Update 7:10pm: After an hour of Christmas Music, WEZZ-FM returned to its regular Soft AC format. However it has kept the Christmas Music going commercial-free on 100.1 W261BX Birmingham.
Original Report 6:18pm: Just two days after the Summer season officially ended, SummitMedia Soft AC “Easy 97.3” WEZZ-FM Gardendale/Birmingham, AL became the first station to switch to Christmas Music for the holiday season at 5:00 this afternoon.
With 91 days to go until Christmas, WEZZ-FM made the move exactly one month earlier than last year. On October 25, 2014 both WEZZ-FM and iHeartMedia AC “Magic 96.5” WMJJ Birmingham flipped within minutes of one another. It took until October 17 to get the first Christmas station in 2014.
Switching to Christmas music did not have much of an impact on WEZZ’s ratings differential with WMJJ last year. In the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 Nielsen Audio ratings Easy’s 2.1 share trailed Magic’s 3.2. In the Spring 2015 book WEZZ-FM rose to a 2.3, while WMJJ dropped to a 3.0 share.