At the end of the Christmas season, iHeartMedia’s “Christmas 98.1” WTVR-FM Richmond will relaunch as “Mix 98.1” on Monday, December 28.
The new “Mix 98.1” resurrects the branding well-known in the market from its time on 103.7 WMXB (now WURV) through 2010. The new brand will feature a number of personalities long known in the Richmond market.
Former CHR “Q94” WRVQ morning host Jeff Wicker, most recently at Entercom Variety Hits “98.7 Simon” WSMW Greensboro will host mornings. Former WMXB morning co-host Jackie Cunningham with ex-husband Bender will host 9am to 12pm. She most recently was hosting mornings at Hubbard Modern AC “Click 98.9” KLCK Seattle. Kat Simons, the only holdover from the station’s previous “Lite 98” identity will be heard from 12pm to 3pm. Billy Surf, who also previously hosted mornings on WRVQ, will take afternoons.
The move will come with a shift to a Hotter AC positioned as “Today’s Variety”. Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Adele, Bruno Mars and Pink are listed as core artists for the station in the release.
Original Report 11/13: In a not-so-quite shocking development an Adult Contemporary station flipped to Christmas music in mid-November.
The more intriguing part of this is that the iHeartMedia AC known as “Lite 98” WTVR-FM Richmond dropped its heritage branding along with the move and is now identifying as “Christmas 98.1“. Christmas981.com was registered by the company yesterday.
We doubt a new format is coming after the holidays, but a rebranding seems likely. WTVR-FM placed in a fifth place tie in the Richmond market with a 5.4 share in the Summer Phase 1 Nielsen Audio trends. It’s primary competitor, SummitMedia Soft AC “Easy 100.9” WHTI was not listed.