Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Philly Radio: WBEB To ReBrand

The days are numbered for WBEB 101.1 FM B101. On December 26, the station will become MoreFM, dropping the B101 identity it has used for twenty years.

The music format of the station will not change, the DJs won't change, the place on the dial won't change.

In a statement, station owner Jerry Lee said that the name change did not reflect poor ratings. B101 consistently dominates in the Philadelphia radio market in the ratings, a feat for an independently-owned station.

Instead, Lee thought of the change as a branding update. During market research, station head honchos found that the B101 was strongly associated with artists who are no longer played on the station (Michael Bolton, anyone?). "People still thought we played Celine Dion and Neil Diamond," vice president and station manager Blaise Howard told philly.com. "We haven't played Barbra Streisand since 1995."

The name-change has been been in the works for about two years, but management decided to make the announcement during the station's annual Christmas music marathon because of their higher-than-average ratings. Howard added that with the name change, he expects a 10 percent bump in ratings.

MoreFM reflects how the station views itself after extensive market research — less talk, less attitude, more music — Howard said.

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