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News Archive: December 2006

December 3, 2006
Things have been quiet in the format as of late. No new affiliates, no drops, nothing. The depth of the Variety Hits format is helping it to avoid the burn problem that plagued so many niche formats of the past decade (i.e. Rhythmic Oldies, 80s, etc.)

To clarify the situation with Springfield, MO, I'm told that, while the market is outside the Top 100, Clear Channel does not have plans (as of now) to sell off the stations that it owns there. If that holds true, there will be no stations in the Variety Hits format to be affected by the sell off (well, besides those hit with staff cuts due to across-the-board budget slashes in markets that are being retained by Clear Channel.)

December 6, 2006
I've received a tip that CJAQ/Toronto (92.5 Jack FM) will be bringing DJs back, at least for one daypart, beginning soon. CJAQ was the only Jack FM in Canada to be jockless (in start contrast to the US presentation of the format), but it appears that the jockless status will be changing there soon.

December 19, 2006
Congrats to Jennifer Donohue, who was promoted recently by CBS Radio to VP/General Manager of WCBS-FM/New York, NY. She had served as the station's General Sales Manager prior to the promotion.

The legal ID for Reno's KZTQ is now up on reports that WAZA in Liberty, MS flipped from Oldies (Boomer 107) to Variety Hits as 107.7 WAZA ("with hits from A-Z") as of December 1, 2006. I haven't been able to find anything further out about this, but the 100kw people are very good at obtaining accurate information.

According to Pinnacle Media Worldwide, the top five testing songs for the Variety Hits format are:

1. "Another One Bites The Dust" Queen
2. "I Love Rock & Roll" Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
3. "Play That Funky Music" Wild Cherry
4. "Jack & Diane" John Cougar Mellencamp
5. "In The Air Tonight" Phil Collins

Click here to see the top 25. Interestingly, only one song ("Smooth" by Santana w/ Rob Thomas) post-1989 charted in the top 25.

December 26, 2006
An e-mail tip told me that Omaha's KCTY-FM (Bob 106.9) will be flipping to hip hop at the end of the month. I haven't been able to confirm this; when I hear more, I'll let you know on here.

December 27, 2006 reports that KTDZ in Fairbanks, Alaska has flipped from oldies as 103.9 Kool FM (formerly KUWL) to Variety Hits as 103.9 Ted FM. The call letters changed on 12/16/2006; it's unclear as of this writing when the actual flip happened.

December 28, 2006
The Sioux City Journal reports that NRG Media is selling KZSR (102.3 Bob FM) in Sioux City, IA to Powell Broadcasting. According to the article, Powell is slated to take control of the station's operations on 1/1/2007.

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