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News Archive: March 2007

March 9, 2007
When I was in Nashville earlier this month, I managed to delete the main file for the site... and, much to my horror, I realized that I didn't have it backed up. Google saved me to a degree, and despite scouring files on my computer when I returned to Alabama, what's lost is lost. Ugh.

Lesson learned: always have a backup.

The big news is that KMAX-FM (95.7 Max FM) in San Francisco dropped its Variety Hits format and flipped to Country as 95.7 The Wolf on March 1, 2007. The move was made by the station's soon-to-be owner, Bonneville, which recently took control of the station (via an LMA) from its current owner, Entercom.

Stations that picked up the Variety Hits format in recent weeks: KLKO/Elko, NV (from Classic Rock to 93.7 Bob FM); KKRY/Miles City, MT (from silent to 92.3 Mike FM); and just yesterday KQRX in Midland, TX split from its simulcast of 96.5 KNRX (modern rock 96X) to go with Variety Hits as 95.1 Bob FM.

March 11, 2007
A flip that I initially missed from the first of this month was Clear Channel's KPRF/Amarillo, TX (Power 98.7) changing from CHR (Top 40) to Variety Hits as 98.7 Jack FM. This is noteworthy as it is the first Clear Channel-owned station to pick up the Jack FM format. Amarillo is one of the market clusters that is slated to be sold off by Clear Channel later this year, but it is still Clear Channel owned and operated, at least for now.


March 13, 2007
I was suspicious when I saw that Urban AC formatted KVEE (V 99.3) in the Tyler/Longview, TX market changed its call letters to KAJK on February 22 (there's precedent for a "JK" call letter change leading up to a flip to Jack FM), and sure enough the station went Variety Hits yesterday (3/12/2007) as 99.3 Jack FM.

All Access reports that WFCX/WFDX (94.3 The Fox) in Traverse City, MI has picked up the syndicated classic American Top 40 show (which replays Casey Kasem countdowns from the 1970s.) It will air on the station from noon-3 pm on Sundays, with a midnight replay.


March 16, 2007
In a move I've thought should happen for some time now, Renda Broadcasting's 102.9 WJGO (Groovin' 102.9) in the Ft. Myers, FL market dropped Rhythmic Oldies at noon EDT today to go Variety Hits as 102.9 Bob FM.

Meanwhile, All Access reports that 98.3 Jack FM (WGCO) in Savannah, GA has dropped Variety Hits and returned to its previous identity as Oldies 98.3. The flip ends the 18 month Variety Hits head-to-head battle with Tama Broadcasting's WSGA (Freedom 92.1), which is also in the Savannah market (though WSGA doesn't have as strong of a signal as WGCO.)


March 17, 2007
107.3 Jack FM in Charleston, WV is now stunting toward the launch of a new format on Monday at 10 a.m. EDT. The station experienced a ratings slump when it flipped from Oldies to Variety Hits, and the numbers did not recover.

Right now the station is running a poll on its website for what new format listeners want to hear, with one-hour blocks of each format running during the stunt. A return to Oldies (like WGCO) wouldn't surprise me, but I don't have any inside info on this. From the 1073jackfm.com website:

Which format do you want to see on the NEW 107.3 FM?
ROCK 107.3, The Only Station That Really Rocks.
EASY 107.3, The Anti Lyric Station.
REDNECK 107.3, Gut Bustin' Country.
THE CHICKS 107.3, All Dixie Chicks All the Time.
BOOBTUBE 107.3, All Time Great TV Themes.
SANTA 107.3, Everyday is Christmas.
RELAX 107.3, Where the Beach Meets the Mountains.
JOCKULARITY 107.3, All Laughs All the Time.
OLDIES RADIO 107.3, Jack Ain't No Friend of Ours.
MOUNTAINEER 107.3, West Virginia's Music.
SUPER 107.3, Chucktowns Super-D-Duper Hits.
DISCO 107.3, Who Says You Can Only Hear These Songs at Weddings.
JACK FM 107.3, Don't Change the Jack.


March 22, 2007
As expected following a weekend of stunting, 107.3 Jack FM in Charleston, WV dropped Variety Hits to go back to Oldies, relauncing at 10 a.m. EDT on 3/19/07 as "107.3 KAZ" (using the term "Classic Top 40" as a positioning statement.)

According to 100000watts.com, KLXS in Pierre, SD dropped AC (as "XS 95") to go Variety Hits as 95.3 Bob FM. It also reports that WRKG in Cleveland, MS dropped the SAM (Simply About Music) Variety Hits feed to go with an Urban format as of 3/19/2007 (as 95.3 The Heat.)

After seguing slowly toward a tighter playlist, WMAX-FM in Grand Rapids, MI has made the switch to full-blown Hot AC, still as 96.1 Max FM.

The Jill FM trimulcast in Los Angeles has picked up new calls that match closer to the "Jill" name: KELT (Adelanto) is now KAJL, KMLT (Thousand Oaks) is now KHJL, and KLIT (Fountain Valley) is now KJLL-FM.


March 23, 2007
There's detailed information about the switch earlier this month of Midland, TX's KQRX (95X) to Variety Hits as 95.1 Bob FM on mywesttexas.com.

Also, a must-read for people interested in the Variety Hits format is this article by Sean Ross of Edison Media Research. The article takes a look at format launches, and in particular examines major market launches in the Variety Hits genre.


March 26, 2007
Jack FM is spreading in Texas this month. Along with 98.7 KPRF in Amarillo (the first Clear Channel owned station in the country to pick up Jack FM) and KAJK in Tyler/Longview, I've learned that Jack FM is now on the air on KXCS in Bryan/College Station, TX.

Also, I have been alerted that there is a Canadian Jack FM dating back to 2003 that I entirely missed: 105.9 Jack FM (CICX) in Orillia, Ontario. If there are any others out there I don't know about, please let me know.


March 27, 2007
The 14 month-long head-to-head Variety Hits battle in Meridian, MS is over, as All Access reports that New South Communications has flipped SAM 93.5 (WMLV) to Hot AC as V93.5. That leaves 104.9 Jack FM as the only Variety Hits station in Meridian.


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