B101 Returns To Philadelphia
Coming up on its fifth anniversary since its rebranding as “101.1 More-FM“, Entercom has shifted 101.1 WBEB Philadelphia to a variation of its former identity rebranding it as “B101.1“.
While the station’s website has the holiday version of the logo as of this writing with the “More Continuous Holiday Music” positioning, the station has not yet made the move the Christmas Music. WBEB is still utilizing its former name in its branding as the positioning statement is “More Music, More Variety”.
This is now the fourth brand name the 101.1 frequency has used as it continuously evolves its AC format. Former Beautiful Music WDVR then became “EAZY 101” WEAZ-FM in 1981. As it then grew from Easy Listening to Soft AC to AC, it rebranded as “B101” in 1993 under the WBEB calls. Market research led then-owner Jerry Lee to rebrand again as “101.1 More-FM” in 2013.
While WBEB continues to be the highest CUMEing station in the Philadelphia market by a wide margin, it began to show cracks in recent months as it dropped from first to as low as fourth before rebounding back to second with a 6.3-7.0 rise in the October Nielsen Audio ratings.
INSTANT INSIGHT: With iHeartMedia likely launching a new Soft AC competitor to WBEB on 106.1 WISX, it makes sense for Entercom to return the station back to its more widely known brand as it prepares to enter a marketing battle. I could very easily see a perceptual research study coming back showing listeners still identify the station as “B101“, but also finding that the station under the “More-FM” identity was too Top 40ish musically regardless of any changes that accompanied this move.