The weekend has begun with shakeups of two next-door FM frequencies, first heard Thursday evening.
The new ownership, Colonial Media and Entertainment of Bradford, Pa., announced the changes on Friday for the former news-talk format simulcast on WJXY-FM 93.9 and WXJY-FM 93.7.
The 93.9 signal is rotating formats by the hour, with these themes and titles: polka (“The Accordion”), love songs (“Loveland”), all Elvis tunes (“The King”), all Alabama (“The Bowery”), all Christmas (“Santa 93.9”), and a yet-unnamed rhythmic oldies option, said Jeffrey Andrulonis, Colonial’s chairman/chief executive officer, on Friday afternoon. The decision on a format will come at 3 p.m. Monday, he said, welcoming public input at 800-614-9821, or by emailing him at email@example.com.
The setting for “Rejoice 93.7,” now touted as “Georgetown’s Inspiration Station,” has begun broadcasting urban gospel music, fulfilling a niche for a large demographic in Georgetown County, “a really wide-open market for us,” Andrulonis said, excited for its entry.
The two stations, formerly in a trust with Joule Broadcasting LLC, and housed as part of the Cumulus Myrtle Beach station cluster, add to Colonial Media’s roster serving the Grand Strand from a new local studio in Little River (www.colonial.fm/radio-group). They join WMIR-AM “Rejoice” 1200, with gospel programming simulcast on low-power frequencies 103.5 FM on the north Strand and 95.5 FM in Conway – and North Myrtle Beach oldies station WNMB-AM 900, which Colonial Media brought back on the air in mid-autumn, Andrulonis said, with an FM simulcast scheduled to start this summer.
WMIR’s well-known personality, Ronnie Dyson, also is assisting with the upstart “Rejoice” counterpart on 93.7 FM in Georgetown, Andrulonis said.
With the spinning wheel making up WJXY-FM 93.9 for a few more days, Andrulonis said he and Colonial colleagues had recognized the array of stations serving the Grand Strand, and he praised the various group ownerships, such as Cumulus and Alpha Media, for their “great job” with such variety in formats.
“We thought,” Andrulonis said, “what can we do to be different?”
That led the Pennsylvania native and fan of the late Frankie Yankovic to throw polka music on the buffet for listeners this weekend.
The shift from the “News Talk That Matters” format that had been simulcast on WJXY/WXJY from fall 2013 – with syndicated show hosts such as Nashville, Tenn.-based Phil Valentine on weekday afternoons, and economic analyst Larry Kudlow on Saturday mornings – leaves the Myrtle Beach radio market with one news-talk station again.
Alpha Media’s WRNN-FM “Hot Talk” 99.5, has kept a longstanding area presence anchored by local hosts Dave Priest and Liz Callaway, 6-10 a.m. Mondays-Fridays, and such nationally syndicated titans as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, airing noon-3 p.m and 3-6 p.m. respectively on weekdays. WRNN-FM also was a nominee in the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards’ category for “Small Market Station of the Year.”
“There are some great companies in this market,” Andrulonis said. “We’re glad to be here and be part of it.”
He also raised the ubiquity of radio in general in this 21st century, even amid the massive access people have to technology through computers and smart phones as alternatives to tune into stations anywhere.
Still, he said, quoting statistics from the industry, “99.8 percent of people have a radio.”
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.