Update 2/7: After three days of stunting with single artists as George, Kenny, and Garth, 94.3 WWNQ has relaunched as “94.3 The Dude“.
Attacking Clear Channel’s 97.5 WCOS for being corporately programmed with a small playlist, The Dude is emphasizing its local origination and a larger music library.
Columbia has always been a hallowed place for country music. The great artists come here to play, but we have learned from asking you that country has been divided on the radio into all the songs you have loved forever and the last fifteen songs out of Nashville. Somehow someone from out of town has mistakenly determined that Columbia country fans should hear only the last 15 songs recorded out of Nashville. By themselves. On the radio, over and over again. Well, we love new country. LOVE it! But, we still think the same 15 songs played over and over won’t compare well to what Columbia country music fans want to hear on the radio here.
Original Report 2/4: Hometown Columbia Media’s “Carolina Country 94.3” WWNQ Columbia, SC has shifted to a mix of nothing but Georgia Strait music today.
Operating as “94.3 George“, the station is holding online drawings to win tickets to a Strait concert. There does appear to be a little more at play here. Additional sites have gone online for similar stunts with Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks. A fourth domain registered at the same time, 943TheDude.com is not yet live.
The first three sites all link to a Facebook page for “Columbia’s Missing Songs” asking listeners for further Country songs missing from the local airwaves. So while some retooling and a possible rebranding are coming to WWNQ an outright format change is not in play.