This time there was no stopping Country. It debuted as Cumulus’ new format at 94.7 FM, after a weekend of well-executed “Wheel of Formats.”
The station promoted 9:47 a.m. as the moment to end the speculation. But not so fast, Cumulus kept it close to the vest through a few more minutes of production.
As the appointed time arrived, a new beginning in New York radio was being revealed. Church bells signaling to everyone the eminent flip.
The theme quickly was “New York” with snippets from Frank Sinatra‘s New York, New York, Alicia Keys‘ Empire State of Mind, and Billy Joel‘s New York State of Mind.
Interspersed were various clips about the city including David Letterman and John Sterling at the mic for a Yankees’ World Series win.
Finally after five minutes removed from the bells tolling, the announcer finally made it known in dramatic fashion.
“The city known for having it all. It’s the greatest city in the world. And only one thing has been missing—”
After introductions from more than a dozen Country stars (This is Carrie Underwood, This is Taylor Swift, This is Jason Aldean), the announcer returned.
“They’re all here on the World’s Biggest Country Station–New York’s all new…”
The jingles concluded,”…Nash FM 94.7 New York.”
As for as the answer to the trivia question, the first song on the new format belongs to Randy Houser with How Country Feels. Alan Jackson was second with Gone Country.
Prior to the Country launch, Cumulus changed the call letters to WRXP, a one-time Alternative Rock destination in New York. Expect another set of call letters to land at the Newark-based station. For now, though, a Cumulus spokesperson says the calls will remain untouched.
In September, FishbowlNY examined the missing Country presence on the New York scene.
WYNY was the last regular programmed Country outlet in New York City until it left the airwaves in 1996.