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Duluth's KDWZ switching from top-40 to country music format

A mix of country music classics old and new will replace the top-40 pop music format on Duluth's KDWZ 102.5 FM starting next week, Midwest Communications announced Thursday.

Starting Monday morning, KDWZ will be rebranded as "Duke FM." Midwest said it will play country hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s — think Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill and Alabama — while also mixing in older classics from artists such as Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

The new format "brings back the classics that we haven't been able to hear on the radio in this market for a long time. It's the music listeners have been telling us they miss," Midwest Communications operations manager Mark Fleischer said in a news release.

The Jake & Tanner Morning Show that had aired on KDWZ will move to KDAL 95.7 FM starting Tuesday.

Midwest said the Duke FM music lineup will complement the songs played on its other country music station in the market, KTCO "Kat Country" 98.9 FM.

Duluth radio listeners also can hear country music on Townsquare Media's KKCB "B105" 105.1 FM.

It's the second format change in about five years for 102.5 FM. In late August 2010, what had been KHQG-FM — playing oldies album rock — switched its call letters to KDWZ and adopted the top-40 "hit music" format to compete with KBMX 107.7 FM, also known as Mix 108.

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