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News Archive: October 2008

October 2, 2008
105.1 Bill FM (KQBL) in Billings, MT is flipping from Variety Hits to Sports as of December 1, 2008, according to All Access. 105.1 Bill FM debuted in August 2005 after going through rock and AAA formats on the signal. When it goes sports, the station will carry ESPN Radio content along with the Dan Patrick show.

October 20, 2008
Chicago's unique "Nine FM" trimulcast (92.7 WKIE, 99.9 WRZA, and 92.5 WDEK) is dropping its 3,000+ songlist mix that had aired from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (8 p.m. on Saturdays) and gone Progressive Talk in that timeslot with Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, and other liberal/progressive talk show hosts. Nine FM has been referred to in the trades as "Adult Hits", but it certainly didn't fit the Variety Hits mold by playing a large number of songs that were much more obscure than the format typically has. Chicago still has a legit Variety Hits station on CBS-owned 104.3 Jack FM (WJMK).

The trimulcast is keeping its dance music format, with the "Dance Factory" dance format remaining on nights and overnights as it did during the Nine FM era.

October 21, 2008
Clear Channel flipped 92.9 The River (WRDX) in Dover, DE from Classic Hits to Variety Hits as 92.9 Tom FM, effective today. There are relatively few Variety Hits stations in the Clear Channel lineup, though that company has generally found success with the format when they have utilizied it, such as on WLUE in Louisville.

October 22, 2008
According to, brand new station 106.1 WYKY in the Somerset, KY area (technically licensed to Science Hill, KY) has signed on with Variety Hits. According to this article, the station will be known as Somerset 106. The article suggests that the station debuted on 10/17/2008 after having a sneak preview on sister station 1480 WLTO.

October 27, 2008
Is Entercom planning to bring Variety Hits back to Memphis? The format was on there briefly (September 2006 to June 2007) on Citadel's 98.9 Kim FM (first WMPW and then WKIM) in a female-leaning form until it shifted outright from Variety Hits to Hot AC in June 2007. But, according to a listing on, Entercom plans to bring "Adult Hits Variety" to the forthcoming 99.7 WMC-FM HD2 radio signal that is slated to debut soon in Memphis. No word yet on the specifics of the format or what the station will be called.

One interesting subplot: WMC-FM is a rare station that is licensed to broadcast at a whopping 300,000 watts. HD radio broadcasts (as of now) as 1/10 the strength of the analog signal, but will the WMC-FM HD channels be allowed to broadcast as 30,000 watts? Signal strength has been a challenge for the expansion of HD radio to this point, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

October 28, 2008
Walla Walla, WA has lost its Variety Hits outlet, 95.7 Bob FM. The station changed its call letters to KKSR on September 29, 2008, hinting that a change might be on the horizon. On October 20, 2008, the station flipped to Adult Contemporary as 95.7 Star FM.

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