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Cumulus Launches 106.1 The Underground New Orleans

106.1 The Underground Alternative Ticket WMTI WZRH Zephyr Sports HangoverCumulus flipped WMTI to Alternative “106.1 The Underground” at 3pm.

The new format will feature 106 minute blocks of music under the oversight of Ray Mariner, the PD of sister Country “92.3 Nash-FM” WRKN. Cumulus has applied for new WZRH call letters for the station. WZRH was the identity used by “Zephyr 106.1” in its Alternative format from 1992 to 1997.

Launching with a package quite similar to the debut of sister 101.1 WKQX Chicago, the first song on 106.1 The Underground was local favorite Better Than Ezra’s “Good”.

Listen to the launch of “106.1 The Underground” at FormatChange.com.

Cumulus Media announces that it will turn on New Orleans’ newest radio station, 106.1 the underground alternative (WMTI-FM), today. The all-new 106.1 the underground alternative will feature 106 minutes of New Rock for New Orleans every day, and signs on today with wall-to-wall music beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The station also launches its new website, www.1061theunderground.com today.

Troy Hanson, Corporate Programming/Rock Formats for Cumulus said: “We are incredibly excited to debut New Orleans’ 106.1 the underground alternative. With key artists like Walk The Moon, Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Muse, Mumford & Sons and a personal favorite “and more” we plan to give the French Quarter, the Delta and beyond a unique alternative experience 24/7. Look for a ton of music to be delivered as we push out 106 Minutes of New Rock for New Orleans all day, every day. Much thanks go out to Jim Kurdziel, Dan Stone and Ray Mariner as we bring 106.1 the underground alternative to NOLA.”

Jeff Brown, Senior Vice President for Cumulus said: “Underground 106.1 fills a significantformat gap in New Orleans. If there is any city that deserves a great Alt brand, it is New Orleans. Fans of Alternative Rock are fiercely loyal, incredibly engaged, and in the age of acquisition. Like our audience, 106.1 the underground will be on the move and all about New Orleans.”

Update 8/27 10:30am: As we await the 3pm CDT launch of the new format on 106.1 WMTI, Cumulus has registered an additional potential brand for the station. 1061TheUnderground.com and TheUnderground1061.com as well as Zephyr1061.com were registered on Wednesday and with corresponding social media accounts for @1061TheUnderground in place.

Original Report 8/26: Cumulus Sports “106.1 The Ticket” WMTI Picayune, MS/New Orleans has begun stunting with a loop of REM’s “End Of The World As We Know It” and Red Hot Chili Peppers “Zephyr Song”.

Afternoon host Gus Kattengell tweeted that his afternoon “Sports Hangover” was cancelled today as the station was no more. His was the only locally originating program on the station.

The new format will launch on Thursday, August 27 at 3:00pm.

As we reported in our Premium DailyDomains on July 26:

For what is now “106.1 The Ticket” WMTI Picayune, MS/New Orleans, Cumulus registered 1061OG.com, 1061TheZephyr.com, and 1061Zephyr.com on Friday. Like Minneapolis, social media accounts are already in place for the Zephyr brand. WMTI previously was known as “106.1 The Zephyr” from 1992 until 1997 when it was the first Alternative Rock station in the New Orleans market.

WMTI registered a 0.7 share in the Spring 2015 Phase 1 Nielsen Audio trends up from a 0.0 in the Spring book.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com 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.

2 Comments

  1. Profile photo of john michael


    Sorry to hear about the current talent losing their shows/jobs. Fingers crossed for a soft landing and quick return to the airwaves.

    I worked at the Zephyr in 1994. Would be fired up if they brought it back!! There’s still a Zephyr sticker on my old locker here at my station in LA. Hopefully someone has figured out a way to get the signal to cover New Orleans a bit better since ’94.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    I can understand using WKQX’s logo as the template here, but it should’ve been changed more. At the very least, the red and the blue more closely resemble Chicago’s flag than New Orleans’.

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