There were roughly a third fewer call letter changes in June compared to what the Federal Communications Commission typically reports in its monthly update. The FCC says there were just 19 radio call sign switches across the U.S.
As usual, format changes are behind many of the changes. That includes Cumulus Media’s Santa Barbara, CA market changes that include launching classic hits KRUZ (103.3) on what had been the home of rhythmic CHR “The Vibe” KVYB. That format moved up the dial to 106.3, which was previously home to classic hip-hop “106.3 Spin FM.” The net impact, at least in terms of call letters: The two FMs pulled off a swap.
In Denver, “Orange & Blue 760” KDSP was sacked by iHeartMedia. It has now launched as a conservative news-talk format branded “Freedom 93.7,” to play up a newly signing-on FM translator that will be paired with the AM. In honor of the new format, iHeart has given the AM a new call sign: KDFD as in “Denver Freedom.”
An impending format change in Tuscaloosa, AL has also led Educational Media Foundation to apply for new call letters on what is still sports “Tide 102.9” WTID. The religious broadcaster is buying the station from Townsquare Media; once the sale closes the FM will offer new calls WFMA. The move is standard fare for EMF, which last month changed the call letters of one of the FMs it bought from Cumulus Media. What was hot AC “102.1 The Sound” WZAT in Savannah, GA is now contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate WKZV.
Of course, sometimes a call sign switch just brings the moniker more in line with the station’s branding. Take Florida Broadcasters’ Spanish-language urban “Urbana 103.7 & 103.5 FM.” The on-air branding may reflect the two FM translator signals, but it’s the AM station where the programming originates—so it switched from WURF to WURB last month to better reflect the “Urbana” brand.
Check out all of June’s call letter changes HERE.