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News Archive: August 2007

August 21, 2007
Several major changes have happened in the Variety Hits genre since my last update:

In San Diego, 100.7 Jack FM (KFMB-FM) named Mike O'Reilly as the new PD earlier this month. O'Reilly worked with the Jack FM format previously in Kansas City (KCJK) and Indianapolis (WJJK) and also worked as an independent consultant with Jack FM United States license holder Sparknet communications, according to 100000watts.com.

The VH war in Knoxville is over, as on August 10, 2007, Citadel dropped the format from 98.7 Earl FM (WOKI) to go Oldies with the satellite-fed, Scott Shannon produced "True Oldies Channel" format. Earl FM debuted just nine days after South Central put Jack FM on in Knoxville on the 95.7/106.7 simulcast signals (replacing, ironically enough, Oldies on those stations) and went heads-up with Jack for nearly 22 months.

Likewise, the VH war in Salisbury/Ocean City, MD has ended, with Sam 106.5 (WKHW) dropping the format on 8/15 to go classic rock, presumably as 106.5 WKHW (information on this is not easy to find.) The station was at a strong disadvantage against the more powerful signal and local programming of 107.5 Joe FM (with the similar but unrelated call letters WKHI.)

Variety Hits is on in Greenville, SC, as Entercom dropped its female talk format on 106.3 WGVC for a weekend of stunting followed by the debut of 106.3 Charlie FM at noon ET on Monday, August 20, 2007.

Others going Variety Hits:
-KDSR/Williston, ND, from Classic Rock as Hot 101 (a name you rarely see used for branding classic rockers) to 101.1 Bob FM.
-KEDD/Edwards, CA, from Spanish as Radio Exitos to 103.9 Bob FM.
-New sign-on WXRG/Whitefield, NH as Free 99.1 (not to be confused with the short-lived "Free FM" CBS FM Talk moniker.)


August 22, 2007
To follow up from yesterday's mega-update, one addition to the drop list is 104.9 Jack FM (WSLY) in Meridian, MS. That station dropped the Variety Hits format as of 8/5/2007, going with gospel music under the name "Gospel Hits Y104.9". That area, which once had two Variety Hits stations before SAM 93.5 (WMLV) went Hot AC as V93.5 in March of this year, now has zero VH stations (and now two stations using a single letter in their respective on-air monikers.)


August 30, 2007
UPDATE #2: Radio & Records reports that KIOL/Houston is flipping to Variety Hits as 103.7 Jack FM tomorrow morning at 10:37 a.m. CDT, and that it will be obtaining new call letters KHJK.

UPDATE #1: Multiple reports have 103.7 KIOL flipping to Jack FM by noon tomorrow (Friday), with new call letters to be KHJK (which are presently parked on a Cumulus-owned construction permit on 99.1 in Lennox, SD); the call letters were assigned there as of 8/21/2007, so it all seems to add up.

This morning All Access is reporting that a format flip could be in the works in Houston for Cumulus rock station 103.7 KIOL (a rimshot from the east.) Houston is the largest market (#6) in the United States to have not tried the Variety Hits format. All Access revealed that 1037jackfm.com redirects to the Cumulus corporate website, which is still the case as of this writing.

Cumulus has a Jack FM Variety Hits station in Kansas City (KCJK), obtained in the Susquehanna purchase, but it also bastardized the Jack FM in Indianapolis (WJJK, also inherited from Susquehanna) into a classic hits station that is Jack FM in name only. To date, Cumulus has not launched Variety Hits on a station that it owns.


August 31, 2007
Flip flip! The poorly kept secret out of Houston has held true, as at 10:37 a.m. CDT today, Houston eastern rimshot Rock 103.7 (KIOL) flipped to Variety Hits as 103.7 Jack FM.

The last Rock 103.7 songs:
Tom Petty "Last Dance with Mary Jane"
Foreigner "Cold As Ice"
*LINER* "Your world will change after this next song is over"
Jimi Hendrix "Fire"

Debut of 103.7 Jack FM

Rolling Stones "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Prince "Let's Go Crazy"

The calls remain KIOL as of the 1 p.m. CDT legal ID, but look for them to soon change to KHJK.


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