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News Archive: August 2008

August 11, 2008
I spent the past 12 days on the road with the Karg Brothers band, primarily in North Carolina. And I can confirm what several readers have told me about WSSM in New Bern, NC having flipped back to the SAM Variety Hits format -- I not only heard it first-hand, but also rolled tape on it to land the legal ID for TopHour.com.

Congrats to 106.5 The Arch (WARH) in St. Louis, which (according to All Access) finished #1 in Persons 25-54 in the Spring 2008 Arbitron ratings. Some people predicted that Variety Hits would be a quick fad format, a la Rhythmic Oldies, but it's been 3+ years on the air for The Arch and here it is at #1 in the big money demo.


August 14, 2008
CBS Radio has confirmed that the new market manager for its Los Angeles cluster, including 93.1 Jack FM (KCBS-FM), is bringing in Roy Laughlin to run its stations there. Previously Laughlin worked with Magic Broadcasting in Los Angeles, and prior to that he was co-market manager in L.A. for Clear Channel.

As for Jack FM, the roll-out of the PPM (personal people meter) that Arbitron is developing to replace its diary system is reflecting well on the format. All Access reveals that Jack FM has held its #3 spot in Persons 25-54 (the big money demo in radio) for a second straight month. That news, coupled with Ben FM in Philadelphia having shown strong performance in PPM in past tests there, is an encouraging sign for the Variety Hits format.


August 19, 2008
Tom Taylor of Radio-Info.com reports that Allegheny Mountain Network subsidiary Farm & Home Broadcasting Company, the owner of SAM 106.3 (WQRM) in the Olean, NY market, has sold the station to Colonial Radio Group for $290,000. Ray Rosenblum served as the broker for the deal.


August 26, 2008
Will Variety Hits be coming to the Huntington, WV market? That is the speculation over at wvbroadcasting.net, where classic rock 101.5 The River WRYV has fired its morning show and appears to be heading to a format flip. The station is owned by Connoisseur Media, which has implemented the Bob FM brand of Variety Hits in Bloomington, IL, Wichita, KS, and Eric, PA. A source that has been traditionally reliable reports that the same consultant who put the format on in Bloomington visited the Connoisseur Media studios in Huntington today.

WRYV is technically licensed to Gallipolis, OH, but the station's signal covers Huntington and much of the I-64 corridor between Huntington and Charleston, WV (which had the Jack FM format for 14 months in 2006 and early 2007).


August 27, 2008
Mere hours after the news went up here last night of a new Variety Hits format coming soon to Huntington, WV (where I once lived early in my TV news career), the speculation turned to fact, as Connoisseur Media flipped 101.5 The River (WRYV) to Variety Hits as 101.5 Bob FM at 10 p.m. ET last night. In conjunction with the flip, the station changed its call letters to WXBW.


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