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Format Flip Predictions for 2009 and 2010

Back in April, we asked you, through a multiple-choice poll, how many stations in “ Land” (the 4 markets listed above in our logo) would flip formats in 2009.  Today, we’re looking back to see how well you predicted — and we’re asking you to vote on your predictions for 2010.

Recapping 2009’s Format Flips

Summarizing the format flips from the Year in Review we posted yesterday:

  • Nova 105-1 (WWDG) in Syracuse (DeRuyter) was sold from Aloha Stations Trust to Foxfur Communications.  Foxfur changed it to “Love Radio” as WVOA in May, then Radio Disney in August, and two weeks later to “New Country WOLF 105-1.”
  • At about the same time Foxfur launched its new country station, Clear Channel, which until then had the only country station in Syracuse (B104.7 – WBBS) flips its urban station, Power 106.9 (WPHR) over to “Young Country 106.9.”  A few days later, the original urban format is restored.
  • Utica’s Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU) briefly flipped to a “Beautiful Music” format for a couple hours on May 18th.  We’re considering it more of a stunt than an actual format flip though.
  • Another pair of flips on Smokey Hollow Road in Baldwinsville — where WSEN(AM) stops simulcasting WSEN-FM in order to begin simulcasting WFBL’s oldies format.  A few weeks later, WFBL would flip to “CNY Talk Radio,” but WSEN(AM) would continue with oldies.
  • November 30: Foxfur flips its Oswego 96.7FM signal from a simulcast of MOViN 100.3 to a simulcast of New Country WOLF 105.1.  Call letters change from WMVN to WLLF-FM.
  • December 8: The sale of Utica’s WRUN is accompanied by a change in format and a change in call letters to WUTI.

Here’s how readers voted for 2009:

[poll id=”41″]

Were your predictions spot-on?  One might argue it depends on what “really” counts as a format flip.  Do you count the progression from Nova 105-1 to New Country WOLF 105-1 as just one format flip, or three?

Do temporary stunt formats count?  (If they do, the 105.1 change could be counted as five flips–when you add in the endless loop of “Hungry Like the Wolf” followed by the shortlived “Hairband 105” stunt which immediately preceeded the country launch.)

What about simulcast changes?  If a “child” station simply switches between two parent stations owned by the same company, we’re not quite sure if that really counts either.

If we take the most conservative definition of a format flip — the complete elimination of one format to make way for another — we’d say the answer is three: the births of New Country WOLF 105-1, CNY Talk Radio and WUTI.  And if you agree with our definition, then the majority of you who predicted there would be 1-3 format flips this year can give yourselves a pat on the back!

Predictions for 2010

Now here’s your chance to lock in your predictions for 2010.  We’ll keep this poll open for votes through the end of January.  Remember, we’re counting all format flips in all 4 markets covers: Syracuse, Utica-Rome, Watertown and Ithaca/Cortland.

[poll id=”48″]

Did you disagree with our assessments?  That’s fine — it’s all just in good fun.  Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and you can share yours by posting a comment below.

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