Scripps has flipped Variety Hits “94.5 The Lake” WLWK-FM Milwaukee to Country “KTI Country“.
Resurrecting the frequency’s heritage WKTI call letters, the new station gives a direct competitor to iHeartMedia’s market leading “FM 106.1” WMIL. The station utilized the WKTI call letters from the early 1970’s until its flip to Variety Hits in November 2008.
The format change occurred after a brief stunt playing The Beatle’s Abbey Road in its entirety in tribute to the album’s “Hello, Goodbye” being the first song played as part of “The Lake’s” format.
WMIL currently leads the Milwaukee market with a 10.5 share in the April 2015 Nielsen Audio ratings. With Scripps News/Talk 620 WTMJ second at a 10.1, the move could enable Scripps to reclaim the overall market lead. WKTI becomes the second full-market Country signal in the market, but Magnum Broadcasting’s suburban “Q92.1” WMKQ Racine and “Buzz Country 92.5” WMBZ-FM West Bend each serve portions of the market.
Milwaukee has a new country radio station.
The new KTI COUNTRY launched on 94.5 FM in Milwaukee at 10 a.m. today, according to Steve Wexler, vice president of radio for The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).
“We are thrilled to bring Wisconsin a fun, engaging local radio station that features today’s best country music and a strong commitment to serve our local community,” Wexler said.
The new format replaces 94.5 The Lake, a music-intensive variety format that has aired on the station since 2009.
“Bringing back the iconic WKTI call letters was a natural decision for us as we build a radio station that will be filled with local personalities, information and entertainment,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of Scripps’ Milwaukee radio operations. “WKTI was famous for its connection to Wisconsin, and we’re excited to bring back that strong local brand, this time married to great country music.”
94.5 KTI COUNTRY is adding to a lineup of local on-air hosts, with more to come.
“We’re on the hunt right now for personalities, including a morning show that will be fun, local and informative,” Langmyer said. “We’ll deliver great country music and local personalities as well as news, weather and sports updates from our sister stations, WTMJ-TV and Newsradio 620 WTMJ.”
In addition to its powerful FM signal at 94.5 FM, KTI COUNTRY is streaming at KTICOUNTRY.com and will soon be available in the Radio League app, which offers digital audio streaming of all the Scripps radio stations across the country.
“We see an excellent opportunity to build a great country station in Milwaukee,” added Beverlee Brannigan, VP/Radio Programming for Scripps. “While KTI COUNTRY will feature great country music, its true mission will be to engage with our community in a meaningful way.”