The Big Central Ohio Switch

A big Columbus radio switch has taken place.

This morning at 6 AM, The Ohio State University officially launched “Classical 101”, putting 24/7 classical music on the former WWCD/101.1 Grove City…now known under new call letters WOSA.

The “Classical 101” format also airs on WOSB/91.1 Marion, and according to an earlier announcement by the station, WOSP/91.5 Portsmouth and WOSE/91.1 Coshocton…not to mention taking the HD2 spot on WOSU-FM/89.7. (That side channel has been running the existing “Classical 24/7” feed.)

The station has posted some audio of the WOSA launch, and a picture of the celebration at the launch, here.

WOSU-FM will continue its mix of classical music and NPR News programming for a few more days. It’ll switch to full-time news/talk on January 6th, in tandem with existing outlet WOSU/820 and, according to the earlier announcement, WOSV/91.7 Mansfield.

Confused, yet? You won’t be…after this episode of “Soap”! (Sorry, that’s an old TV reference.)

Confusion still reigns at the other station involved in this switch, the alt-rocker long known as “CD101″…even after losing the “101” part this week.

WWCD has moved to its new digs at 102.5/Baltimore, the former WCVZ, owned by Zanesville’s WHIZ Media Group. The station was the long-time home of WHIZ-FM’s “Z102”, until the WHIZ folks moved it to the Columbus ex-urb of Baltimore, and leased the signal to WWCD owner Fun With Radio. (“Z102” became “Z92.7”, as WHIZ bought the former WCVZ/92.7 South Zanesville for its new local FM home, and moved the WHIZ-FM calls and local hot AC format there.)

Even after classical music started airing on its old home of 101.1, WWCD has continued to use the “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” branding…despite a provision in the 101.1 sale contract that prohibits it from using “101” and “101.1” in its branding after the sale closes, which it did on Tuesday afternoon.

The “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” website – now available at cd101.com and cd1025.com – still contains numerous references to “CD101”, with some “102-five” logos sprinkled in.

Will the station ever become “CD102.5”?

We don’t know. We’ve asked on the “CD101fm” Facebook page, but don’t expect an answer.

We also don’t know why listeners in the Columbus market are still complaining about the sound of the now-relocated “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” at its new frequency…we understand that the station was supposed to relocate the processing equipment after Ohio State took over 101.1, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Speculation department here: Maybe WWCD is hanging onto the “CD101” part of the branding through the “Andyman-a-thon”, the legendary charity event set up by late program director “Andyman” Davis.

It’s coming up starting Friday, and you can find out much more here.

A list of the various Andyman-a-thon events is on the “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” main page.

We can understand the sentimental attachment to “CD101”, the station’s long-time name, especially at an event that’ll have many memories of the station’s biggest name.

It reminds us of Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron hanging onto its neon version of former WB mascot Michigan J. Frog on the outside wall of its Cuyahoga Falls studios, and nostalgia is not all bad.

But if the station continues to be “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” long after the loss of its initial frequency, new listeners in the market may ask…”What is CD101? I tune there and hear Beethoven”.

The new legal IDs are instructive.

“Classical 101” lists not only WOSA Grove City/Columbus, but also WOSB Marion/Delaware, a nod to the station’s use of the Marion frequency to reach northern areas of the Columbus market out of the reach of 101.1.

Meanwhile, “CD101 @ 102.5 FM” is now WWCD Baltimore, Ohio/Columbus…the folks at the station apparently feel listeners will confuse the Columbus ex-urb for the large Maryland city.

The WWCD call letter move hasn’t yet shown up in the FCC’s online database, and nor has the use of WOSA on 101.1. But we know the latter was already in place for pending future owner Ohio State, and the FCC database on the Internet often lags behind reality…

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