WUVA made its flip to “Nash Icon” shortly after 12pm today. Rick Miller, formerly of WKSJ Mobile, WDTW Detroit and WDAF-FM Kansas City will Program and host mornings. Former “Generations 102.3” WZGN Promotions Director/afternoon host Helen Powers will take the same time slot at WUVA. The syndicated Nash Icon programming will fill other local timeslots.
Original Report 9/17: The Charlottesville, VA market is about to lose its only Commercial Urban formatted station as The University of Virginia will flip Urban AC/Classic Hip-Hop “92.7 Kiss-FM” WUVA to Country “92.7 Nash Icon“.
The station is owned by WUVA, Inc., a non-profit organization composed of University of Virginia students and alumni, but operated as a Commercial outlet. While the current format features student personalities, the website for the new format features all of the national “Nash Icon” personalities from Westwood One. The station does have a form for students to join the station.
While WUVA is currently the only Urban formatted station in the market, a new LPFM “101 Jamz” 101.3 WVAI-LP is set to launch in the next few weeks. WUVA will become the third Country station in the Charlottesville market joining Monticello Media’s duo of “Hitkicker 99.7” WCYK and Classic Country “94.1 Hank-FM” 1400 WKAV/W231AD that launched last week perhaps due to the pending flip at WUVA.
INSTANT INSIGHT: There’s going to be tremendous backlash over this format change as WUVA goes from student programming to syndicated Country (at least in the short-term). However as a stand-alone commercial station up against the two large clusters of Saga and Monticello Media with a niche format, there likely wasn’t much revenue coming in to support the station. If plugging in syndication in the short-term while relaunching operations with a format that is more mass-appeal for the market in general, then perhaps this is a long-term solution to keep WUVA in the hands of University of Virginia students for years to come.