Last Friday, WMJC 94.3 on Long Island pulled the plug on their Hot Adult Contemporary station in favor of a wider selection of music from 1985 to 2005.
There were casualties of the format flip—on-air personalities Phathead and Malibu Sue.
Program director Jon Daniels remains at the helm.
The station, now using the call letters WIGX (94-X), is going jock-free until around Thanksgiving. In addition, the station will go commercial-free during ‘Three Day Weekends’ each Friday at 5 p.m. through Monday at 5 p.m. Joel Salkowitz has been a consultant for L.I. Radio Group (also known as Barnstable Broadcasting, owners of WIGX and several other radio stations) since May, conducting research into plans for the format change.
“We’ve found a unique opportunity on Long Island that gives that station a position that is not covered by any of the local stations,” Salkowitz says.
WMJC had been under-performing in the ratings, averaging a .8 in the last three Arbitron surveys.
Salkowitz says given the tough times that have befallen radio, L.I. Radio Group has broken the mold.
“It has been very refreshing to walk into a radio station and find things like a full promotion department, a program director for each station [and] sales managers focused on each station.”
Salkowitz is maintaining his regular broadcasting job, programming the popular online Pulse 87.
He says the WIGX (with the slogan ‘Hits for Generation X’) consulting work is not affiliated with Pulse.
“[That] is a current based station, a Dance/CHR (contemporary hit radio),” Salkowitz tells FishbowlNY. “It is focused primarily on current/recurrent music. As we go farther back in time, there is less and less of the music from those years presented on Pulse.”
He does see growth for his “baby.” Pulse has representation for national ad sales on the site. Salkowitz also included some interactive features to the online experience.
“…Things like let people create their own ‘Pulse Play Lists’ and share them with friends on Facebook.”
It doesn’t stop there, Salkowitz points out, as a ‘New Music Blog’ has been added.
VIPs can also access the ‘Dance on Demand’ section of the page.