Update 7/5: It won’t be Variety Hits as we theorized below, but Townsquare Media will launch “103.7 The Peak” WPKQ North Conway, NH on Monday, July 6.
To be branded as “Maine & New Hampshire’s New Country Station”, WPKQ will move its operations from Townsquare’s Portsmouth, NH cluster to its Portland, ME cluster. “Captain” Herb Ivy, Brand Manager/Morning Host at sister Classic Rock 102.9 WBLM and Brand Manager at Alternative 94.3 WCYY will add programming duties at WPKQ. The Peak airstaff will feature the syndicated Fitz In the Morning based at Entercom’s “100.7 The Wolf” KWWF Seattle. WOKQ morning host Roy Sullivan will add middays at WPKQ and former 101.9 WPOR host Annie Snook will handle afternoons. Townsquare’s syndicated Taste of Country Nights will remain in evenings.
WPKQ will become the third Country station in the Portland market joining Saga’s aforementioned WPOR and Binnie Media’s “99.9 The Wolf” WTHT. While WPOR’s ratings are not made public as Saga did not subscribe to Nielsen Audio, WTHT was fifth of the listed stations with a 5.1 share in the Nielsen Audio Fall 2014 ratings.
Operating from the top of Mount Washington, the Class C signal covers the northern two thirds of New Hampshire, much of southern Maine, and parts of eastern Vermont including the Portland market. Townsquare has registered 1037ThePeak.com for the station, which was the name utilized by then WZPK before it began to simulcast WOKQ in 1996.
Townsquare hired AJ Dukette yesterday to program AC 94.9 WHOM and CHR “Q97.9” WJBQ in the Portland cluster. He previously spent the past decade as OM/PD of Nassau Broadcasting/Binnie Media’s Concord, NH cluster where among the stations he was responsible was Classic Hits “99.1 Frank-FM” WNNH. Binnie operates an identically branded station in Portland, 107.5 WFNK that has led the Portland market in each of the last two ratings periods. Will a similarly formatted station to take on WFNK and Saga’s “Rewind 100.9” WYNZ be next for WPKQ?