WDRC-FM Flips To Classic Rock The Whale

102.9 The Whale WDRC-FM DRC-FM Hartford WCCC Chaz AJConnoisseur Media flipped Classic Hits 102.9 WDRC-FM to Classic Rock “102.9 The Whale” around 10:30 this morning. The launch came after a brief loop of the Brass Bonanza theme song of the NHL’s defunct Hartford Whalers.

The flip comes following the demise of Classic Rock 106.9 WCCC-FM last summer and Connoisseur’s shift of WDRC-FM from pop-leaning Classic Hits to Rock leaning, which alienated many former listeners while not doing anything to bring former WCCC-FM or other new listeners aboard. “The Whale” gives the station a fresh start without the now destroyed WDRC-FM branding.

Chaz & AJ based at sister Rock 99.1 WPLR New Haven remain in mornings. Allan Lamberti moves from afternoons to middays, former WCCC PD Michael Picozzi joins for afternoons, and former WCCC host Klonk takes nights.

Update 1/11: Connoisseur now has 1029TheWhale.com live with a splash page claiming “Hartford’s Classic Rock is back online & in HD-2. Coming Soon.” However, we’re not sure we buy that as anything other than a decoy as the company has also registered some additional domains: 1029Boom.com, 1029TheBigD.com, 1029TheBull.com, ElGato1029.com, and Radio1029.com. Besides the fact that the last brand is already used in the Hartford market, why would a company go out of its way to register decoy domains for a pending HD/online launch? We’ll keep watching this one for further movement.

Original Report 1/8: The defunct Hartford Whalers aren’t returning, but it may be time to strike the Brass Bonanza again.

When Connoisseur Media took over Classic Hits 102.9 WDRC-FM Hartford last summer it quickly revamped the station with a Classic Rock lean as opposed to the Pop lean it was known for. However, even with the flip of Classic Rock 106.9 WCCC-FM to Christian AC “K-Love” weeks later, the revamped WDRC-FM has shown little momentum ratingswise.

So of course when that happens it becomes time to rebrand. Connoisseur has registered 1029TheWhale.com for the station. With WCCC-FM gone will ditching the “DRC-FM” branding be enough to allow the station to become the only Rock oriented station focusing primarily on Hartford? Both Saga’s “Rock 102” WAQY Springfield, MA and Connoisseur’s 99.1 WPLR New Haven (whose Chaz & AJ morning show is simulcast on WDRC-FM) are heard throughout parts of the Hartford market, but do not target it primarily for sales.

  1. bill1820 says

    I can’t see naming a radio station after a team that left here more that 15 years ago.

    1. Lance Venta says

      104.3 The Colt in Baltimore debuted in the mid 90’s more than a decade after the football team left.

    2. anonymouscoward says

      That part of Connecticut was known for whaling so it makes sense even with no hockey team named Whalers.

      1. Joseph_Gallant says

        The whaling industry on Connecticut was centered along the shore of Long Island Sound, the nearest point of which is some 3o or so miles south of Hartford.

        The name “Whalers” goes back even before the team called Hartford home: It was a charter member of the World Hockey Association in 1972 and was originally known as the New England Whalers. The team called Boston home for it’s first two seasons (in fact, they won the first-ever WHA championship in 1973, beating Winnipeg 4 games to 1).

        It should be noted that at the time, there was (and I think there still is) a recreational motorboat brand called “Boston Whaler”, but the ownership of that company had no connection with the team.

        But the team couldn’t compete against the Boston Bruins and a star Bruin played named Bobby Orr, so the team moved to Hartford in 1974, playing home games in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts before the Hartford Civic Center was completed.

        1. whalerr11 says

          Quick correction but the Whalers only played in Springfield after the roof collapsed on the Hartford Civic Center not before.

        2. anonymouscoward says

          “The whaling industry on Connecticut was centered along the shore of Long Island Sound, the nearest point of which is some 3o or so miles south of Hartford.”

          Sounds like you mean New London which in all honesty is close enough considering its a 50 minute drive give or take.

          At any rate I don’t get how a name change will fix what ales DRC but whatever. Its all probably leading to a reavmped Talk of Connecticut switching to the FM side sooner or later.

          1. Joseph_Gallant says

            WDRC-1360’s talk format moving to or being simulcast on FM is one of two things I think may happen with 102.9.

            The other might be a classic hip-hop format branded “Boom!”, like Radio One’s classic Hip-Hop outlet in Houston.

            Besides, one decoy URL is “Boom”.

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