There's a new sound on the air in the Ithaca-Cortland market. At 95.5, the country format and WFLR-FM call letters are gone. The new call letters are WFIZ, and they're playing 10,000 CHR songs in a row to kick in the new "Z95.5, Ithaca's Hit Music Channel."
The FCC approved the call letter change on Monday. A press release from Finger Lakes Radio GM Frank Lischak says the new format hit the airwaves at noon on Wednesday. In the statement, Lischak said, "Our research shows there is a huge potential audience for Contemporary Hit Radio in Ithaca. We’re excited a Finger Lakes owned business can fill the void and provide much needed competition in the market.”
Lischak says WFIZ is commercial-free and jock-free right now, but both elements will be added after the 10,000 song marathon is finished. The press release did not provide any details about the jock lineup or a website for the station. Studios and offices are located at the South Hill Business Campus on Danby Road in Ithaca.
This appears to be the end goal of the recent shuffling of Finger Lakes Radio programming, which included moving 95.5 from Dundee to Odessa, so it could officially move into the Ithaca-Cortland market. Most of the company's other stations are technically in the Rochester market -- just a bit too far west to be considered part of CNYRadio.com territory -- but the latest moves leading up to this format flip were detailed in Scott Fybush's NorthEast Radio Watch earlier this month.
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Our thanks to an observant CNYRadio.com reader who obtained the WFIZ press release and passed it along to us. What could be better? If we could receive press releases directly from stations at the same time they're sent out to everyone else. Managers, add us to your press release list at cnyradio(at)cnyradio.com .