Monday, July 16, 2018

NYC Radio: WNEW-FM Rebrands...No Longer "Fresh"


Entercom Communications, hoping to gain of iHearthMedia's AC giant WLTW 106.7 FM, has rebranded WNEW as as The New 102.7 FM.  Media observers say WNEW has 'tweaked' the music mix and is promising 'An Upbeat Variety For Your Workday'.

On Friday afternoon, WNEW began running jockless and running liners between songs hyping something "NEW" to come the following Monday, the 16th. Among the sweepers heard were: “Lite is old, 102.7 is new, Monday.” and “Your sleepy Lite workday is gone, starting Monday at 102.7“. As such, at that time, 102.7 is expected to readjust to a full-blown AC format to, as the liners suggest, take direct aim at WLTW.

“This is an exciting move that underscores our commitment to offer listeners in New York a top rated content and music experience,” said Susan Larkin, Regional President, Market Manager, Entercom New York. “Feedback tells us that New Yorkers are looking for a Hot AC station that can take them through their workday, and we know NEW 102.7 will deliver.”

Additional announcements regarding the new programming lineup will be made shortly.

WNEW had ranked 16th in the New York market in the June Nielsen Audio ratings with a 2.4 share, while WLTW led the market with a 7.3 share.

WNEW 102.7 FM (6 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
WNEW launched an adult contemporary format known as Fresh 102.7 on January 2, 2007.  New call letters WWFS were approved by the FCC on January 9, 2007. The WNEW call letters were transferred to a CBS-owned station in West Palm Beach, Florida during the second week of January 2007, to keep any other New York station from claiming the historic calls. In December 2011, CBS again transferred the WNEW call letters to 99.1 FM in Washington, D.C. as it began an all-news format.

The new AC format, targeted to a younger (age 25–44) female audience, with claims of a playlist "without the kid stuff or tired, old and boring music like the lite station", an obvious shot at competitor WLTW (in response, the station briefly dropped its Lite FM moniker and was referred to on-air as simply "106.7" for a time).

The station would also compete against WPLJ.

WWFS's ratings improved after switching to the adult contemporary format, with increases in both the Winter 2007 and Spring 2007 ratings periods. After a peak 3.1 rating in the Spring 2007 period, WWFS settled down to a 2.5 rating in the Summer 2007 period. Some speculate that WWFS has drawn listeners from WLTW, causing that station's ratings to decline.

As a result of the station's success, CBS Radio cloned the format and branding in Chicago on WCFS-FM, Washington, D.C.'s WIAD, and KEZK in St. Louis, although the Washington station is Hot AC.

On October 12, 2011, the station dropped the Today's Fresh Music slogan and shifted to Hot AC.

Since the flip to hot AC, ratings were stronger, surpassing WPLJ by having a 3.9 share over WPLJ's 2.7 in December 2011.As of 2015, they started adding more adult-targeting alternative music to their playlist and have seen an increase in the ratings from 2.4 in June 2015 to 3.5 in July 2015.

On March 15, 2016, the station reverted to the WNEW-FM callsign.

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