Stations all over the country have been paying tribute to Michael Jackson, since the news broke of the singer's sudden death at the age of 50 on Thursday. Several in Central New York were among them, including at least two that threw out their regular formats to play the King of Pop's hits exclusively.
Perhaps the biggest tribute locally is coming from Citadel's Lite Rock 105.9 (WLTI), which started playing wall-to-wall Michael Jackson at about 7pm Thursday, pre-empting syndicated nighttime hostess Delilah.
PD Tom Mitchell says the effort will continue until 4pm Friday. Mitchell adds a shout-out to APD Brian Phillips, who stayed late with him, "loading every MJ hit into the system!"
Scanning around the dial briefly (your editor was headed out of town for a prior committment) Thursday evening, we noticed that the syndicated "Sweat Hotel" on Clear Channel's Power 106.9 (WPHR) had also thrown out the regular playlist, opting to play nothing but Jacko.
A few other stations maintained format, but tossed in a few Michael Jackson singles here and there: Hot 107.9 (WWHT) played the 1983 hit "Billie Jean" at about 7:30pm. Oldies 92.1 (WSEN) had 1979's "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" about 10 minutes later. Right after that, we caught "Beat It" on Movin 100.3/96.5 (WOLF-FM/WWLF-FM).
Admittedly, our scan of the dial was relatively short and very unscientific -- so it's possible there were more tributes but we simply weren't hitting the right frequencies at the right times.
We've also heard second-hand about various stations offering various types of tributes over the weekend; but we haven't received any solid confirmation from any PDs or OMs out there. If you have a free subscriber account, you can scroll down and add to the story by posting a comment. We'll also accept reports via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via our Contact Form.