After just five months on the air, Clear Channel’s Variety Hits “101.7 The Harbor” WHBA Boston is no more.
The station flipped to Electronic Dance “Evolution 101.7” at 6pm this evening. The station is utilizing programming produced for the “Evolution” IHeartRadio channel. That channel is programmed by Pete Tong, the former BBC DJ who was hired last month by Clear Channel.
Instant Insight: Nobody saw that coming. Evolution1017.com and 1017TheRock.com were both registered yesterday by a Tom Kenilworth in Newark, OH as Clear Channel steps up their efforts on the registration front. Is this permanent or a stunt? We’re leaning towards the latter as this looks like a way to get Greater Media to reconsider their possible intentions to take 96.9 WTKK in a Rhythmic direction. Once Greater Media shows its intentions with WTKK, I believe we will see what Clear Channel plans for the long term with the 101.7 signal. Until then they’ve got a great avenue to promote the Evolution online channel to those in Boston and elsewhere.
If this is indeed permanent, I have to give Clear Channel credit for trying something different with a major market signal. While Dance has failed in virtually every attempt that has been done with the format outside of KNHC Seattle, the potential for it to break out has always been there given proper promotional support.
The Press Release about the new format follows:
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the leading media company in America with a greater reach than any other radio or television outlet, today announced the launch of Evolution 101.7, its first broadcast Electronic Dance Music (EDM) station. The new format will kick off December 20 at 6 p.m. on Boston’s WHBA-FM with an hour-long, Boston-dedicated specialty program hosted by Pete Tong, the iconic British DJ behind BBC Radio 1’s renowned Essential Mix radio show.
Evolution 101.7, a broadcast extension of the popular digital station “Evolution” on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio platform, will be hosted by famous DJ and electronic music tastemaker Pete Tong. The station’s programming will include “All Gone Pete Tong,” an exclusive, two-hour daily show featuring Pete’s Essential New Tune of the Week, as well as the hottest tracks from the global Top 100 chart on Beatport.com, the world’s largest music store and community for DJs. The show will broadcast Monday through Friday from 7-9 p.m. EST, and will join an impressive lineup of radio shows hosted by a rotation of popular and up-and-coming DJs including: Diplo; Wolfgang Gartner; Fatboy Slim; Dim Mak; Yung Skeeter; Manufactured Superstars; Paul van Dyk; Roger Sanchez; Congorock; Dillon Francis; Doorly; Eats Everything; Jaymo & Andy George; The 2 Bears; Tom Staar; Hot Since 82; John Dhalback; Jet Set USA; Moguai; and Nu Disco. Evolution 101.7’s programming will feature special mixes, on-air interviews and guest-hosted radio shows with world-class, progressive DJs and EDM producers. The station will also air exclusive content from Swedish House Mafia’s final tour in addition to their featured show with all-new mixes.
“When our friend Pete Tong asked us to be guests on Evolution, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Swedish House Mafia, the electronic music power trio consisting of famed DJs Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. “We are thrilled to be involved in the launch of this amazing channel for dance music.”
Boston listeners can tune in to Evolution 101.7 on WHBA-FM beginning December 20 at 6 p.m. for an hour-long specialty program hosted by Pete. Evolution 101.7 will begin its regularly scheduled programming featuring non-stop dance tracks by artists including Skrillex, David Guetta, Calvin Harris and more.
“We’ve seen the impact of EDM in Boston through music downloads, sold-out concerts and passion for iHeartRadio’s new Evolution channel,” said Dylan Sprague, Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. “We’re proud to bring Evolution 101.7, the company’s first EDM broadcast station, to Boston, and to team up with format-leading artists like Pete Tong. The music scene in Boston has a vibrant EDM community as well as a rich history of bringing new music to audiences in the area and around the country. We’re excited to continue the tradition by giving dance music a home on Boston’s airwaves.”
“Like the early days of FM, iHeartRadio is the new playground for programming experimentation,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “Evolution’s innovative programming resonated with our iHeartRadio consumers so well that extending the station to a broadcast radio platform was the next step to connect our listeners with great music. Evolution 101.7 is a great example of iHeartRadio’s ability to drive new innovation in radio programming, and will bring even more variety to Clear Channel’s impressive roster of stations.”
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment currently owns five stations in the Boston market including WXKS-FM, WXKS-AM, WKOX-AM, WJMN-FM and WHBA-FM. In addition to Boston, EDM fans across the country can listen to Evolution 101.7 online at www.iheart.com/live/5772. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs.