Best Country Music Station

KiiM 99.5 FM

Readers Pick

Post-Sept. 11, it seems that country music is increasingly about either getting even or getting drunk. KiiM Country has been appropriately patriotic, but has not taken to wearing spurs that go "jingo, jingo, jingo." Witness their tardiness in dropping the Dixie Chicks from the playlist, only to quietly sneak them back in. Like an ACLU-card-carrying cowboy, the station manages to walk the line in a liberal Democrat town with huge military and defense contractor payrolls. The KiiM Morning Crew is also back in the forefront, having re-cast the formula with a genuinely entertaining lineup. Newcomer newscaster Betsy Bruce--smart, sassy and irreverent--has developed tangible chemistry working wisecracks and one-liners with old-timer Max Morgan, traffic reporter Alan Kath and resident zanie Brett "Porkchop" Miller. Add a solid day and evening lineup, including the return of Mark Bateman, and you've got your soundtrack for kicking ass--or kicking back.

Runners up:

2. TIE KXCI 91.3 FM

2. TIE KOYT 92.9 FM

Vote of note: "Anything that's not Clear Channel"

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