When Is A Station Cursed Or Simply Mishandled
The CRTC this week approved 100.7 CFJL-FM Winnipeg’s application to relocate to 100.5 in part because “the frequency itself has become stigmatized as a station no one listens to.”
While The Jewel format is fresh and new in the Winnipeg market, is enjoyed by those who tune it in, and is successful in other markets where it is played, it can not escape the stigma that comes with the frequency after so much time at the bottom of the ratings. Listeners have told our marketing department the station is a “loser”, and consequently, potential advertisers see the station as perpetually “last in the market” to our financial detriment. It is our belief that a change in frequency to 100.5 MHz will help Dufferin overcome and shed some of the negative baggage associated with the 100.7 frequency.
Now whose fault is that? Since December 2005 when the station was acquired by Newcap the station has operated under EIGHT different format/brand combinations. There was AAA “Cafe 100.7” then Country “100.7 Hank-FM“, Classic Rock/Blues and then Mainstream Rock as “100.7 K-Rock“. Evanov acquired them in 2011 and began stunting with Christmas Music as “100.7 The Lounge” before going Soft AC/Standards as “100.7 The Breeze“. Next was “100.7 Lite & Refreshing” before the most recent relaunch as “Jewel 101” in January following CFJL successfully appealing to have its specialty programming restrictions removed from its license.
With four identities in three years, along with multiple personality changes, how can this station gain any momentum? With an 80kW at 206.1 meter signal originating just south of the city center, the signal was not to blame. The move to 100.5 will increase the station’s ERP to 100kW, but that’s just an added benefit.
There are plenty of stations that radio industry observers consider “Cursed” for their constant failures. 105.1 in New York City went through five formats in the 1990s, continually being unable to gain consistency just like CFJL. In 2002, they flipped to Urban “Power 105.1” and has become a successful operation since. The same can be said for 104.5 in Philadelphia from 1997 until 2007 when it went from Hot AC to Rock AC to Soft AC to Spanish CHR before finding stability as Alternative “Radio 104.5“. Its not the frequency that hampering the station’s success. It was simply the programming.