Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CBS to Amp up a new Top40 challenge

CBS Sporting new voices, new music and a new name, CBS Radio will transform Boston's WODS 103.3 from classic hits to contemporary hit Top 40 format starting this Thursday(6/28) at Noon.

The new station will offer a contemporary hit radio(CHR) sound and will be named AMP 103-3 and will challenge the market's long-running Top 40 music leader and market's big ratings kahuna WXKS/Kiss 108. AMP103.3 will eventually add live and local personalities as well as the new program director.(There's some speculation that a Boston native Joey Brooks who has worked at a number of local outlets including Kiss 108, Star 93-7, WXLO 104.5 and most recently was afternoon drive voice at CHUM-FM in Toronto may be headed for an on-air job at the new station.) 

Back in the mid 1980's, 103.3 also featured a Top40 format and was known as WHTT/"HitRadio" After a three-year run(3/83-7/86), WHTT bowed out of a Top40 battle with Kiss 108 and Z-94(now Jamn 94-5) in July 1986.

As for the classic hits/oldies format which has been in place for nearly 25 years, it will move to WODS 103.3's HD2 channel and be available on-line at None of the current on-air staffers will be retained, but farewell shows with Karen Blake and John Laurenti(6am-9am) and Paula Street and JJ Wright(9am-Noon) will air on the last morning of the format.

Here's the official press release from CBS Radio issued this afternoon :

WODS Launches a Brand New Contemporary Hit Radio Format,
Boston’s New 103.3 AMP Radio Debuts Thursday, June 28

Classic hit music from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s to be available on WODS HD-2
and at

Boston, MA -- Wednesday, June 27, 2012 –  In an exciting move for Boston area Top 40 music fans, WODS 103.3 will launch a brand new format on Thursday, June 28 at 12N featuring today’s most popular songs. 103.3 AMP Radio will be a contemporary hit radio station that is programmed for listeners who love pop, pop rhythm, and dance music.  Artists such as Rihanna, Usher, Maroon 5, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj to name a few will be featured on the station which is available on-air, online at and via mobile apps including iPhone and Android devices.

“When looking at the habits of Boston radio listeners, it is clear the music most favored by the biggest group of people is contemporary hit music,” said Mark Hannon, SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO Boston .  “Boston’s New 103.3 AMP Radio will serve the audience with all of the hits from artists topping the charts, and create a number of ways for listeners to interact with the station – from live events to special appearances and contests."

The launch of Boston ’s New 103.3 AMP Radio will be led by a team of programmers including Mike Thomas, Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO Boston , along with Michael Martin, Vice President of CHR Programming for CBS RADIO.  A full- time program director for the station, as well as the line-up of live and local talent, will be named at a later date. 

In a related announcement, listeners who enjoy classic hits can hear all their favorite songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s on the HD multicast channel of WODS (WODS103.3 HD-2).  The station will also be available online at

103.3 AMP Radio is owned and operated by CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States .  A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 127 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets.  CBS RADIO also owns and operates WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030, WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBMX-FM MIX 104.1, and WZLX-FM 100.7 Classic Rock in Boston .
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Anonymous said...

A format change to challenge Kiss?
Isn't that what Mix (also CBS owned) is doing?
We lose WFNX and now WODS. No, we're not satisfied that those stations will be available online or on a subpar HD frequency. They've just given us more reason to tune in to satellite radio.

Anonymous said...

WROR must be doing back flips over this news.

Anonymous said...

Sounds horrible. Hopefully, a new oldies station will appear soon.

Anonymous said...

This bites. Why another "contemporary" station? There is currently only 2 real riock stations in Boston now AAF and ZLX. Too many talk, country and hip hop/contemporary. Is Rock truly dead? It is only a matter of time befoe AAF and ZLX are gone too.

Anonymous said...

Their send off show this morning was great - songs from the mid 50's-70's. If they kept that format all along instead of pushing disco and 80's, the ratings wouldn't have been so poor. It's a shame really.

Anonymous said...

I love oldies 103.3!I love to hear the hits from 60, 70, 80, even when they did the 50's! The Christmas music is the best! this is very sad. There are enough ststions that play the top hits. How about the old hits?

Judy W said...

I am mourning the loss of my favorite morning program. Where will Karen Blake be? Miss her! Judy

Sent from my iPad

raccoonradio said...

Sad but true and David Tomm on the WODS facebook was right on--WODS wasn't billing well. Had competition. Their demos were aging. Even Christmas couldn't help them, as ad buyers shy away from people 45 and older. Tomm said that CC's 2 CHR stations here have 15 per cent of audience in desired demo... By going after Kiss, CBS is doing the same thing as the Amp launched in L.A. (which went after the #1 station in town, KISS).Younger demos.

Shel Swartz said...

(From Shel Swartz, Yeah, dump veteran personalities like J. J. Wright, assuming they can't adapt to a new format or that the listeners haven't endeared themselves to them. Management continues to prove its stupidity.

Shel Swartz said...

(From Shel Swartz, Yeah, dump veteran personalities like J. J. Wright, assuming they can't adapt to a new format or that the listeners haven't endeared themselves to them. Management continues to prove tits stupidity.

Anonymous said...

someone needs to create a new oldies station in boston. it will be a huge money maker for some smart business owner. just a thought. how bout it karen blake

Anonymous said...

someone needs to create a new oldies station for boston. great business move for some smart radio personality. how bout it karen blake. youll have alot of listeners as i can see from the comments

Anonymous said...

I don't like this at ALL. How many of the SAME stations can you have? The oldies are classics, it's a shame. I will not be tuning in to 103.3. Bye Karen B

Anonymous said...

Just chatted with a friend at San Fran's CBS cluster. They did a similar format flip (oldies to top 40). It was purely a financial decision. She said as soon as they switched formats, the agency buys started coming fast and furious. , And now the top 40 station is billing 3x what the oldies station did. Clearly, they are doing it in all the major markets (as noted above with LA). Will it work in Boston? We will have to see. My theory is this is just the continuing death of radio as I know (and loved) it. And that's sad.