UTICA-ROME -- There are now three stations in the Utica-Rome market playing non-stop Christmas music. Lite 98.7 (WLZW) made the switch early this morning. It's the first time in the Regent Communications AC station's 20-year history that the all-Christmas switch was flipped before Christmas Eve.
Well, to clarify -- it's the first time the switch was flipped 24/7 this early. In previous years, the station had featured certain blocks of programming which were all-Christmas, usually on evenings and/or weekends -- holding off on going all-Christmas around-the-clock until Christmas Eve.
Program Director Eric Meier told CNYRadio.com, "Central New Yorkers will wake up to the Best Variety of Christmas Favorites on Black Friday morning."
Earlier this month, Galaxy Hot AC Mix 102.5 (WUMX) was first in the market to go all-Christmas, on November 2. Two weeks later, Roser Communications' Bug Country (WBGK/WBUG) hopped on the bandwagon with a country-flavored version.
CNYRadio.com Editor Peter Naughton is a part-time weekend air talent at WLZW.
I have a question for the editor of CNY Radio.
When information floats around about other radio stations, hasn't it always been your policy to print those types of comments? For example....if an individual told you a particular station was changing formats, or if that was the talk in the media world, wouldn't you post something saying that CNT Radio has heard that certain changes, etc. are coming and further information as it becomes official would be written?
I am just wondering why you never mentioned on CNY Radio weeks ago, that Lite 98.7 was going to be going all Christmas music on Black Friday when you may have known, since you are employed there and this poster also told you that officially it was going to happen.
Normally you print that type of information in a heartbeat. Just curious to know if you were warned not to print it in advance or it could have caused a relationship dilemma.
It would seem you are writing things with advance knowledge about other stations information, but not for the media outlet you are employed at.
This is not a big deal, but, you would think everything should be fair and equal???
Thanks for your comment. When I receive a news tip, I do need to take extra steps to get it "confirmed" before I can publish anything -- especially when the tipsters request to remain anonymous, as you had when you submitted your tip.
Step one is to check with station management. In this particular case, station management did not wish to comment when I first asked.
Step two, when station officials decline comment, is to keep an eye on the situation. In the other cases you mentioned, I had received identical tips from additional, credible sources, to the point where I felt comfortable running the story without "official" confirmation. Granted, it's still a risk on my part to do that (because there's always a chance I could be getting fooled), so it's not a decision taken lightly. In this case, your tip was the only one received. While I do not question your credibility in terms of the method by which you acquired the information, I still strongly prefer to have at least two (and sometimes more) sources.
Now, at a later date, station officials did provide confirmation, but it was placed under "embargo" not to be published until today. Anytime any station provides information to CNYRadio.com, but requests an embargo or a "hold for release" until a certain time, that request is honored. Why? I appreciate stations taking the time to give me an early heads-up. It's a lot easier to write a story in advance, when I have plenty of time, rather than trying to rush something together quickly after the fact. And if a station is going to trust me enough to provide information in advance, I don't want to ruin that trust by jumping the gun. Embargoing news stories/releases until a future date is a common practice in journalism. (I'm sure you're aware of this; just mentioning it for anyone else reading this who was not aware.)
Separately, it's worth noting that the tip received about this event was provided on a condition of anonymity, which is also taken very seriously. Had you been willing to let me attribute the tip to you, I may have had an easier time getting early confirmation from the station and/or I could have run the story earlier anyway. Perhaps I still could have run the story with just a vague reference to your position without mentioning your name specifically, but that still could have allowed someone to figure out who you are, and I will not breach my promise to honor requests for anonymity.
That's what, 1/3 of the FM music stations in the market?