If you haven’t already heard – WHFS is back on 97.5-FM!!! On Monday, August 1st CBS Baltimore brought back what was once a staple of the Baltimore/Washington youth in the 1990’s. Logo – the same. Talent – the same. Great alternative music – the same! In a radio landscape that currently seems to super-serve those younger or older than me, I am beyond excited! I love the fact that while I am driving the “mom van” I feel like a teenager again and not a 35 year old.
My friends and I were heartbroken in January of 2005 when WHFS 99.1 flipped to its still current Latin Music format – El Zol. As a media buyer, I understood the reasoning behind the flip and the need for a Latin format in an increasingly growing Hispanic market BUT as a 99.1 “P1” listener I was shattered. The music format that I had grown up with was gone.
After the public outcry that followed the switch, the call letters WHFS, as well as it’s alternative music, were transferred to the 105.7 FM frequency in Baltimore – augmenting the talk format that was already in place. Not soon after in Nov 2008 CBS Radio ended dumping the historical call letters abandoning the alternative format again.
So, here we are again– August 2011 and CBS Radio is giving it another try! They’ve brought back former WHFS DJ’s Tim Virgin, Neci, Gina Crash and Dr. Drew – overall a great line up. My only concern (as a buyer there seems to always be a concern) is that their limited signal is going to hinder their success. In a market where the top FM stations have at least 8,500 WATTS and can cover the Baltimore DMA – 97.5 FM is currently at 250 WATTS with rather limited coverage of the market. Maybe CBS is testing the format, again, before investing more dollars towards an increased signal.
No matter what, I can only hope that “three times is a charm” and they are able to re-establish the success of the original WHFS. I certainly am hearing plenty of buzz among my peers – let’s hope that buzz translates into advertising revenue which ultimately determines a stations success.