Why these Myrtle Beach radio stations changed their music

If you're a frequent visitor to Myrtle Beach coming back for the first time since last summer, you might notice some changes at a couple Myrtle Beach radio stations.

Last August, EAZY 105.9 changed the type of music it plays, going from artists likes Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to more modern artists like Billy Joel, Elton John and The Eagles.

"The format itself remained the same," said Jon Henis, station manager for EAZY 105.9 and 94.5 The Tide. "We went from the relaxation station to the refreshing sound of Myrtle Beach. We’ve definitely picked up the beats per minute but we still play familiar songs."

The station is 18 years old, Henis said, and has always been targeted to the 45- to 50-year-old demographic. But that demographic has gotten older over the past 20 years.

"It was a hard decision for us to make the change," Henis said. "But over the last five years we’ve lost over 65 percent of our audience mostly because people are aging out. Just because somebody turns 50 years old doesn’t meant they automatically listen to Frank Sinatra."

So far, the change is paying off.

"Our online listeners grew so fast we had to upgrade the network," Henis said.

And while EAZY changed, so did 94.5 The Tide, which is owned by the same parent company as EAZY.

The Tide once played modern artists as well as older contemporary artists like Elton John and The Eagles, but those types of artists have been dropped from the station as EAZY started playing them.

Now, The Tide is focused only on modern artists such as Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift, Henis said.

"We were playing similar artists, but we were more diversified in the music," Henis said of The Tide. "The biggest change on The Tide is what we’re not playing. Songs played on EAZY used to play on Tide. Now Tide is just focused on big hot artists of today."

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian