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Bull Launches In Portsmouth, NH

95.3 The Bull Coast WSKX Portsmouth York Center Bobby BonesUpdate 8/29: WSKX dropped its Variety Hits “95.3 The Coast” format and flipped to Country “95.3 The Bull” at 1:00pm today.

Branded as “The Seacoast’s New Hit Country”, the station launched with Florida Georgia Line/Luke Bryan’s “This Is How We Roll”, Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party”, and Brett Eldridge’s “Beat Of The Music” following the farewell song duo of Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)” and Semisonic’s “Closing Time”.

Original Report 8/21: Clear Channel’s rapid expansion of the Country format is next headed for Portsmouth, NH.

The company has registered 953FMTheBull.com for Variety Hits “95.3 The Coast” York Center, ME/Portsmouth. That would mark a return to Country for the station which was previously “B95.3” WUBB from 1999 until 2008.

The new format would place the station back in competition with Townsquare Media’s regional powerhouse 97.5 WOKQ Dover. It and simulcaster 103.7 WPKQ North Conway cover most of New Hampshire and Southern Maine.

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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.

10 Comments

  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    This will likely mean Commercial-Free until Columbus Day, and Premiere Networks’ syndicated country-music shows (Bobby Bones, etc.) after that.

    Don’t look for any local programming.

    I suspect this move is being made, as was the case with WBWL-101.7 in the Boston area, solely to get Premiere’s syndicated country-music shows cleared in southern New Hampshire.

    I wonder if Clear Channel might launch other “Bulls” in New England (specifically WWBB-101.5 Providence and WCIB-101.9 Falmouth, MA once CC takes control of the latter).

    • Profile photo of jcurtis1027


      You really think that Clear Channel is going to blow up the #3 ranked station in Providence for country? On the Seacoast of NH it is different… 95.3 was not doing much in the numbers and WOKQ is so a move to country (albeit with Premium Choice voice tracking and Premiere Networks syndication) is a no brainer. WCIB’s numbers are decent not great but there is already a station on Cape Cod running country (WKPE) and I am not sure the market is big enough for two.

      • Profile photo of kenrichards71


        I was wondering the same thing..It would surprise me if CC would go country on WWBB.As you said numbers are there but and a big Butt. WLKW easy listening was number two in Providence before a flip to oldies.B101 was not put on the air to be number one.As oldies it was programmed to be an alternative station to listen too.Not your main station but the station you flipped to from a another station. I worked there with John Morgan PD and Bruce Palmer so I di know what Im talking about.

  2. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    Agreed.And now Bull is here; iHeart
    has right song listed but for now the
    Coast logo still up. CC already covering
    classic country in area via the 1380
    in Portsmouth

    • Profile photo of jcurtis1027


      Looks like the logo issue is fixed. Good luck to them…. WOKQ is king when it comes to country in Southern NH. I am sure they may shave a couple of points off WOKQ’s huge numbers and maybe that is all CC needs.

  3. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    Seems that way. Comm. free wknd at least. Of the 10 or so who are now following the Bull’s twitter account 8 are the same person and one works at z 107…

  4. Profile photo of BC


    yea, no local programming will originate from the bull, that’s why jadd was on saturday and sunday night. why jd will be live in pittsburgh coming from k102, and why Lance Houston from Baltimore will be anchoring mid days at boston’s bull. and bobby bones doesn’t get any decent ratings worth trying to find a clearance right? The irony here is that all the station’s i just mentioned, ran jockless automated formats prior to country. I don’t support everything Clear Channel does, but some people who like to call themselves radio experts should do their research before they go spewing garbage.

    • Profile photo of jcurtis1027


      At best these stations will have 1-2 shifts that may be somewhat local (I have heard Lance Houston does voicetrack for some other CC owned stations.) The Bull in Portsmouth is going up against a station which is very locally oriented and doing it the cheap way is not going to work…. they may shave a couple of points from WOKQ but that is about it. Otherwise it is going to be either tracked or syndicated. And that is the problem with Clear Channel and I would argue Cumulus is becoming that way too. Canned formats, air talent that is either tracked or syndicated. The problem with these big conglomerates is they have either forgotten or don’t care about what makes radio great is localism…. instead they think from their offices in Atlanta or San Antonio (or wherever know what the country listeners in the Seacost of NH want.) As far as I am concerned there is not much of a difference betweene canned automation and canned syndication/voicetracking.

  5. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    Heard on 101.7 WBWL that the commercial free will extend into the fall–well, maybe. I’m sure part of the day they may run ads and at other times they could be commercial free. They figure some will abandon them (weaker signal v. WKLB) once the ads start rolling.

    WPGB Pitt has been ad free but one liner I heard said “less commercials…”, something CC prob wants to accent in the battles vs. more established country signals.

    These stations may not have local DJs but will have a van spruced up with the logo and people showing up to give away shirts and stickers at concerts, etc.

  6. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    WBWL has the syndie Bobby Bones and is about to launch Lance Houston; in add. to serving as PD, he’ll be doing a midday show for WBWL and now they’re adding Jessica
    Callahan after him, another local DJ…though as said Houston
    may VT for other stations…

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