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2015 Post Christmas Format Change Rundown & Watchlist

Warm 98.9 Nash Icon W255CJ WWWQ-HD2 Atlanta CumulusIf there’s one thing we know to expect every November most of the same stations that flipped to Christmas music last year and the year before that and the year before that will do so again this year.

That is the primary reason we are no longer producing the list of all stations playing Christmas music. It is very predictable what station will play Christmas music in each market and that they will then return to their regular playlist as soon as the calendar changes to December 26. But there are still the stations that use the holiday music to clear out their previous audience and build attention for a format change after the holidays. Those are the stations we will be tracking.

Completed Changes

12/28: American General Media Rhythmic CHR “Power 106.7” KAGM let go of its airstaff in preparation of a revamp.

12/28: iHeartMedia Classic Rock “105.5 The X” KQXX-FM McAllen TX flipped to a simulcast of sister Hot AC “Kiss 106.3” KHKZ.

12/28: iHeartMedia AC “Lite Mix 99.9” WMXC Mobile dropped the Lite part of its name to rebrand as “Mix 99.9“.

12/28: iHeartMedia Rock “Louie 103.7ended its Christmas music run for Christian AC “Up 103.7“.

12/28: iHeartMedia Classic Hits 93.3 WODC Columbus OH flipped to Variety Hits93.3 The Bus“.

12/28: Cumulus’ “Classic Rock 96.9” KQOB Oklahoma City ended its run of Christmas music and debuted its new format as Classic Hits “Fun 96.9” at 6am.

12/28: Following a run as “Christmas 98.1“, iHeartMedia AC “Lite 98” WTVR-FM Richmond VA relaunched as Hot AC “Mix 98.1“.

12/28 iHeartMedia Variety Hits “94.9 Tom-FM” KHKN returned from All-Christmas as Classic Hits “Big 94.9“.

12/27: Entercom merged the formats of Oldies 950 KRWZ and Standards 1430 KEZW Denver on 1430 as “Cruisin’ 1430“. No word on what 950 KRWZ is now airing.

12/26: Brewer Media Country “Cat Country 106.9” W295BI/WPLZ-HD2 dropped their format after only seven months to become “Santa 106.9” for the holidays and then flipped completely to Soft Oldies “Big Easy 106.9“.

12/26: Press Communication’s 99.7 WBHX Tuckerton NJ retained the “99.7 The Island” identity it debuted in November but flipped from Christmas music to Classic Hits.

12/26: iHeartMedia launched Christian AC “Up 107.3” K297AK Loveland/Fort Collins CO in place of AC “Sunny 107.3” following its Christmas music run.

12/26: Cumulus Country “98.9 Nash Icon” W255CJ/WWWQ-HD2 Atlanta dropped Country in November for All-Christmas branded as “Warm 98.9“. Now with the holiday season over, the station is utilizing Westwood One’s AC network. without commercials.

12/26: QueenB Radio paired 1080 KVNI/92.5 K223AN Coeur D’Alene ID together as “92.5 Kootenai-FM“, which is currently stunting with Christmas music before flipping to AC after the holiday season.

12/26: Momentum Broadcasting Christian “Living Water Radio” 1270 KJUG added a translator at 97.5 K248BX and has rebranded as “My 97.5“. Following a run with Christmas music, the station flipped to AC.

12/25: Crain Media Classic Country “99.1 The Stallion” KRZS-FM Paragould AR will flip to Classic Rock99.1 The Hawg

Stunting

Salt Lake City: 105.1 KAUU American Fork transitioned its “105.1 The Gift” Christmas music placeholder to Dance as it awaits the closing of 107.9 KUDD to allow Broadway Media to begin operating the station.

San Diego: SDLocal Variety Hits “100.7 Jack-FM” KFMB-FM San Diego is running a “Wheel Of Formats” before debuting a new permanent identity on January 4.

Confirmed Changes

1/1: Saga Communications Talk 970 WZAN Portland ME will move to 1490, allowing 970 to flip to SportsESPN Portland“>

1/4: iHeartMedia Talk 760 KKZN Denver will flip to SportsDenver Sports 760” KDSP, while Front Range Sports “ESPN Denver” 105.5 KJAC goes dark in preparation of its sale to Community Radio for Northern Colorado.

1/4: Community First Broadcasting will flip Classic Hits KRAQ Jackson MN to “Xtreme Country 105.7” KUXX and Country 1190 KKOJ to Classic Hits.

Expected Changes

Denver: iHeartMedia’s 107.9 K300CP/KRFX-HD2 is branded as “Colorado Christmas 107.9” after the simulcast of News/Talk 850 KOA moved to 94.1 K231BQ.

Fort Wayne: Federated Media moved its simulcast of News/Talk 1190 WOWO from 92.3 WFWI to 107.5 W298BJ and will launch a new format on 92.3.

Las Vegas: Beasley Media Country “102.7 The Coyote” KCYE has been stunting as “Santa 102.7“.

Miami: Entercom Classic Hits “Magic 102.7” WMXJ dismissed most of its airstaff amidst rumors of a format change.

Minneapolis: Northern Lights Broadcasting will close on its acquisition of 95.3 KNOF St. Paul with new KZGO call letters. Either Alternative “Go 96.3” KTWN-FM will move to 95.3 and a new format will debut on 96.3, or 95.3 will get the new format.

Salisbury/Ocean City: Draper Holdings closed on its acquisition of 102.5 WBOC-FM Princess Anne and brought the station back on-air with Christmas music through the holiday season.

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.

4 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    While I’m not positive that this just happened, the fact that HisAir posted about it today (at http://www.hisair.net/1290-2) suggests that it has: New Bern’s WBNK may have relaunched, as “92.7 The Beacon”.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson


    Louisville’s WVEZ is still in Christmas mode, and is apparently teasing an announcement on January 4th; however, Louisville Radio and TV theorizes that it might just be a name/branding change (like in Richmond, away from “Lite”)…

    https://twitter.com/louradioandtv/status/681165211609477120

  3. Profile photo of only1moore


    It looks like KNOF/Minneapolis-St. Paul is about to “Go” Rhythmic…
    http://player.listenlive.co/47141

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