Less than two weeks after WFLR-FM changed its frequency, call letters and format to bring CHR to the long-CHR-deprived Ithaca market, it suddenly has a new competitor.
We don't know where our usually-faithful Ithaca tipsters disappeared to, so we have to credit tophour.com for alerting us to this one. Saga Communications apparently decided they wouldn't sit back and watch the new Z95-5 (WFIZ) take all the CHR glory for themselves, so they did some finagling to get their own CHR station on the air.
Scott Fybush reports on tophour.com that Saga launched "Hits 103.3" on Friday. The station airs on WYXL-HD2 (97.3) and on translator W277BS (103.3, hence the station's name). Matching WFIZ's 10,000 non-stop music marathon kickoff, Hits 103.3 is promising 103 days of commercial-free music.
Both stations also have websites online -- though as of this writing, they're just "splash pages" saying more will be coming soon.
- Z95-5 Website (with live streaming audio)
- Hits 103.3 Website (live stream coming soon)
- Tophour.com's Ithaca/Cortland ID page (with plenty of fresh IDs just added today)
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Kind of an unrelated piece of trivia... sounds like WFIZ is using the same "voice guy" for their imaging as TV stations WUTR and WFXV in Utica. Anyone else out there agree?
While we're at it, we'll use the "outside of the story" comment area to ask what people think... which station will pull ahead? Obviously, Hits has the backing of a much larger parent company, but Z95-5 has the advantage of a full-power signal. Can't wait for Hits to start streaming so we can see how they compare to WFIZ... and it'll be exciting to see how things play out when personalities are added into the mix.
Its obvious who will win this war, word on the street is the management at WFIZ have hired Tommy Frank as their PD. I can tell you, I worked for Tommy in Syracuse and he has an insatiable desire to win. He is very knowledgable when it comes to TOP40. I suspect that they will hire personalities that HITS won't be able to compete with. Finally someone is doing good radio in Ithaca. I'll be routing for WFIZ
Has anyone else seen the cheesy television commercial that WFIZ has running on local cable? I hope they didnt have to pay for it. What a waste of money and of airtime. Bad choice on the part of WFIZ.
I was on my way down Rt. 89 on the west side of Cayuga Lake's wineries and was listening to them. They came in clear down there, but started to get a bit weak when I went over to Rt. 414 on the east side of the Seneca Lake wineries.
They sounded great and it reminded me of a bit like Hot 107.9 when they first came on the air before they started to tweak their format towards more of the urban side of CHR. This really sounds like what a general CHR station should sound like and I hope it does well.
I also recognized the voice - over guy as the one who used to do the old WRCK "Rock 107" during the 80's and I think into the early 90's. And also my "where I have heard this before" kicked in and he's the guy they use whenever I visit my friends in Toronto;he's on CFTR 680 News and I believe it's Roger's that owns that station.
I have not seen the TV commercial. What makes it cheesy? I read on allaccess that they hired a night dj from north carolina. It appears to me, they are in the game to win. Even if the TV commercial is cheesy, it's a refreshen change to see a company that advertises its radio station.