SYRACUSE -- When WSYR's news/talk format first started simulcasting at 106.9FM three weeks ago, staffers said it was actually the other way around -- the station moved to 106.9 and was simulcasting on 570. All mentions of 570 disappeared. But, a week after anchors and hosts started calling it "FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR," there's an explanation.
Clear Channel GM Joel Delmonico tells the Syracuse Post-Standard, in an article published today, that the motivation for the changes is a desire to draw more younger listeners to the station. (That's no surprise -- back in December, we reported hearing from a reader who was polled over the phone about his radio listening habits, specifically whether he'd be more likely to listen to the WSYR lineup were it moved to the FM dial.)
In the article, Ed Levine, president and CEO of competitor Galaxy Communications, told the reporter he thought the disappearance of "570" from station branding was, "bewildering to be kind and idiotic, if I wanted to be harsh."
Sure enough, the newspaper report mentions what happened last week -- anchors and local talk hosts started mentioning 570 once again, and the 570 frequency is back in the station's logo. Delmonico told the paper he made the change after "a reporter" asked about it.
The story also confirms the recent layoffs of reporters Tiffany Latino and Michelle Clark, reported here on January 14th. Aside from anchors, that leaves the newsroom with just one part-time street reporter, Ellen Abbott. Delmonico told the newspaper that traffic reporters would be handling more news duties.