The Crowded Christmas Music Parade
November 17, 2011 5 Comments
Just one day after we noted Northeast Ohio’s first Christmas music station of the season (Canton market Clear Channel otherwise AC WHOF/101.7 “My 101.7”), and hours after Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News in the Morning” picked up on our speculation…the Christmas Music Parade has become a mini-stampede.
As widely expected, CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 Cleveland has officially jumped onto Santa’s Musical Sleigh…complete with an on-air name change to “Christmas 102.1”.
But WDOK wasn’t alone in its flip.
This morning at 10, it was Clear Channel Cleveland classic hits WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7” moving to holiday tunes, calling itself the home of “Cleveland’s Greatest Holiday Hits”.
WMJI reportedly got a just under an hour jump on WDOK, which has been promoting its eventual switch to Christmas music for some time now…we hear WDOK’s flip happened at just before 11 AM.
What in the name of Kris Kringle is going on here?
Last year’s entrant in the Clear Channel Christmas sweepstakes was then-WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106.5”, which launched out of Christmas music in late December to stunt an all-over-the-road music format on the way to its current variety hits format as “106.5 The Lake”. (Note to “Fox 8 News in the Morning” – 106.5’s call letters changed from WMVX to WHLK in that flip.)
With clustermate WMJI taking the Christmas Music Banner for Oak Tree this year, we assume that Clear Channel expects “The Lake” to pick up some disgruntled classic hits listeners by sticking with its variety hits format this season…giving both 105.7 and 106.5 a ratings bump, in theory.
Meanwhile, a quick check of the stream of close WMJI cousin WBBG/106.1 in the Youngstown market shows it is still running its regular classic hits format…odd, since it has been promising Christmas tunes in its future for longer than any of the other stations above.
As it turns out, WBBG is announcing on air that Christmas music will start “the Wednesday before Thanksgiving”…