UTICA-ROME -- Arjuna Broadcasting GM Mindy Barstein says format and scheduling changes are now complete at 92.7 The Drive (WXUR). The station's website is now officially open, and there's an update on the station's upcoming power increase.
Barstein says the tower move and the accompanying power increase will happen "within 3 weeks or so." Right now, WXUR's signal originates from a tower north of Frankfort. The existing signal's FCC contour map shows the station covers an area shaped like a random ink splatter, covering the southern portion of Herkimer County and a relatively small portion of Oneida County, barely hitting the City of Rome.
Even though the contour included the City of Utica, morning man Bill Keeler told CNYRadio.com last month, “I can’t hear it in my own office” on South Genesee Street in Utica. During the last three ratings periods in which Arbitron released P12+ numbers to the public, WXUR declined from a 1.9 in Fall 2007 to a 1.4 a year later. It's safe to assume the signal strength has been a major factor.
Station management is hopeful the improved signal will increase ratings solely by the virtue of making the signal available to more listeners. As we reported in June, morning host Bill Keeler feels the signal changes will make WXUR “a major player in the market.” The new signal's estimated contour map covers significantly more territory in both counties, and with a tower on Smith Hill, the signal will be able to better penetrate buildings in Utica and Rome.
Barstein also provided an update on the new format, which she describes as "a combination of Adult Rock Gold and Alternative Rock," with a playlist that is "researched by one of the top program consultants in the U.S." She describes The Drive's target demo as "men and women in the 25-49 age group with a broader skew of 18-54."
Last but not least, the station's website is now "officially" up and running at 927thedrive.net. You might recall we got a sneak preview of the site over a year ago, when a Google image search pointed us directly into one of the sites pages, bypassing the splash page that used to be displayed at the main address. But now, all the sections are complete, with current content on the front page.
Also complete is the program schedule, which includes a new "Best of Keeler" show on Saturdays from 6am to Noon. Barstein says the show is mostly music, accented by 2-minute vignettes from the past week's morning shows.