UTICA/ROME -- A month and a half after replacing local morning host Bill Keeler with the syndicated Bob and Tom Show, locally-owned 92.7 The Drive (WXUR) is making more big changes. The station has hired veteran programmer Tom Starr and veteran sales manager Chuck Hebbard. Changes to the station's rock format will take effect tomorrow afternoon.
Here's the full press release we received from Ops Manager Jack Moran today:
Changes and New Hires for 927 “The Drive”
In addition to recently welcoming the popular Bob & Tom show back to the morning airwaves, Utica radio station WXUR (92.7 FM, The Drive)
is adjusting it's music. Bob & Tom can be heard weekdays from 6-10 a.m. The change coincides with the addition of two well known local radio people to it's programming and sales staffs. Tom Starr, a veteran of Utica Radio will be programming The Drive, and Chuck Hebbard, a former sales manager with over 30 years experience in the market, has joined the sales team at the locally owned and operated station.
Station owner Mindy Barstein says, “The additions of Starr and Hebbard reflect the station's commitment to providing outstanding programming for Mohawk Valley listeners and marketing services to area businesses.
Barstein continues, "During his years as the Program Director and Operations Manager, Tom introduced an incredible number of artists that went on to become the biggest names in Rock. Tom has earned national recognition for his programming talent by Rolling Stone Magazine. He is very excited to bring a real rock and roll format back to The Utica/Rome market.”
Starr concurs. "When the local radio market was shaken up 3 years ago, there was a void in the rock station programming. That lack of choice has left a lot of listeners without a favorite radio station."
The new format on The Drive (92.7 FM) launches Friday (2/18) at 5pm.
While it will retain much of the music it has been playing, the WXUR, 92.7 FM format, will place a greater emphasis on offering a range of artists and songs that will appeal to people that grew up listening to Rock radio. The Doobie Brothers, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles are a few of the groups that will be prominent on The Drive.
Starr says The Drive format will include songs from acts that no area stations play. "Some people are fine on a steady diet of the same handful of artists and songs every day. But that one dimensional approach bores me and a lot of other people who, I think, will find that The Drive is a refreshing alternative."
The on air line up includes Rick Devoe, Jack Moran, Frank McBride, Tom Starr and Dave Phoenix.
As a way of introducing the new format, WXUR 92.7 FM The Drive will open with a weekend featuring three song sets from its extensive new library. The Triple Play Weekend on The Drive kicks-off at 5pm Friday (2/18), and will include back-to-back-to-back songs from an artist, a year or with a common theme.