The unofficial start of summer usually brings with it the official start of new radio stations as programmers take advantage of a long holiday weekend to introduce new sounds to the market. Rock additions in Indianapolis and Atlantic City highlight the weekend flips, which also include new signals for Binnie Media’s “Frank FM” classic hits network in New Hampshire.
Heading into the weekend, Cumulus Media unplugged CHR “Energy 93.9” WYRG Indianapolis and launched rock “93-9 X.” The new station, which is now cranking tunes from Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Nirvana, Twenty One Pilots and Guns n’ Roses, debuted commercial-free through Memorial Day weekend and follows the mold of rock sister KXXR Minneapolis.
“We are excited to expand the successful 93X brand to Indianapolis with the new 93-9X,” Cumulus Corporate PD Troy Hanson said in a release. “Shout out to [KXXR PD] Derek Madden, our brainchild on this project, as we fill a hole in the marketplace with a much-needed rock station. The partnership opportunities this brand adds to our Indy cluster portfolio and rock platform are limitless.”
“93-9 X” looks to complement cluster mate, and market leader, classic hits WJJK (104.5), which posted a 10.2 in the April PPMs. Other Indy rock outlets include iHeartMedia’s long-standing classic rock “Q 95” WFBQ, a habitual Top 5 ranker, and its modern rock sister “Alt 103.3” WOLT. As a CHR outlet “Energy 93.9” posted a 1.2 in April.
With the format flip, the Westwood One-syndicated “The Bert Show” moves from WYRG to hot AC sister “107.9 The Mix” WNTR.
Another classic rocker debuted “down the shore” as Townsquare Media Atlantic City, NJ launches “Rock 104.1,” on the Absecon, NJ-licensed translator W281BH at 104.1 and originating on WENJ-HD4 (97.3).
“We’re excited to introduce you to the new Rock 104.1, South Jersey’s classic rock station,” the station posted on its website. “Rock 104.1 is your home for the purest classic rock tunes, The Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show, plus local news and happenings.”
Following the syndicated “Free Beer & Hot Wings” is Jen Austin (middays) and Hopkins (afternoons) via voice-tracking. Townsquare’s “Ultimate Classic Rock” is plugged into nights.
“Rock 104.1” joins what has been a two-way battle for rock listeners in the Atlantic City-Cape May market between Equity Communications classic rock WZXL (100.7) and Longport Media rock WMGM (103.7). The two full signaled stations are less than a half-share apart in the Fall 2018 book, with WMGM leading 3.7 to WZXL’s 3.4.
In New Hampshire, Binnie Media expanded its classic hits “Frank FM” network with the addition of WLNH-FM (98.3) Concord and WBYY Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester (98.7). The stations were previously formatted AC and hot AC, respectively. “Frank FM” is also heard on the company’s WFNQ Manchester (106.3) and WNNH Concord (99.1).
With the addition of the two signals, “Frank FM” launches “The Summer of Frank,” playing the Top 500 greatest hits of all time.
“Frank FM has grown to be statewide so all of New Hampshire can enjoy the Greatest Hits of All Time,” an announcement reads. “We've also added New Hampshire radio legends Mike Morin and Lori D to start your day every morning and radio guru Doctor of Rock to get you home each weekday afternoon.”
Binnie also jettisons news/talk WEMJ (1490) Concord and its simulcast partner, the Laconia, NH-licensed translator W297BS and is now airing CHR sister WJYY (105.5) on the signals.
iHeartMedia Roanoke does some dial position swapping in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market as CHR WJJS moves from 104.9 to 93.5, displacing hot AC “Mix 93.5.” WJJS continues to simulcast on WJJX (102.7). Meanwhile, adult hits “Steve FM” moves from 106.1 (WSFF) to the 104.9 signal with the new calls WSTV. The moves come as a result of the divestiture of the 106.1 signal and WSNZ (101.7) to Educational Media Foundation from iHeartMedia’s Aloha Station Trust.