Jason Nagel, right, with Cities 97 morning host Brian Oake at a Faith's Lodge fundraiser in 2009.
While Cities 97 has sounded less and less like a reflection of its namesake Twin Cities, KTWIN (96.3 FM) is sounding more and more like Cities 97.
The Pohlad-owned Twins broadcasting outlet has newly added longtime Cities jockey and local music booster Jason Nagel to its team of on-air personalities. Nagel will work the weekend shifts, KTWIN program director Michael Steele said he will also "be a big part of some other interesting stuff" in the works. He follows another Cities alum, Brian “BT” Turner, who is now working afternoons at KTWIN.
"Jason has deep roots here and fits in well with what we want to do here," Steele said. "We're very excited to get him."
With its evolving mix of Cities-style pop/rock hits, local news and Twins-related programming -- this will be the first season games are broadcast on 96.3 -- KTWIN wasted no time fitting in the Twins-loving Nagel this past weekend. His first on-air guest was none other than team manager Ron Gardenhire at Twins Fest. That's quite a change-up from Nagel’s last guest at Cities for his Sunday night "Minnesota Music" show, Dan Israel (although, I’m sure if Israel had been asked, he too could’ve offered an in-depth forecast of this next season at Target Field).
Unavailable for comment this morning, Nagel said via Twitter on Sunday night that he hopes to continue a locally oriented show at KTWIN in some form or fashion, although the station already has former Prince & the Revolution drummer Bobby Z hosting a local series on Sundays at 8 p.m.
A nights, weekends and fill-in jockey at Cities for over a decade, Nagel was passed over last year when the Clear Channel-owned Cities hired two out-of-town DJs: The more hyper-voiced, Red Bull-soaked afternoon personality Paul Fletcher from Omaha’s Q98.5 and British-accented nightkeeper Nai-ma, who sounds tailor-made for introducing Adele every hour. Cities program director Lauren MacLeash, however, reiterated that Nagel was “an important part of the Cities 97 legacy."
"He made many meaningful contributions in both his fulltime and partime tenure," MacLeash added. "His decision to leave was not easy for him or us. I wish him nothing but the best."
Here's what I and many other Twins-loving music fans wish for Nagel: The Pohlads should also use him over at the DJ booth in Target Field and get rid of the heavily Auto-Tuned, overly repetitive, inanely juvenile music format played there in recent years (leftover from when the 96.3 frequency was wasted on KDWB wannabe 96.3 Now). But obviously they have more pressing concerns at the ballpark.
[Photo: Star Tribune]