For a long time, Syracuse, New York was a sleepy market, dominated by a handful of legacy stations.
Then things started getting a little crazy there late last month. Clear Channel had to sell one of its rimshot FMs, WWDG 105.1, to stay under the ownership caps. It went back to a previous owner, who returned it to religion for a while – but then abruptly swung 105.1 to country as WOLF-FM, going after Clear Channel’s big gun, WBBS 104.7. Within hours, CC retaliated by flipping another rimshotter, WPHR 106.9, from urban to “New Country.” Only WPHR wasn’t staying a rimshotter – it just downgraded and moved into the heart of the Syracuse market – and it didn’t stay “New Country” long, returning to “Power” just a few days later.
The 105.1 call change set a series of dominoes falling at its own sister stations – “Movin'” WOLF-FM/WWLF-FM became WMVN/WMVU, and religious WVOU 103.9 just went back to its former WVOA-FM calls (which had been the calls on 105.1 during its two stints with religion, too.)
But wait – there’s more! Buckley just exited the Salt City, selling its WSEN/WSEN-FM and WFBL to a new local group, Leatherstocking – and it’s in the process of changing the format on WSEN(AM), which just flipped to a temporary simulcast of oldies WFBL. And over at Galaxy, another local cluster, WZUN 102.1 is segueing from AC to classic hits.
Got that all straight? No? Fortunately, we’ve got a batch of fresh IDs from Syracuse to keep you up to date.
And if that’s not enough, how about a late-breaking format change from Rochester, where Clear Channel flipped country rimshotter WROO 107.3 to a simulcast of sports-talk WHTK 1280? Our airchecker was running throughout the transition, so you get to hear every phase of it.
(Completists? Us? Naaah….)