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Posts Tagged ‘Phathead’

Can Country Music Make a Comeback on New York Radio?

Artists like Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift (left), and Carrie Underwood have made country music stronger than ever. The Country explosion is part of today’s reality TV. Blake Shelton is a judge on NBC’s The Voice, and the multi-platinum selling Keith Urban just signed on for season 12 of American Idol. Country music is one of the most popular radio formats with more than 2,000 stations playing that music across the “country.” It accounts for approximately 20 percent of all commercial music formats nationwide. Despite its popularity, the genre hasn’t cracked the New York market for years.

Each time an FM station flips format or purchases a New York City dial position, the new opportunity for Country is overlooked.

In our examination of the lack of Country in the nation’s top market, FishbowlNY gets the thoughts of former New York City Country DJs, a veteran radio programmer, and a current program director at a Country station on the outskirts of Manhattan.

First, some background.

New York, which has been in the radio biz for more than 90 years, has had just a smattering of full-time Country stations. WHN made the flip in 1973. Prior to that, only WJRZ in neighboring Hackensack, New Jersey, and Mineola-based WTHE, gave listeners the Nashville twang.

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Long Island Radio Favorite ‘Malibu’ Sue Talks About Her Recent Firing

We told you earlier in the week about Long Island Radio Group’s WMJC making a format flip on November 5.

The station, through consulting by veteran programmer Joel Salkowitz, went from a Hot AC station to playing hits from the 1980s to 2005, or Gen X as they call it. With that in mind, the call letters also were swapped for WIGX (94-X).

For the next few weeks, as is a common tactic when purging a previous format, they are going jockless.

When they do return, one jock that won’t be heard is the hugely popular L.I. jock “Malibu” Sue McCann.

She was tipped off in the final weeks that there would be changes, but not given any specifics about her future with the radio station. When asked if she would have a job, management gave her a resounding “It hasn’t been decided yet.”  Read more

Pulse’s Joel Salkowitz Guides Format Flip on Long Island

Last Friday, WMJC 94.3 on Long Island pulled the plug on their Hot Adult Contemporary station in favor of a wider selection of music from 1985 to 2005.

There were casualties of the format flip—on-air personalities Phathead and Malibu Sue.

Program director Jon Daniels remains at the helm.

The station, now using the call letters WIGX (94-X), is going jock-free until around Thanksgiving. In addition, the station will go commercial-free during ‘Three Day Weekends’ each Friday at 5 p.m. through Monday at 5 p.m. Joel Salkowitz has been a consultant for L.I. Radio Group (also known as Barnstable Broadcasting, owners of WIGX and several other radio stations) since May, conducting research into plans for the format change.

“We’ve found a unique opportunity on Long Island that gives that station a position that is not covered by any of the local stations,” Salkowitz says.

WMJC had been under-performing in the ratings, averaging a .8 in the last three Arbitron surveys.   Read more