WAQZ-FM Staff Fired, WGRR/Star Country Swap
It's been a crazy day in radio here.... It started with an e-mail saying all the on-air staff on WAQZ-FM (97.3), the "Everything Alternative" rock station, was fired Monday. By mid-afternoon came word that the Entercom purchase of the 4 CBS Radio stations went through (WAQZ, WUBE, WKRQ, WGRR). And then another shoe dropped: Entercom swapped oldies WGRR to Cumulus for country STAR 94.9.
Listeners won't hear many changes, if any, right away on oldies WGRR and STAR. I'm expecting that the staffs will remain intact, but who knows.
The deal makes sense in this way: Cumulus now has WARM98 and oldies WGRR, which was the closest format to the old MOJO format it just sold off. They can sell WARM98 and WGRR together easily. And Cumulus also kept MOJO PD Keith Mitchell around, and he knows something about programming oldies.
For Entercom, they get a country monopoly. Just like the old days. Until 2000, B105 and "Young Country" WYGY-FM were owned by the same company, until split apart. Now they're back together. Don't expect changes at B105, the #1 music station. And expect STAR/WYGY to aim at younger listeners; it's #8 in the 18-34 demo.
And then there is WAQZ. Below is an email that Jim Bryant and Mike Fredrcik sent to all the CBS (now Entercom) staffers. I'm told that only program director Julie Evans survived the purge. E-mail also says that the move was made by Entercom. I'm guessing all this adds up to a format change, but to what?
Here's the e-mail from Jim Bryant and Mike Fredrick to staff at the sister stations:
"I’m sorry to inform you that today a bunch of talented and dedicated individuals were let go from WAQZ. We want to recognize the unbelievable amount of work, dedication and creativity these people brought to work each and every day. This team includes:
Jimmy "the weasel"
Entercom is making changes to the 97.3 product and made this call moving forward. Please take the time to reach out to these people as a friend and co-worker.
We thank each and every one of them for what they brought to our cluster."
--Jim and Mike
In The Zone
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