Santa’s Christmas list is getting longer as stations continue the earlier than usual migration to wall-to-wall holiday hits. Jingle bells are now ringing in Las Vegas, Denver, Portland and Central Pennsylvania as the latest group of stations make the Christmas flip.
The early adopters debut just as Nielsen’s December PPM survey kicks off (Nov. 7) and at the beginning of the last month of the Fall 2019 diary survey period.
In Las Vegas, iHeartMedia AC “Sunny 106.5” KSNE-FM went all-Christmas Friday (Nov. 8) at 6:15am, bringing Sin City its second holiday station. “Christmas Music on Sunny 106.5 is a long-standing Las Vegas holiday tradition,” Senior VP of Programming Tony Matteo said in a release. “It’s our honor to once again play these iconic favorites for families in the Valley.” Crosstown Kemp Broadcasting hot AC “106.9 The Q” KVGQ made the move to Christmas music earlier in the week.
Tinsel town also comes to Denver as Bonneville soft AC KOSI (101.1) makes its annual Christmas flip just before 5pm Friday, Nov. 8.
“We’ve had listeners asking us to change to Christmas music since Halloween,” PD Jim Lawson said in a release. “We’re excited and honored to bring back this long-standing Denver tradition, 24/7 through Christmas Day.”
To kick off the Christmas programming, the Bear Creek High School Theater Company will perform “Welcome Christmas” live in the KOSI studio.
In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia AC KOST (103.5) plans to flip the switch at 5pm Friday (Nov. 8). As part of KOST’s Official Holiday Kick Off Celebration, Interscope Records recording artist Gwen Stefani will perform songs from her holiday album, “You Make it Feel Like Christmas” during iHeartRadio LIVE with Gwen Stefani at the iHeartRadio Theater L.A. in Burbank. The event will also air as a national radio broadcast across some iHeartMedia AC and hot AC stations, with a live video stream on iHeartRadio’s YouTube Channel. “We’ve been sharing the holidays with our listeners for 19 consecutive years and in 2018, KOST 103.5 set a new record reaching more than 5.3 million festive minded listeners,” PD John Peake said. “We can’t wait to do it again this year.”
Santa came calling early Friday morning as Cumulus Media AC WARM-FM York, PA (103.3) made the flip at 6am. PD Dave Russell said listeners were already asking for Christmas music. “We determined that an earlier start was again appropriate this year,” he said. “Christmas music puts people in a happy place, and we could all use a little holiday cheer right now.”
WARM-FM will play back the Top 103 Christmas Songs in December and is asking listeners to submit their favorites. The station’s regular programming will be available as an online stream in the coming days. Santa will make studio visits and take calls from children, Penn Live reports, with his first appearance scheduled for Dec. 3 during Russell’s afternoon drive show.
Another Central PA radio station is also playing holiday favorites as Hall Communications hot AC “Fun 101.3” WROZ Lancaster made the move Thursday morning (Nov. 7) at 8am with Andy Williams’ “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
“With winter-like weather starting this weekend and the fact that Christmas music seems to put people in a happy mood, we felt confident in our decision to become The Christmas Station this early in the month,” VP/GM Billy Baldwin said in a release.
Dennis Mitchell and Michelle Cruz were interrupted live on the air by a band of merry elves who took control of the station. Santa joined them in the studio to read a proclamation that “Christmas music starts right now.” A video of the holiday takeover is available on the “Fun 101.3” Facebook page.
iHeartMedia AC “K103” KKCW Portland, OR ushered in its Christmas programming at 4:30pm Thursday, Nov. 7.
“For more than 15 years, our audience has made listening to all Christmas music on K103 part of their holiday traditions,” PD Michael LaCrosse said. “We’re humbled every year by the number of people who welcome us into their businesses, cars, and most importantly, their homes to provide the soundtrack of the season for what truly is the most wonderful time of the year.”
Streaming audio platform TuneIn is also in the holiday spirit launching “Sounds of the Season,” a new festive lineup of eight music stations: “Holiday Hits,” “Country Christmas,” “Classical Holiday,” “Holiday Jazz,” “Holiday Standards,” “Rock Holiday,” “Kids Christmas” and “Navidad Latina.” The stations are available commercial free to Premium users and are also available to those who use the ad-supported service.