classic rock.

The station is also one of three Top 40 stations competing in the Sacramento radio market; rhythmic-leaning rivals KSFM and KBMB are the other two.

Station history

KDND is the successor to KXOA-FM, which had been broadcasting since the late 1940s with various formats. In 1996, Brown Broadcasting sold KXOA-FM to Entercom (which already owned KSEG and KRXQ). The station continued to program its previous “Arrow” format until the summer of 1998. The owners flipped the station to a CHR/Pop format, and changed the call letters to KDND. The station was named “The End”, apparently as a reference to the station’s 107.9 position on the FM dial, though some listeners have suggested it was named after a Beatles song called The End from their album Abbey Road. Entercom had started using the name previously, however, on KNDD/Seattle -- also at "the end" of the FM dial, at 107.7 MHz. Cleveland, Ohio also had a station called 107.9 The End during the early and mid nineties.

The station continues its CHR/Pop format today, with:

Morning show, "The Wake Up Call," with Jason, Kelly, and Gavin Alecia in the mid-day Christopher K (who has been with The End since its inception in 1998) afternoons and Joe Breezy at night.

KDND's HD2 subcarrier offers listeners an all-Comedy format once it debuts.

"Hold Your Wee for a Wii" Controversy

Death of a contestant in KDND radio contest

On January 12, 2007, a listener named Jennifer Strange, 28, died of water intoxication hours after taking part in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest in which KDND promised a Wii video game system for the winner. At the time, the Nintendo console was very popular and sought-after but also near impossible to find in North America. In the competition, contestants were asked to drink as much water as they could without urinating ("wee"). The contestant able to "hold the most water" would be named the winner.

According to contest participants, 17 to 20 contestants took part in the competition in a room at KDND's studios. The contest broadcast during the station's "Morning Rave" program began around 6:15 a.m. as contestants were each handed 8 oz water bottles to drink at 15 minute intervals. Contestants also said that as the contest progressed, they were given increasingly larger quantities of water to drink. Some later remarked on the physical discomfort they suffered during and following the event.

The Sacramento Bee newspaper has released audio clips from the morning show on their website. These clips indicate that the DJs of the show were aware of the death of Matthew Carrington by water intoxication. At one point, a caller who was a co-worker of Nurse Practitioner Judy Linder called the station and informed the DJs that the contest could be dangerous and that someone could die. The DJs responded by saying "we're aware of that," and joked that the contestants had signed releases and couldn't file a lawsuit. However, according to a contestant, the waivers addressed only publicity issues and made no mention of health or safety concerns. The DJs also joked about Strange's distended belly, joking that she looked three months pregnant.

After the contest, Strange spoke to a co-worker by telephone, indicating she was on her way home and in extreme pain, suffering from what appeared to be an intense headache. The co-worker contacted Strange's mother, who went to her home an hour later to find her daughter's body.

Aftermath

On January 15, 2007, the front page of KDND's website was replaced with a message from John Geary, KDND's vice-president and general manager, expressing sympathies to Strange's family and announcing that the Morning Rave program would be taken off the air indefinitely. On January 16, 2007, Geary dismissed 10 station employees (including the 3 morning DJs) from their positions in connection with the tragedy and canceled the Morning Rave. In consequence, all references to the Morning Rave program and associated DJs have been removed from the KDND website.

The Associated Press reported that the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman said no officers were investigating the death, and that "It was a contest and people are saying there was no coercion." However, Deborah Hoffman of KXTV television reported that former Federal Prosecutor Bill Portanova commented that, "on the face of it, the radio station has some serious liability exposure", due in part to widespread news coverage of the 2005 Matthew Carrington death. On January 17, 2007, the Sacramento Bee reported that "Sacramento Sheriff John McGinness, alarmed by audio recordings obtained by The Bee of the radio show contest that may have led to the death of 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange, has directed homicide detectives to look into whether a crime was committed during the water-drinking contest sponsored by the 'Morning Rave' show on The End radio station. However, on April 2, 2007 the Sacramento county District Attorney's office officially declined to press criminal charges, citing a "lack of evidence of criminal misconduct."

On January 18, 2007, a wrongful death civil lawsuit was announced on behalf of Jennifer Strange's husband and three children against KDND. The Stranges will be represented by Sacramento attorney Roger Dreyer.

The family of Jennifer Strange urged the FCC to shut down the station and punish the parent company Entercom. On January 24, 2007, the FCC announced that they will investigate the station to see if it violated the terms of its license.

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