UTICA-ROME -- After a few weeks of all-Christmas country music, the Roser Communication Networks' duo of Bug Country (WBUG/WBGK) stations is ready to unveil a "more contemporary" playlist tomorrow morning at 9am.
Operations Manager and on-air host Dave Silvers tells CNYRadio.com the station is "going from an older, 80s-based style, to a more contemporary and localized approach, spotlighting 'Today's New Country.'"
He adds further detail, explaining the playlist will "feature artists including Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, and Tim McGraw, along with the likes of George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks."
There's also a new logo (minus the "bug" mascot) and a new website is in the works. For now, the website at www.bugcountry.com features the new logo and access to listen to both stations online.
The changed format could pose a threat to longtime market leader Big Frog 104 (WFRG), as the two stations will be competing more head-to-head musically. Until this point, Bug Country featured what Silvers described as "an older, 80s-based style" of country music.
The key word in your news release is "could" pose a threat. If the FROG is already playing the same music the BUG will now begin to play, how many people do you actually feel will switch. Why would anyone switch. It sure won't be for better on-air talent. It won't be because BUG can out spend or out think FROG for promotions, and BUG does not cover the entire area with their signal clearly.
Yes, maybe in the short or long term future, someone can give FROG a run for there money. It would be good competition, however, many have tried for almost 22-years without success.
A little logic: Particularly in a car, if I have a choice of two similar stations, when the commercials come on, or a song I don't like, I just hit the button for the other station. Whereas when the playlist is more unique, I'm more likely to stick around and hear the commercials you play. Which given ad revenue pays the bills, you generally want to keep listeners through the breaks. That said, I can't get Bug Country in Syracuse, although WFRG comes in pretty well in the area.
I thought the station sounded pretty good when I listened Sunday night, though the imaging is a little weak. They did have one sweeper that said something like "Real Country listeners don't fiddle with your knob". The jock on the air did the weather, which makes it sound that much more local.
I listened yesterday at lunch and Dave Silvers was playing the same songs in the request hour as he would have under the old format. I found that very odd. I was hearing things that didn't seem to fit with the "Today's New Country" theme they're now pushing.
Famous radio station owner Gordon McLendon once said that in a battle between two stations, everything else being equal, the SIGNAL WINS. Older readers will remember the battle between WOLF and WNDR in the early '70's. WOLF had a serious signal disadvantage and they knew they had to be different from WNDR and better. WOLF was different and better and they won. (It was WOLF PD Howie Castle who told me the McLendon quote at that time. He was consciously applying the principle.) Bug needs counter-programming to attack Frog. Be different! Be better!