Updated 12/23 – SYRACUSE — Shortly after 3:00pm Wednesday, Clear Channel ended the sports format on WHEN and replaced it with a simulcast of Power 106.9 (WPHR). Not too long after that, the Power 106.9 website is now sporting (pardon the pun) a new logo — and there are new station liners — branding it as “Power 620 AM.” It is believed the changes are leading up to an FM simulcast of NewsRadio 570 WSYR.
Thanks to a tip from an anonymous CNYRadio.com reader, we were on the lookout for a format change today, but our tipster couldn’t tell us which station(s) would be involved. Unable to find anything different on the dial this morning, we waited — and finally, we started hearing from readers at 3:00, that WHEN had announced it would be ending the sports format. Moments later, the AM station started simulcasting Power 106.9 — or rather, Power 620.
Earlier this week, it was reported that someone had registered several internet domain names suggesting that WSYR would be moving to the FM dial at 106.9. Shortly after that report, one CNYRadio.com reader wrote to tell us he was recently contacted to answer questions for a survey about his radio listening habits. The survey focused on talk radio, and asked the gentleman if he would be more likely to listen to a station called “News Radio 106.9 WSYR,” as opposed to any AM-based talk station.
Another tipster tells us the urban format will be simulcast on 106.9FM and 620AM for the rest of the week, and then the WSYR simulcast will take over 106.9FM.
Earlier this week, CNYRadio.com placed a call to Clear Channel Operations Manager Rich Lauber, to ask about the above-mentioned domain name registrations. His voicemail greeting said he’d be out of the office until today. We haven’t yet received a response, but we will update this story if/when we hear anything new.
In Related News…
As long as we’re talking about the goings-on at 500 Plum Street, we’ve got an update to an earlier story about a wave of layoffs carried out earlier this month at Clear Channel locations across the country. We never got any response to a message we left with GM Joel Delmonico last week, but we’ve heard from a couple more tipsters who concur that the station dismissed its business manager. That seems to mesh with what national radio industry websites had reported earlier this month — about Clear Channel looking to streamline certain “back office” functions through a “hub and spoke” model.
Added 12/23 – Coverage Elsewhere
- The Syracuse Post-Standard has an article about the 106.9/620 simulcast. While Delmonico made time to talk to the newspaper, he wouldn’t admit that this is just a transitional phase, moving Power to the AM dial to make way for 106.9 to carry a simulcast of 570 WSYR.
- RadioInsight.com, the site that first reported on the new internet domain name registrations suggesting WSYR would be moving to the FM dial, has updated its story.
- National radio news website Radio-Info.com has the story on its homepage and it was in today’s Taylor on Radio-Info newsletter. In addition to the comments posted below, there’s discussion on Radio-Info’s Syracuse/Utica message board.
On both accounts, thanks to many CNYRadio.com readers who’ve been helping to keep us informed about the changes. Without your help, we wouldn’t have many of the stories you read here. Keep those tips coming — if you’ve got news about local radio and we haven’t reported it yet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact Form. All requests for anonymity are honored with the highest regard… but if you really don’t want anyone to know who you are, remember that you don’t have to fill in your name or email address if you use the form.