Santa Arrives at Utica's Lite 98.7; Next Stop: Mars Hill

November 16, 2012 by

UTICA-ROME -- Townsquare Media's Lite 98.7 (WLZW) is the newest addition to the list of Central New York radio stations going all-Christmas.  WLZW Brand Manager Eric Meier tells the adult contemporary station made the switch this morning.  And the Syracuse-based Mars Hill Radio Network will soon begin mixing holiday hits in with its religious programming.

Lite 98.7 is making the switch a few days later than last year, when Santa's sleigh arrived on November 10.  Utica's other all-Christmas station, Galaxy-owned Mix 102.5 (WUMX) also made the switch nearly a week later than its usual November 1st date this year.  In an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard's Hart Seely, Galaxy's Ed Levine says listeners actually complained when the Christmas music wasn't there the day after Halloween.

Seely also reports the Mars Hill Network, based at Syracuse flagship station 102.9 WMHR, will begin a gradual shift into "holiday mode" on the day after Thanksgiving.  Christmas music will get 25% of the station's airtime then, it'll be bumped up to 50% on December 1, and the network will go all-out starting December 10.

2012 All-Christmas Flips to Date

  • November 1: Galaxy's Sunny 102.1 (WZUN) in the Syracuse market. (Normally classic hits.)
  • November 6: Galaxy's Mix 102.5 (WUMX) in the Utica-Rome market. (Normally hot AC.)
  • November 13: Clear Channel's Y94 (WYYY) in the Syracuse market. (Normally AC.)
  • Today: Townsquare's Lite 98.7 (WLZW) in the Utica-Rome market. (Normally AC.)

Still Ahead...

  • November 21: Public Broadcasting Council of CNY's WCNY-HD3 in the Syracuse market, WUNY-HD3 in the Utica-Rome market and WJNY-HD3 in the Watertown market. (Normally jazz.)
  • December 10: Mars Hill Network's 102.9 WMHR in Syracuse and all other network affiliates. (Normally religious.)


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