FMTalk 105.1 Louisville Goes Easy

Easy Rock EZRock EasyRock Christmas 105.1 WLRS Louisville FM Talk Mancow Laura Ingraham Main LineUpdate 12/24: WLRS got a jump on the post-holiday format change frenzy by debuting its new identity of Soft AC/Oldies “Easy Rock 105.1” at 12am this morning.

Among the artists heard on the station are America, Gloria Estefan, The Beatles, Lionel Richie, and Eric Carmen.

Update 12/13: More domains registered yesterday give a clearer thought on the future format for WLRS. 1051AllSports.com, 1051CBSSports.com, 1051CBSSportsRadio.com, AllSports1051.com, CBSSports1051.com, and CBSSportsRadio1051.com were all registered directly to Main Line.

Update 12/11: Main Line has registered a number of domains giving the first indications at the coming format for WLRS.

The domains are: Easy1051.com, EasyRock1051.com, EZ1051.com, EZRock1051.com, Jazzy1051.com, Rock1051.com, and Sports1051.com. With four of the seven (maybe five?) domains hinting at the formerly prominent in Canada “EZRock” branding, that would look like the leading contender at this point. An AC format would place WLRS in competition with Cox’ “Lite 106.9” WVEZ.

Original Report 11/1: Our first entry in the Post-Christmas format change watchlist will be in Louisville, where Main Line Broadcasting’s “FM Talk 105.1” WLRS has dropped the format for Christmas music.

WLRS registered a mere 0.9 share in Arbitron’s summer ratings, tied with Clear Channel’s “Talk 1080” WKJK well ahead of market leader 840 WHAS. Laura Ingraham, who had been airing on WLRS has moved to “NewsTalk 1570” WNDA beginning today. WLRS had been running the Talk format since dropping Active Rock in July 2009.

Comments

    • says

      Do you understand the contradictions in your statement?

      The station changed format because not enough people were listening to make the station financially viable. Commercial radio is a business, not a service. There was no censorship, no conspiracy, no nothing. Just a failing format being replaced with a temporary one until Christmas when the new permanent one will arrive. Plain and Simple.

  1. Charlie Kramer says

    Right Lance, and so conveniently – 5 days prior to the election. I think your opinion has more to do with party affiliation than auctual doubts concerning conspiracy…….

    • says

      If this is a conspiracy as you say, then why has Bain Capital backed Clear Channel dropped the format from similarly struggling stations in Boston and Atlanta over the past couple months?

      My comments come strictly from the radio industry side, which is what we focus on. Not fans of a station/format upset about loss of a particular station. WLRS was the least listened to commercial FM in Louisville in every ratings survey over the past year. There was ZERO incentive for Main Line Broadcasting to continue with a station that was not successful.

  2. Alex says

    Lance is trying to be pretty non-biased when he does his stories. Politics usually do not have a role in what he’s reporting. Not everything HAS to have a political slant. It turns out that, yes, WLRS was ranked very low in the market consistently. So, Christmas music is here. Are you going to say that every format change has something do with politics? I wouldn’t. Format changes occur, as you may or may not know, happen for a reason: because the old format wasn’t going. End of story.

  3. Martin Seay says

    So was it really that low in the ratings? I listened to it fairly regularly every night, as I do delivery work at night time. Granted, I am but one person, but it does seem a bit strange that Mercury Radio was on since 2009 and then less than a week before the elections it just goes POOF! and now there’s non-stop Christmas music?

    I do agree with Lance that this is probably temporary until the owners figure out what they really want to do, but it all still seemed rather.. sudden.

  4. Patrick says

    I know WLRS did not have good ratings,
    What confuses me is how a station playing Christmas Music makes any money. being that they are playing full songs I suppose there are ascap fees. I can’t imagine that this early in the Season (not even Thanksgiving yet) that they could attract many advertisers. So how are they making any money now?

    I believe in “Christian Radio” that the ministries have to pay the network / stations to put on their programs, I believe it’s the exact opposite for other shows like “Laura Ingraham, Kim Komando, Mancow, etc.

    I guess if the station has to pay for the rights to broadcast a show, they are saving money by not doing it, but why not go straight to another music format that could possibly attract some advertisers?

    • bd says

      You would be shocked at how well Christmas music sells. I worked at a station that did Christmas music from the first Monday in November through December 31 every year, and we billed no less than 5x more than than a regular format month.

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