1290 Milwaukee

First Listen: Fonz-FM Milwaukee

There are two things to know about Fonz FM, the AM/FM-translator combo that recently rebranded from the True Oldies Channel. The name is brilliant, prompting the sort of excited reader reaction that I last experienced during the November volley of CBS/Entercom format change. Like Tuscaloosa, Ala.’s Nick 97.5, it was the rare format change that generated TV coverage. I wish I’d come up with the name myself, but I’ve never had to launch an oldies station in the city where “Happy Days” took place. Then, despite the name, the music is largely ‘70s with some ‘60s, which is where True Oldies Channel had evolved to as well. Fonz FM isn’t specializing in the pre-Beatles music that would have been playing at the Arnold’s Drive-In of the TV show. I’ve heard “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” but even tha...[Read More]

Happy Days In Milwaukee As WZTI Rebrands As Fonz-FM

Playing tribute to hometown hero Arthur Fonzarelli, Milwaukee Radio Alliance has relaunched “True Oldies 1290/100.3” WZTI Greenfield/Milwaukee WI as “Fonz-FM“. Named for Henry Winkler’s famous character on the Milwaukee set Happy Days, the station is now utilizing a locally programmed Oldies format focusing on hits from the late 1950s through 70s as opposed to the “True Oldies Channel” network it had been using. The station is heard on 100.3 W262CJ Milwaukee and in the southern suburbs of the market on 107.3 W297BY Franklin WI.

Party’s Over In Milwaukee As True Oldies Debuts

Milwaukee Radio Alliance dropped the eight month old Rhythmic Oldies format on “100.3 The Party” 1290 WZTI Greenfield/100.3 W262CJ Milwaukee, WI at noon today and flipped the station to Oldies as “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel“. Focusing on hits of the 1960s and 70s, the station is utilizing a variant of Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies Channel” stream. WZTI had failed to gain much traction with the Party format, registering a 0.6 share in the July 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings. The new format continues the station’s attempt to knock down iHeartMedia’s market leading Classic Hits “Oldies 95.7” WRIT.

A Rhythmic Oldies Party For Milwaukee

At 5pm on Christmas Day, WZTI flipped to Rhythmic Oldies “The Party“. Launching with Prince’s 1999, the stations are focusing on Rhythmic hits from the 1970s and 1980s. Update 12/24: When 1290 WZTI Greenfield/100.3 W262CJ Milwaukee debuts its new format at 5pm on Christmas it will do so as “The Party“. MilwaukeesParty.com and 1003TheParty.com are now live. Update 12/21: The Martini branding will not be returning to Milwaukee after Christmas. As it continues to stunt with Christmas Music as “100.3 The Elf“, 1290 WZTI Greenfield/100.3 W262CJ Milwaukee is running promos stating it will launch a new format on Thursday, December 25 at 5:00pm. The promos state that “Something Big Is About To Start On 100.3 and 1290”. No domains have been regi...[Read More]

Pair Of Milwaukee AM’s Launch Translators

Two Milwaukee AM stations have signed-on FM translators. Milwaukee Radio Alliance Soft AC/Standards “1290 Martini Radio” WZTI has launched 100.3 W262CJ Milwaukee. The signal operates with a directional 99 watts at 164 meters (Coverage Map). Entercom’s “SportsRadio 1250” WSSP Milwaukee began airing on 105.7 W289CB earlier this month with 240 watts at 284 meters (Coverage Map) via 103.7 WXSS-HD2. The station is not yet promoting its new FM signal.

FCC Applications 2/26: Pair of Milwaukee AM’s Gaining Translators

A very brief rundown this week with just a few applications made: We start in Milwaukee, where two AM’s appear headed for the FM band. The Milwaukee Radio Alliance has agreed to purchase 100.3 W289CB Milwaukee from Mary Medicus for $150,000. The translator CP, currently licensed to operate with 12 watts at 67.9 meters, will be used to rebroadcast Standards “1290 Martini Radio” WZTI. Meanwhile Kevin J. Youngers’ 105.7 W289CB Milwaukee has applied to relocate to 105.1 where it will operate with 10 watts. The application specifies Entercom’s “SportsRadio 1250” WSSP as the originating station. Reach Communications has proposed relocating 107.3 W297BB De Bary, FL into Orlando operating with 250 watts at 129 meters. The translator will rebroadcast an HD ...[Read More]

2014 Post-Christmas Format Change Rundown/Watchlist

It’s beginning to look and feel like that time of the year. The time when radio stations use the Christmas holiday and beginning of the new year to launch new formats. Completed Changes 1/3: Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting closed on its purchase of Classic Rock 94.1 WSOS-FM and Country “100.7 The Bull” WMUV Jacksonville and flipped both to Christian AC “The Promise“. 1/2: Townsquare Classic Hits “Oldiez 96” WODZ-FM Utica, NY relaunches as “96.1 The Eagle“. 1/2: Cumulus Rhythmic CHR “Power 92.3” WZPW Peoria rebrands as “Peoria’s 92.3“. 1/1: Volusia Broadcasting flipped Oldies 1340 WROD/104.7 W284AV Daytona Beach to Classic Rock “The Rock of Daytona“. 1/1: 920 KKLS/104.7 K284BA Rapid City, SD flips to 80s ...[Read More]

Christmas Treats As Halloween Tricks

With only 55 shopping days left until Christmas, the seasonal shift to Christmas music at radio stations across the country is about to begin en-masse. Clear Channel AC “92.1 The Coast” WLTQ Venice/Sarasota, FL and Milwaukee Radio Alliance Standards “1290 Martini Radio” WZTI made the move today to the holiday themed playlist joining stations in Albuquerque, Cape May, Syracuse and Yakima that made much earlier flips this year. Many more will be joining that list in the coming days. A trio of Christian stations are using Halloween to give “Less Spook and More Cheer” to their listeners. “88.3 The Wind” KWND Springfield MO, “New Life 91.9” WRCM Charlotte and the “Shine-FM” network of 88.3 WHZN New Whiteland/Indianapolis, 8...[Read More]

Milwaukee Makes A Martini

Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s 1290 WMCS Milwaukee has ended its brief all-Elvis stunting and debuted Neo-Standards “1290 Martini Radio“. Billed as “From Rat Pack To Brat Pack”, the station is promoting a music mix stretching from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett on the older side to Adele, Alicia Keys, and Norah Jones on the recent end. New WZTI call letters are now in place. The station had been stunting with Elvis music non-stop since pulling the plug on the Black Talk format on Tuesday. The first song was Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon”. Shamrock, half owners of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance debuted a similar format in Reno last November.

WMCS Milwaukee Abandons Black Talk

The Milwaukee Radio Alliance has pulled the plug on the Black Talk format of 1290 WMCS Milwaukee. TheMilwaukeeDrum.com reports that all on-air staffers have been let go with the exception of Phil Anderson, host of the nightly “Blues After Dark”. Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel quotes Bill Hurwitz, the VP of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance as stating it was nothing more than a business decision and that the station had been losing money for over a decade. 1290 is currently stunting with all Elvis music. The Milwaukee Radio Alliance is a partnership of Shamrock Communications and former Green Bay Packer Willie Davis’ All Pro Broadcasting that operates WMCS, AC “B93.3” WLDB, and Alternative “FM 102.1” WLUM.

Milwaukee Changes

A pair of changes coming to Milwaukee in the coming weeks as Salem sells off its pair of stations in the market. Good Karma Broadcasting, owner of crosstown “ESPN Milwaukee“, which airs on 1510 WAUK during the day and then leases time on crosstown 1290 WMCS at night, has acquired 540 WRRD, which will become the fulltime home of the sports format. Sister “105.3 The Fish” WFZH will keep its Christian AC format, however all local programming will soon be gone as the station has been sold to Educational Media Foundation for $8.05 Million. The station will flip to EMF’s national “K-Love” network on February 15.