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Christmas Music Rush Starts In Branson

Branson's Classic Christmas 98.1 1220 KCAX Solid Gospel KOMCThe first Christmas Music flip of the year has taken place in Branson MO.

Earls Family Broadcasting flipped Southern Gospel “Solid Gospel 1220” KOMC Branson to Christmas as soon as the calendar flipped to October with the addition of new translator 98.1 K251BZ Branson. The new “Branson’s Classic Christmas 98.1” is also operating under new KCAX call letters. Earls’ reports that the station will debut “and old format favorite to the area’s airwaves” on December 26.

In 2015 the first Christmas launch took place on September 25 as SummitMedia debuted the format on 1320 WENN/100.1 W261BX. The first flip in 2014 was much later as “Easy 93.1” WEZW Wildwood Crest NJ made the move on October 17.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.


  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant

    I am a bit surprised this is happening this soon.

    If KOMC-1220/K251BZ were going to run all-Christmas as a stunt, I thought they’d wait for a few weeks.

    • Profile photo of joseph_gallant

      Although in prior years, only about a half-dozen stations went all-Christmas on November 1st, and about fifteen stations did so on or by November 1st last year, I can see quite a few stations go all-Christmas on November 1st this year, perhaps as many as several dozen stations.

      The major reason I can see so many early flips this year may have to do with a sluggish retail sector. Most music-formatted stations get the majority of their commercial advertising revenues from retail advertisers, and with fears that the retail sector could be in for a bad Christmas-shopping season, I could see retail advertisers pressuring radio stations to play more Christmas music, and for all-Christmas stations to start earlier.

      Another reason I could see many stations flipping on (or a few even before) November 1st is this year’s nasty election campaign. With many of this year’s political commercials on radio and TV being some of the most vicious attack ads ever (many of the “worst” attack ads are not from candidates, but “outside groups”), some music formatted stations may decide to go all-Christmas before Election Day so their stations become a “refuge” from those nasty attack ads.

      Incidentally, very few political ads on radio end up on music stations (most political ads on radio are placed on all-news, news/talk, and all-talk stations), so music stations that do go all-Christmas before Election Day could indeed promote their being a “reefuge” from those attack ads.

      I should note that my longtime girlfriend has been turned off by all those nasty attack ads broadcast thus far; those ads will only get worse in the five weeks between this writing (October 3rd) and Election Day (November 8th).

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