Peak To Bring Third Country To Portland, ME

103.7 The Peak WPKQ Mount Washington Portland Country Fitz 97.5 WOKQ Townsquare MediaUpdate 7/5: It won’t be Variety Hits as we theorized below, but Townsquare Media will launch “103.7 The Peak” WPKQ North Conway, NH on Monday, July 6.

To be branded as “Maine & New Hampshire’s New Country Station”, WPKQ will move its operations from Townsquare’s Portsmouth, NH cluster to its Portland, ME cluster. “Captain” Herb Ivy, Brand Manager/Morning Host at sister Classic Rock 102.9 WBLM and Brand Manager at Alternative 94.3 WCYY will add programming duties at WPKQ. The Peak airstaff will feature the syndicated Fitz In the Morning based at Entercom’s “100.7 The Wolf” KWWF Seattle. WOKQ morning host Roy Sullivan will add middays at WPKQ and former 101.9 WPOR host Annie Snook will handle afternoons. Townsquare’s syndicated Taste of Country Nights will remain in evenings.

WPKQ will become the third Country station in the Portland market joining Saga’s aforementioned WPOR and Binnie Media’s “99.9 The Wolf” WTHT. While WPOR’s ratings are not made public as Saga did not subscribe to Nielsen Audio, WTHT was fifth of the listed stations with a 5.1 share in the Nielsen Audio Fall 2014 ratings.

Original Report 6/30: Townsquare Media is poised to break apart its simulcast of Country 97.5 WOKQ Dover and 103.7 WPKQ North Conway, NH.

Operating from the top of Mount Washington, the Class C signal covers the northern two thirds of New Hampshire, much of southern Maine, and parts of eastern Vermont including the Portland market. Townsquare has registered for the station, which was the name utilized by then WZPK before it began to simulcast WOKQ in 1996.

Townsquare hired AJ Dukette yesterday to program AC 94.9 WHOM and CHR “Q97.9” WJBQ in the Portland cluster. He previously spent the past decade as OM/PD of Nassau Broadcasting/Binnie Media’s Concord, NH cluster where among the stations he was responsible was Classic Hits “99.1 Frank-FM” WNNH. Binnie operates an identically branded station in Portland, 107.5 WFNK that has led the Portland market in each of the last two ratings periods. Will a similarly formatted station to take on WFNK and Saga’s “Rewind 100.9” WYNZ be next for WPKQ?

  1. Jeff Lehmann says

    Wonder if they might keep it country, but just separate it completely from WOKQ? As far as I can tell, it’s very popular up there.

  2. StogieGuy says

    With a moniker like The Peak, I tend to think that some sort of AAA format may be coming. Of course, we’ve been wrong before, but that would also be a pretty popular format in that area.

  3. JustinT says

    WPKQ does seem to be pretty popular up there, but the popularity seems to be the “North Country”, where WPKQ has a sales office/part-time studio. Despite solid coverage of Portland, WPKQ has never had great numbers there – maybe partially because of competition from WTHT and WPOR, maybe partially because they’re not actually trying.

    If 103.7 changes market and returns to the WZPK-model of targeting Portland, AAA wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense with 98.9 WCLZ in the mix. A Portland-based country station might work… or what about adult hits?

    1. WCOZBoston says

      It sounds like WPKQ is running from the WOKQ studios even though they are promoting that the studios are at One City Center in Portland at the top of the hour. Music is the same, slightly offset on both 97.5 and 103.7 during the mid-day and afternoon shifts but different on air personalities. Does anyone know if a new studio was built for WPKQ at One City Center with an STL to the Mt. Washington, or could they somehow use WHOM’s if this were in fact the case?

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