12/19: Lite moves to 96.7
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Chuck Deskins, the Clear Channel market manager, just told me that Lite isn’t completely out. Clear Channel is moving Lite to its very weak south-skewing signal 96.7. (I can’t hear 96.7 from my downtown location but it becomes much clearer south of I-20.). Currently, it’s simulcasting Viva 105.7.
He said Lite 96.7 will launch in the next day or two but without Steve Goss or Randy & Spiff. And it will air Christmas songs through Christmas so if you are on the south side, you have that option. Anybody north of I-20, you’re outta luck on that front.
Although he said Lite 94.9 was doing fine from a revenue standpoint, “we think there is more out there meaning potential audience and more revenue for us in the country arena.” TV ads will start as early as Tuesday and billboards will begin appearing possibly before the year’s out.
For air talent, Deskins said “we’re in full recruitment mode.” He said he’s considering both local-only talent and syndicated talent for all four major dayparts.
And why dump Christmas a week early?
“It was a tough decision. We’ve been doing Christmas music for a long time. We felt there was enough Christmas music in the marketplace. Our listeners could find Christmas music if they chose do to dhat. We wanted a little earlier start to tell the Atlanta market, we’re in the country business.”
Management considered “creeping into the format” by sticking with Christmas for a week and promoting the new Bull. But they decided to jump right in instead.
The Bull’s target audience is going to be women 35-54, older than Kicks, slightly younger than Eagle. He said it will end up about 60% female. The slogan: “The biggest hits, the biggest stars.”
But by including the Braves in the package, isn’t that a mismatch?
Deskins rationalized it this way: “It’s a family sport. When you look at country music, it does skew female. It’s about 60/40. But we feel that baseball and country music in Atlanta, Georgia is perfect. We’re not going to forget the men on the radio station. “
And not being the programming guy (Clay Hunnicutt, vp of country programming for Clear Channel, is helping out on that front), Deskins wasn’t sure if they’d play the Dixie Chicks or not. (Deskins, who joined Clear Channel Atlanta just a few months ago, has more of a sales background from Tampa.)
So far, after looking over seven hours and more than 100 commercial-free songs, there’s no sign of the Chicks on the playlist. But the Bull is now playing one or two xmas songs an hour. Although the first hour looked a lot like Kicks, subsequent hours (with songs by Ronnie Milsap and Mel McDaniel) revealed it’s slightly older than Kicks but still younger than Eagle.
If you want to see the hour-to-hour songs from the Bull, the best place to go is www.yes.com Type in WLTM-FM for now though they are now under new call letters of WUBL-FM.