August 16, 2010

News Talk Station WSB Kicks Hip Hop and 95.5 The Beat to the Curb

Do you remember folks were upset when 95.5 The Beat began calling themselves "The New Number 1 for Hip Hop, in of all places, the "durty, durty", the ATL?

It's a move that Cox Media feels will help to protect their highly rated AM talk station with a look to the future. Today the media company decided to take their powerhouse news and talk station, 750 WSB to the FM dial at 95.5. The move effectively kills the rhythmic/hip hop station 95.5 The Beat. Although "The Beat" will now be heard on 97.1 HD-2 channel without on-air personalities. (But who even listens to or has an HD Radio?)

The move supposedly comes to keep WSB fresh and up to date. “Fewer people under the age of 40 are listening to AM,” said Tony Kidd, vice president and market manager for programming, said during an interview. By being on FM, this will enable WSB to draw from a bigger pool of potential listeners.” The station will continue to broadcast on AM radio as well.

Another reason WSB is making this move to get a boost in their own ratings. For years they have been competing against urban station WVEE. V-103, despite lots of competition continues to lead the Atlanta radio ratings, while WSB has slipped to a tied number 3 position.

It will be interesting to see where 95.5 The Beat former listeners will filter out to for hip hop. Will V-103 get a slight boost in their own ratings, which would mean part of Cox Media's plan could backfire.

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