Boston hasn't been a two-country station since September 1996 when Greater Media consolidated its WBCS 96.9 and then-newly-acquired rival WKLB 105.7. Over the past 18 years, WKLB/Country 102.5 has had a virtual monopoly on country format in town and is currently one of the top rated stations in the market in some of the key age demographics.
However, WKLB is about to get some company. Starting at Noon today Clear Channel Boston made yet another flip on the former WFNX 101.7 frequency dumping a year and a half-old dance/EDM format known as "Evolution 101.7"(BRW 12/20/12) to what's known in the industry as the 'bro' country' format "101.7 The Bull". The official format launch will take place during afternoon drive time at 3pm.
Here's the official press release from Clear Channel Boston on Bull's launch :
101.7 THE BULL BRINGS NEW HIT COUNTRY STATION
TO BOSTON FEATURING COMMERCIAL-FREE
MUSIC -- ALL SUMMER LONG
Country’s Top On-Air Personality Bobby Bones
Joins Show Lineup
BOSTON – June 13, 2014 – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston announced today the debut of 101.7 The Bull, Boston’s New Hit Country effective immediately. 101.7 The Bull will kick off with commercial-free music for the entire summer featuring the newest hits from Country artists such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert.
In addition, 101.7 The Bull will feature award-winning Country morning program The Bobby Bones Showbeginning this summer. The morning show entertains listeners with a unique mix of pop-culture, news and music and features on-air personalities Bobby Bones, Lunchbox and Amy, with special guest appearances from the biggest names in Country music straight from Nashville. 101.7 The Bull programming will also include local news and events, exclusive album premieres, new song releases and a team of local Boston personalities to be announced soon.
“We are excited to launch 101.7 The Bull, a fresh new take on Country music, for our Boston listeners. This station is for the new generation of Country music fans and will give our listeners a front-row seat to Country’s biggest artists and concerts,” said Dylan Sprague, Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. “Listeners will also enjoy waking up with the Bobby Bones Show and his unique and entertaining insight on Country music. No one is closer to the heartbeat of Nashville than Bobby Bones.”
Prior to 101.7 The Bull, the signal aired Electronic Dance Music (EDM) as Evolution 101.7. Boston’s EDM fans can continue to listen to Evolution 101.7 on the station’s website, www.evolution1017.com, on 107.9 HD2 and oniHeartRadio, Clear Channel's all-in-one digital radio service.
“Evolution 101.7 attracted a passionate and loyal audience on iHeartRadio in a short period of time, and the number of fans listening digitally continues to grow rapidly,” Sprague continued. “We’re excited to continue to provide Boston’s EDM fans with the same great programming on Evolution 101.7 through iHeartRadio, featuring local shows from Pete Tong, Sisanie, DJ Costa and DJ Cesar. Also Evolution Underground, which supports local DJs by letting them take over the station, will continue to air after hours on Saturdays.”
Fans can also listen to 101.7 The Bull on the station's website, www.TheBull1017.com, and on iHeartRadio. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation's most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs. iHeartRadio also offers listeners a "Perfect For" feature which allows users to choose from thousands of curated stations based on a range of moods and activities. New - iHeartRadio Talk feature offers on-demand listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment “audiosodes.” iHeartRadio Talk also features “Daily Pulse,” a customizable Talk channel featuring the most up-to-date news and culture highlights, to which users can add or remove content that is most important to them.
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And in other news... : In a move to bolster its local news footprint and audience, Boston’s WGBH 89.7 is adding a third hour to Boston Public Radio, which in April was the top-rated public radio midday show for its noon-2pm time slot.
Starting in September, Boston Public Radio will begin airing at 11am weekdays according to WGBH press release.
Hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, the show which debuted in February 2013(BRW 2/6/13) has made dramatic audience gains compared to last year. WGBH is now surpassing public radio news competitor WBUR 90.9 in that time period.
To make room for an expanded BPR, The Takeaway will move to an earlier timeslot, airing 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Diane Rehm Show, which is now airing at that time, will be dropped from the schedule. The Takeaway, a WGBH Radio co-production, originates at WNYC in New York.