iHeartMedia indeed launched Urban “Real 98.3” WZRL Plainfield/Indianapolis IN at noon today.
The new format will debut commercial-free and jockless for the month of October with the usual 10,000 “joints” in a row. The syndicated Breakfast Club will debut in mornings on Thursday, November 3.
iHeartMedia Indianapolis flips Country WUBG-FM to Urban as “Real 98.3,” with the slogan “The new home of Hip Hop and R&B for Indianapolis.” The station will kick off with “10,000 joints in a row” commercial-free, featuring hits from Hip Hop and R&B artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Usher, Jay-Z and Beyonce. In addition, Real 98.3 will be anchored by syndicated “The Breakfast Club” in mornings beginning November 3 and features DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God.
“We are Nap’s new home for Hip Hop and R&B,” said iHeartMedia Indianapolis Senior VP/Programming Mike Killabrew. “There’s no better way to establish that than by kicking things off with 10,000 songs in a row.”
“This is an exciting and powerful addition to the iHeartMedia Indianapolis portfolio,” added iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana Region and Senior VP/Urban Operations President Earl Jones. “Hip Hop is thriving and I can’t wait to get things rolling.”
Real 98.3’s full programming lineup will be announced soon. Fans can listen to Real 98.3 on the station’s website, www.real983fm.com, and on iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service.
Original Report 10/2: iHeartMedia has pulled the plug on low-rated Country “Big 98.3” Plainfield/Indianapolis IN as the station is now running a loop promoting “Change Is Coming” at 12pm on Monday, October 3.
As we reported on on September 1, iHeart had registered Real983.com and Real983FM.com with WUBG as the likely recipient. iHeart has reserved new WZRL call letters, which confirms the Real branding and Urban format coming to the station.
The Indianapolis rimshot was acquired by iHeartMedia in May 2015 along with an AM in Salt Lake City as part of Radio Disney’s sell-off for $1.95 million and flipped to Country in July 2015. As the third Country FM in the market, it never had much of an impact on Emmis’ “97.1 Hank-FM” WLHK and Cumulus’ 95.5 WFMS. In the just released September Nielsen Audio ratings, WUBG had a 1.0 share to WFMS’ 6.0 and WLHK’s 4.7.
A flip to Urban will place the station in direct competition with Radio-One’s “Hot 96.3” WHHH. That station currently ranks tenth with a 4.3 share.