Hubbard rebrands Adult Contemporary station at 100.3 ; Indy station regins with classic hip-hop; WICS anchors brawl and lose their jobs
– As part of a major rebranding move at 100.3 FM, Hubbard Broadcasting announced it was changing the call letters of WILV-FM to WSHE-FM, with the new slogan “SHE”. The SHE branding, of course is to call to attention the Adult Contemporary station’s focus on the 35-54 female demographic.
While call letters changing are rare these days, this is the third time in a few weeks a local radio station has done exactly that: WGWG became WRME-LP on February 23, after Weigel took over the 87.7 FM frequency to launch Me FM. Earlier, iHeart Media traded WNUA for WBGE calls after launching a new country format, Big 95.5.
While there is no change in format or on-air personnel, there is a tweak in the station’s playlist – more Modern Rock/Hot AC tracks are being played, with less emphasis on 1980’s and 1990’s product. A look at their playlist from 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday showed the following artists played: Plain White T’s, OneRepublic, Alanis Morrisette, Avicil, Dishwalla, The Fray, John Legend, Echosmith, Liz Flair, R.E.M., Paramore, and Bruno Mars.
The lone ’80’s artist, Soft Cell with 1982’s “Tainted Love”, was played at 6:29 p.m. (R.E.M. is also an ’80’s artist, but the song played was “Losing My Religion”, from 1991.)
Several mainstream Top 40 acts were also played beforehand, including Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift.
Hubbard also owns WTMX (The Mix), which is a Hot AC station, and also plays some of the same artists WSHE does. In January, WILV finished tied in nineteenth place overall in PPM ratings measured by Nielsen Audio.
Originally, WILV was launched on November 5, 2004 as “100.3 Love FM” with a Soft AC format (basically love songs), but evolved into a mainstream AC station by 2007, and then into a Adult/Variety Hits hybrid by 2010. The station had been known as Rewind 100.3 for a little over a year until Monday’s changeover.
Previous call letter changes included WFMF (1947-74); WLOO (FM 100, 1974-88); WXEZ (1988-90); WPNT (The Point, 1990-97); WNND (1997-2004); and WILV.
And in case you’re wondering, KSHE-FM calls belong to a station in St. Louis, a heritage Emmis-owned mainstream rock outlet NOT targeted to women.
– Heading down south via I-65… The Indianapolis Business Journal published a story Monday on the surprise success of WRWM-FM (branded as The Beat) and pulled off something that has never happened in Chicago or anywhere else in the last decade – shooting up to first place – thanks to radio’s hottest format, classic hip-hop.
After five low-rated years as a mainstream Top 40 outlet, WRWM flipped to classic hip-hop in December and in the first ratings survey in 2015 (January), the Cumulus-owned station surged from fifteenth to first in Indianapolis. While not as dramatic, stations in other markets have seen their ratings surge after flipping to the retro format. WRWM doesn’t have a traditional marketing campaign (relying on word-of-mouth and “guerrilla”-type marketing instead).
Will it last? The comments section in the article point out the station is already suffering from song repetition and a limited playlist, which may not bode well for WRWM if the station wants to stay on top.
– We now head to downstate Springfield where a newsman with an infamous past was recently arrested for an altercation at an area Hooters restaurant and is now out of a job as a result. Vince DeMentri, an anchor with Sinclair-owned WICS, which serves Springfield and Decatur, reportedly got into a fight with a reporter from the station, Garrett Brgner. According to the Illinois Times, police were called to the establishment at around 12:30 a.m. February 25, but the offending perpetrators had left. However, police did stop a black vehicle and a Jeep which matched the description witnesses gave.
The profiles of both DeMentri and Brgner were recently removed from the ABC affiliate’s website and their employment with the station terminated, according to an article in Tuesday’s Springfield Journal-Review.
DeMentri has had has run-ins before with the law – in 2001, he was arrested and charged with trespassing after posing as a federal agent to gain access into Ground Zero in New York, the rubble area of the former World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2010, he was fired from WPIX-TV after being charged with assaulting someone in a dispute over a parking space.
And you’re probably asking… how do people like this keep getting hired? Just another reminder… news anchoring and alcohol often doesn’t mix.