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News Archive: May 2008

May 6, 2008
Panama City has its first station in the format, as Double O Radio abruptly dropped sports from 105.1 WASJ (which went to sports in January of this year in place of its previous Smooth Jazz format) to become 105.1 Bob FM.

May 7, 2008
The Jack FM Variety Hits format has been dropped from New York City's 101.1 WCBS-FM HD2 sub-channel effective today, nearly one year since it was jettisoned from the primary spot by the return of oldies/classic hits "101.1 CBS FM" to the spot. According to multiple published reports, CBS Radio is now operating a currently unbranded "80-centric" Variety Hits format in its place.

May 12, 2008
The deal that sent Fickle 93.3 (WFKL) in Rochester, NY from Entercom to Stephens Media Group, along with WRMM and WZNE, cost $13.25 million. That's according to the FCC filing on the deal, as reported on All Access. Stephens has been running Fickle 93.3 under a time brokerage agreement that began on April 28, 2008.

May 15, 2008
Jones Radio Networks has launched a new 24/7 jockless Variety Hits format titled, appropriately enough, Variety Hits. According to the JRN website, the music on its satellite-fed Variety Hits format will be centered on the 1975-1985 era but will feature music from the '70s through the '90s. It promises a selection of "familiar music emphasizing transitions between songs that span genres and eras."

This move will allow radio programmers who want to choose their own name (as opposed to Jack FM or Bob FM) to do so. It will be interesting to see if any existing Variety Hits stations opt to go with the satellite-fed approach, as opposed to programming the often tricky-to-perfect format locally.

The name "Variety Hits" is one I came up with when I first launched this site in April 2005, back before the genre had an established title. At that point, was calling it "Classic Hits/Hot AC", which isn't a bad way to describe it.

The most common description of the format seems to be "Adult Hits", which I personally don't like as I believe it doesn't properly convey the multiple genres that go into making it the unique product that it is. But whatever, as long as people know what format you're talking about, that's the main thing in my opinion.

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