Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fans and COO respond to radio station changes

Readers are upset about the recent changes to two local radio stations.

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Dave McGuire was a fan of 95.7 WAOR. He liked its classic rock music programming and listened to “The Bob and Tom Show” in the morning.

But now McGuire said he won’t listen to WAOR since it has changed to Fox Sports Radio.

“Now I’m not very happy,” he said.

On Monday, two local radio stations — 95.7 WAOR and Froggy WLEG 102.7 — switched to Fox Sports Radio.

The Fox Sports Radio network includes programs such as “The Jim Rome Show” and “The Dan Patrick Show.” Both of the stations are owned by the Dille family, which also owns The Elkhart Truth. Brad Williams, chief operating officer of Federated Media Radio South Bend, said that while he knew people would be upset, he also knew that more people would be happy to find that they could have around-the-clock sports coverage on their local radio stations.

“It’s always difficult to change a brand,” Williams said. “And that’s what makes radio great, people’s passions for a particular format.”

To get his fix for Bob and Tom, McGuire uses an app on his iPhone called “iHeartRadio” to pick up the show. His job entails driving around Michiana so he can only pick up the funny duo when there’s good mobile reception.

Williams said most of stations’ employees were reassigned within other Federated Media radio stations. Two of the eight full-time Froggy employees weren’t reassigned. Mark McGill, morning show host, will be at 95.3 MNC. Williams said it is still to be determined what will happen to the studio at the Old Bag Factory.

“It’s more revenue-driven and consumer audience-driven,” he said of the change.

Even though McGuire said he is a big sports fan, he won’t get his news from WAOR. He goes to ESPN for that, either going to its website or using an app on his phone. He said that within his circle of friends and acquaintances, no one will listen to the new WAOR.

“All the people in my circle are not happy with it,” he said.

With an array of both national and local sports programming, Williams said people will be able to get news on college and professional teams.

“Much like anything else in the market place, we always have to try and match the wants of the general consumer with what we’re able to air,” he said. “And this in case we saw a real opportunity for all-sports talk radio on the FM dial.”

As far as advertising, Williams said that when a radio station changes its programming, it meets with each individual advertiser to let them know about the new opportunities that come with the programming changes.

“Clients are already starting to jump on board,” Williams said.

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