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Amp Radio 92.3 New York Debuts

Amp Radio 92.3 Now WNOW New York CBS Ty Bentli Zann Rick ThomasUpdate 5/22: WNOW-FM relaunched as “92.3 Amp Radio” at 2pm today.

After a brief two hour stunt giving away $1,000 every nine minutes, Amp Radio debuted with a brief launch package leading into “New York’s New Hit Music”. The revamped CHR format is focusing on new music to differentiate it from Clear Channel’s “Z100“. Amp will also be running commercial-free on weekends from 5pm Friday until 12am Monday through Labor Day Weekend.

Listen to the launch of Amp Radio 92.3 at FormatChange.com.

The first hour of the new 92.3 Amp Radio consisted of:
Calvin Harris – Summer
Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX – Fancy
Lucenzo & Don Omar – Danza Kuduro
Tiësto & Matthew Koma – Wasted
DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
Alice Deejay – Better Off Alone
Disclosure – Latch
Iggy Azalea & Ariana Grande – Problem
Bastille – Pompeii
Zedd & Hayley Williams – Stay The Night
The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize
Katy Perry – Dark Horse
Martin Garrix & Hardwell – Animals
Magic! – Rude
Jason Derülo & 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty

CBS RADIO’s hit music station 92.3 FM in New York will launch a new brand and programming focus that will result in the station playing more songs than ever before. Premiering on Thursday, May 22 at 2:00PM, New York’s New 92.3 AMP RADIO will be a destination for listeners to discover the best new music with a distinct local appeal and presentation. AMP RADIO can be heard on-air, online at www.923ampradiony.com or by downloading the Radio.com app for a variety of mobile and tablet devices.

Among the artists to be featured on 92.3 AMP RADIO include the acclaimed Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, and Calvin Harris, and breakout artists Iggy Azalea, Jhene Aiko and Tiesto, to name a few. The station will initially be presented with limited commercial interruption.

“We are excited to introduce a dynamic radio station with an aggressive approach to highlighting today’s hottest names in music while also exposing audiences to those artists just emerging on the scene,” said Rick Thomas, Program Director of the station. “As the number of music platforms continues to grow, study after study shows that consumers still look to radio as their leading source for hearing new music. AMP RADIO will be that perfect combination of songs from established and up and coming voices that mirrors the tastes of its local listeners.”

Update 5/21: As we approach the Memorial Day Weekend, CBS has begun to act upon the expected flip/relaunch of WNOW-FM.

In the first major act since Rick Thomas joined the station as Program Director at the beginning of this month the majority of the 92.3 Now airstaff has exited. Afternoon host Zann confirmed her departure with a farewell video on Facebook, while late night host Eutopia said goodbye on Instagram. SiriusXM host Anthony Cumia (Of Opie & Anthony), who has been feuding with WNOW’s morning host Ty Bentli over a stolen bit tweeted that Bentli is out.

Update 12:30am: We can confirm that Bentli, co-host Rosie Noesi and a few producers are also out. Remaining with the station are middayer Niko and night host DJ Toro.

WNOW is promoting the start of a $1000 giveaway to start on Thursday at 12pm. Is the relaunch of the station going to be tied into that?

Original Report 4/23: A revamp appears on its way to CBS CHR “92.3 Now” WNOW-FM New York.

Over the past few weeks we’ve monitored a few domains leading to the likelihood of CBS bringing its “Amp Radio” brand to New York. Anonymous registrations of 923AmpRadio.com and 923Amp.com were made within the past 30 days, and were joined by 923AmpRadioNY.com, 923AmpRadioNYC.com, AmpRadioNY.com, and AmpRadioNYC.com yesterday. The latter four were registered by MarkMonitor, a brand protection company that includes CBS Radio among its clients and has been the source of many domains that are later transferred into CBS’ portfolio upon launch.

92.3 Nowlaunched in March 2009 just a few weeks after CBS debuted the Amp brand in Los Angeles. While KAMP has become a top performer in Los Angeles (currently 6th overall with 4.1 share), WNOW-FM has seen a revolving door of programmers and personalities. Now currently stands in 18th place overall in the New York market with a 2.0 share in the March 2014 Nielsen Audio ratings.

Instant Insight: The Amp Radio brand is trademarked by CBS and has expanded to Boston, Detroit, and Orlando, while the Now brand is too generic to claim and used by multiple companies. As the radio industry begins to nationalize its sales efforts on a more regular basis being able to describe to success of the Amp brand in other markets to media buyers based in New York explains why CBS keeps the CHR brand alive in market #1 as well as the rationale towards relaunching the station. Bringing the Amp Radio branding to New York would enable CBS to not only relaunch the CHR against Clear Channel’s “Z100” WHTZ but also begin to build a national marketing effort around the Amp Radio brand.

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.

21 Comments

  1. Profile photo of seana


    A name change? Listeners are gonna leave Z100 and switch to Amp in no time flat (sarcasm).

  2. Profile photo of 412Central


    The only way it will work if they made it like a Churban/Party station. or 1010 WINS FM.
    Oh well CBS will learn that 2 Top 40 stations are not going to work in nyc. LA is more of a Top-40 city. Even KWPR in LA plays some pop/rhythmic music

  3. Profile photo of Bizzle


    92.3 K-Rock (3rd time’s a charm!)

    • Profile photo of puddingpop


      Not if it leans Active Rock like the last two incarnations did.

      • Profile photo of Bizzle


        if it’s programmed like New Rock 101.9 was or Radio 104.5 was they’ll do well. Leaning Active Rock never works.

        • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


          The irony is, again, “New Rock 101.9” was a placeholder format that was programmed out of Chicago, mainly by copying-and-pasting the music logs from Q87.7 (now 101WKQX).

          As for K-Rock, it’s never coming back. It. Just. Isn’t.

        • Profile photo of Lance Venta


          The problem is the audience was trained to expect an Active Rock lean on 92.3. If you launched an Alternative on 92.3 with the K-Rock name in New York there’d be listeners expecting the 1996-2005 version of the station.

          That’s one of the reasons why the relaunched Alternative in Chicago was wise (legal issues withstanding) to shy away from the Q101 name. It is currently retraining the Chicago market what Alternative Rock is.

          • Profile photo of Bizzle


            They could become Radio 92.3 and have their station programmed like Radio 104.5 in Philadelphia is.

  4. Profile photo of puddingpop


    I’m going to guess that they’ll change the call letters from WNOW to WNYA. (WAMP is being used in Jackson, Tennessee, and WANY is in Albany.)

    • Profile photo of puddingpop


      WANY is in Albany, Kentucky, that is.

      Also, WAFM is being used in Amory, Mississippi…but WFMA is up for grabs, so that would be my other guess.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      Call letters mean nothing in a PPM world. Heck, Now kept the WXRK calls for close to three years after it launched.

      • Profile photo of puddingpop


        I don’t disagree with that, unless CBS is adamant about wiping out all traces of the old branding that they feel failed them.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Fuentes


      The Detroit Amp radio call letters are WDZH, which have nothing to do with amp either.

  5. Profile photo of BC


    Shauna stole my thunder. haha, i’m sure this move has Elvis shaking in his shoes! NYC has gone from the best, to one of the strangest market phenomena while I agree with Lance’s take and justification, z100 is still z100. The coincidence here is that in 3 out of the 4 markets now, CBS also has a HOT AC that shares 85 percent of the titles. So if i would have went to broadcast school instead of taking business courses, I would have learned that the only thing you need to solve your problem is a name and image change. How many stations can share the same titles until the market for it depreciates. I often hear money thrown around as a justification, but if radio is really a short term investment, I don’t even know know how I could justify the client buy.

  6. Profile photo of Mark


    Which makes me wonder if in Chicago B96 will eventually get AMPd–although I would think that it would be like Clear Channel changing Z100 to KISS FM.

    • Profile photo of Allan


      Clear Channel will NEVER change WHTZ’s branding because it is a name that many (millions) can relate to in the NYC area, listening to it for many years. Just like changing the branding of WCBS-FM with Jack stirred quite a bit of controversy, the same could happen to WHTZ. Even though there was a little format change/tweak away from the 60’s and 70’s for Jack, the name change itself was too big for itself.

  7. Profile photo of Allan


    As of 5/21, Toro is still doing his shift from 6PM on.

  8. Profile photo of TimmyWA


    Memorial Day weekend…

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