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Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
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MWmetalhead
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Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:17 am

We're in January, and the next federal holiday is MLK Day (January 21).

WSNX through Phase II of the Fall book was on track for record high ratings. WHTS' ratings are stuck in the mud. To date, Magic 104.9 has had little to no impact on WSNX's ratings locally, but we all know for years WSNX has been the default FM station many African American listeners in the Grand Rapids turn to.

WYGR abruptly terminated its Urban AC-ish format about a month ago. I assumed this was the result of weak ratings & ad revenue performance in light of Magic 104.9's success, and perhaps to a lesser degree, loss of listenership to 97.3 The Beat.

Here's where I'm going with all of this - might the format dump at WYGR be related to what we're currently seeing at Cumulus?

Could we see a new Urban station launch on MLK Day on one of Cumulus' G.R. area signals? If it's of the Urban AC variety, will there be a simulcast with Muskegon's V100? I just looked, and interestingly enough, V100 appears to share NONE of Magic 104.9's programming.

The throwback Hip-Hop format that Craig Russell mentioned on the other thread would be an interesting choice, as I believe such a format potentially would make a meaningful dent in WSNX's numbers - at least short term. In Detroit, 105.1 The Bounce certainly made a dent in Channel 9-5-5's numbers, across all three major categories (A18-34, 18-49 an 25-54), although WKQI has seen some ratings recovery in recent months (and they should see a very nice rise now that Amp Radio 98.7 is no more).


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by Freqman » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:27 pm

Hearing that your theory is almost dead on. Friend of a friend says some were advised this morning that the 94.5 frequency will become a hybrid Urban/Throwback station.

The idea is to make a combo push against SNX, since even though they lead in the ratings, HOT has seen their billing continue to rise. That has the new GM is very high on WHTS and wants it to succeed.

Also heard that the night show on WHTS may soon be reverting back to a local one and that some familiar talents might be back in the market.



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:39 pm

That would make things very, very interesting for sure.

My guess is 94.5 would sound maybe like Lansing's 96.5.

Wouldn't surprise me if the just launched Rick Party syndicated morning show (Westwood One) makes a home on 94.5.

I think putting the Urban format on 105.3 and moving Hot to 94.5 would make more sense. 94.5's signal is superior to 105.3 across nearly all of the most heavily populated zip codes.

That said, 105.3 has shown ability to garner great ratings in the past. That station delivered some great books four or five years ago. Losing Beau Derek and then Marty hurt them badly.

Zach Sang and the Gang needs to go. That show blows!!!


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by handbanana » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:58 pm

So Hot FM is getting a flanker? Why not, the market is full of 'em. WLHT has always had the River and the Fox (now Brew) was put on the air because B93 couldn't beat LAV.

What a waste of signals in this market. Although it will be interesting to see how an Ubrban format might do in GR.



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by option1 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:57 pm

Straight up Urban in GR...I don’t think it will work. Too niche. Tough sell. And would take a lot of patience to get traction.

BUT a throwback Hip-Hop station that plays 25% currents and 75% old school would have the potential to do some damage. The music would be familiar thanks to WSNX’s 20+ year history as a rhythmic and it shouldn’t be too tough to sell. I think the market is ready for a station like this. It most likely won’t debut #1 like Bounce in Detroit, but I think the mid 4’s to a 5 share wouldn’t be out of the question.



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by 48125er » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:16 am

I could see that,



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by Arthur Mometer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:33 am

Years ago, back around 1985, I asked one of the WCHB founders or managers why they didn't just apply for one of the new Class A frequencies in Grand Rapids, 98.7 or 100.5. He said that it was difficult to sell an R & B format in Grand Rapids. He said you could be #1 in the ratings and still flounder financially. They have to do what used to be called a "Salt and Pepper" type format, either a mix of "White Hot Hits" and R & B and high profile African American or Blue Eyed DJs like John R at WLAC who sounded ambiguously Black. They did this in one form or another at WDRQ in the 1970s and at WAMM in Flint in the late 1960s, with Jim Hampton, Pete Flanders, etc., and Dick Kemp, etc. at WYNR Chicago. Ernie Durham had that appeal at WJLB, something to cross over to widen the appeal, and later, the Saturday Night Blues program at WDET. But you need a Class A FM to make it work best. I doubt if a 250 watt translator could do it well, but a centrally located Class A could. Not a rimshot though. Bill Bailey would have been great, but the Classic High Profile Local DJs have unfortunately passed away. You can't just use Syndication or a hard drive based format.


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:59 am

Not much in the way of new developments.

The Facebook page link at countrymi.com (the temporary Thunder web site) remains dead.

The Facebook page link at theticketmi.com now directs to the 1340 WJRW Facebook page, which has been re-purposed for the Ticket.

The old WBBL/quasi-Thunder page has scores of listeners screaming about the removal of the Sports format from 107.3 FM, and to a lesser degree, listeners stating how much they still miss WKLQ or wish a new rock station to challenge WGRD would take to the airwaves.

Virtually no new information or posts from station officials have occurred in a week's time. My guess is the current FB page will be deleted once all permanent formats are revealed.

Meanwhile, on the WJRW FB page, I think I saw a grand total of 10 posts bemoaning the loss of the station's conservative-minded news/talk programming.

By the way, I think the current 94.5/107.3 stationality stinks. There have been zero programming upgrades, if anything the music has taken a bit of a step backward, and the voiceovers between songs are pukey. Keeping fingers crossed things sound a LOT better once the dust settles. Thunder was never a terribly successful brand locally. And 94.5 had a very respectable book this past summer - its first in ages. I'm a little surprised Cumulus reverted to the "Thunder" identity. Nash finally seemed to be gaining some traction.


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by CJ » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:17 pm

I noticed this morning that 94.5’s RDS reads “West Michigan’s Polka Station”. I didn’t have a strong enough signal with 107.3 to see if it said the same thing.



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:32 pm

LOL! That's pretty funny.

Maybe some cool stunting will be heard in the coming week?


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:26 pm

I wonder if the WBBL call sign will be kept and moved to 94.5?

Maybe the new station can be called The Bubble. Or Babble. :)


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by Ben Zonia » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:20 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:26 pm
I wonder if the WBBL call sign will be kept and moved to 94.5?

Maybe the new station can be called The Bubble. Or Babble. :)
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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by MWmetalhead » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:17 pm

Might Snot-FM be moving from 105.3 MHz to 94.5 MHz with a name change and music shift to include more rhythmic gold?

A recently registered URL involves a brand Cumulus commonly uses for its classic hip-hop stations, but I found at least two instances where the brand name in question is also used for CHR/Pop.

After that happens, might V100's Urban AC format move from 100.1 in Muskegon to 105.3 MHz in order to reach the Grand Rapids market?

If that were to occur, that would open up a frequency in the Muskegon area for FM Sports programming, even with the 99.1 MHz translator not being on the air.

Another name option:
TheQ945.com

The above URL was registered December 19, 2018 by Cumulus' favorite registrar, Enom.
Guess what else was registered that day? thunder1073.com !!! :8)

So, "The Q" is either a decoy or a name being seriously considered.


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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by CJ » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:09 am

94.5 has a RDS message currently set as “The Yibe - Jazz, Rhythm, and Blues”. Still Country through the speakers.



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Re: Theory regarding Cumulus' next format move

Post by Deleted User 12201 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:35 am

"The Yibe"? That's a little weird. Unless someone transcribed something wrong (A Y for a V) off a written piece of paper.

But, these all seem like potentially very positive moves for Cumulus if it all comes to fruition like MW thinks it might...



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