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News Archive: March 2006

March 31, 2006
A career change and a move later, I'm back. But just because I left the radio business doesn't mean that I'm not going to keep following it closely.

Let's update things here... There've been many new stations to join the format since the last update (on 2/12), so I'll try and list to catch them all here in chronological order. Most of the dates come from 100000watts.com, which proved very helpful in helping me to play catch-up.

2/13/06: WROE in Appleton, WI changed from AC to "Adult Hits" as 94.3 WROE, but this is a case where the urge by some to broadly tag the format with that moniker is a problem. Much like 107.9 The Drive in Indianapolis is a Classic Hits station masquerading as a VH station (using the imaging of a Variety Hits station, but not having the associated playlist), that is what I perceive WROE to be. It doesn't matter to me what the format is called, but as I feared, the name "Adult Hits" is beginning to be pegged on stations where it doesn't belong. That doesn't make my job on here any easier. But, as Captain Spaulding in The Devil's Rejects said, "I calls 'em like I sees 'em!"
2/20/06: WLYD in Green Bay, WI (now WZBY) flipped from Rhythmic Top 40 as Wild 99.7 to Variety Hits as 99.7 The Bay. Even though 99.7 The Bay and WROE are owned by the same company, just looking at the respective station websites reveal the differences (with WROE looking like your standard classic hits fare, while 99.7 The Bay comes across clearly as a Variety Hits station from its music playlist, which really is what it's all about.)
3/2/06: KKNS-FM in Missoula, MT shifted from Liberal Talk as 105.9 KNS to Variety Hits with the ABC-fed JACK-FM format; it gained new calls of KYJK on 3/9/06. The station just went on the air last year; internet sources reveal that it debuted in August 2005.
3/8/06: The flip that was either tipped ahead of time on jack.fm, or just reported late in the trades, was WSLY in York, AL from Blues to JACK-FM (ABC version.) Seriously, what commercial station runs a Blues format? I used to enjoy the Saturday Blues show that my college radio station (WUEV) ran during my time there in the mid-late '90s, but this should be an upgrade as far as a viable format goes.
3/8/06: That same day, WOFM in Wausau, WI flipped from Rhythmic Top 40 as Wild 94.7 (notice a trend here?) to VH as 94.7 The Peak. This was actually the second Variety Hits station in the market, following up on 97.9 Jack FM, which debuted there in December 2005.
3/16/06: WXLT in the Marion/Carbondale, IL market switched from modern rock as 103.5 the X to Variety Hits as (ABC-fed) JACK-FM. The move knocked Mancow out of the market. Apparently due to contractual obligations, the station will air St. Louis Cardinals baseball games in 2006, according to the station website.
3/16/06: Bryan/College Station, TX's KTWL dropped Soft AC as "Lite 105.3" to go with Variety Hits as 105.3 Bob FM.
3/20/06: Jack vs. Bob! Tyler Broadcasting's recently acquired KOJK returned from silence (it had been country prior to Tyler's purchase) in the Oklahoma City market with the satellite-fed JACK-FM format as 97.3 JACK-FM. 96.9 Bob FM has been a wildly successful station for Citadel, but it does have signal issues to the southside of the city, where 97.3's tiny 1,000 watt signal is shoehorned (in McClain County, the county directly south of the OKC metro.) For example, 97.3 JACK-FM has city-grade coverage of Norman (where the University of Oklahoma is located), whereas 96.9 Bob FM does not.
3/21/06: KDDG in Albany, MN flipped from Oldies (as Fun Lovin' Oldies 105.5) to Variety Hits as 105.5 Bob FM.
3/29/06: Cox Broadcasting finally joins the Variety Hits game, changing Oldies 96.7 WKHL in Stamford, CT to VH as 96.7 The Coast.
3/31/06: Two new Bob FMs... KZSR (Sioux City, IA) dropped Hot AC as Star 102.3 for Variety Hits as 102.3 Bob FM, and Connoisseur Media's KZLN (Wichita, KS) has debuted as 100.5 Bob FM (and requested new calls of KIBB.)

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