After admitting that the music “sucked” on his own radio station, Dave Rickards, anchor for the Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw morning show, announced in a pre-recorded statement Saturday morning that his station, long-known as Jack-FM, was in the tank.
No more Bieber. And even the name “Jack-FM” was dead.
While it was thought that the new music format for 100.7 FM would be unveiled the day after Chistmas, the station formally known as Jack decided to punt on Boxing Day.
After weeks of nonstop Christmas schmaltz, when the final Cristmas song ended at 10 a.m., Rickards announced that his station would not be launching the permanent format just yet.
Instead, Rickards said it would play a different format each day and announce the permanent format when he and his top-rated DSC morning team return from vacation on January 4.
In the radio business this is called “stunting.” It’s the period of time between format shifts when a station has fun by playing all Elvis, all Beatles, or all Johnny Cash…a just-for-fun stunt format that (hopefully) builds interest and anticipation for the new format when it finally does arrive.
But the first format-of-the-day was telling. It was AC/DC — all day long. Which seems to point the station formerly known as Jack in a decidedly rock direction for 2016.
Hearing “Highway to Hell” was a sharp contrast from Jack-FM's poppy playlist. The sonic shift will undoubtedly shock the Jack-FM listeners who tuned into the station after DSC signed off.
But the reality is there just aren’t many of those listeners around. The ratings show the local pop fans greatly prefer Z-90, Channel 9-3-3, Star 94.1, Energy 103.7, or KYXY to hear new hits by modern artists.
It is presumed the new 100.7 will compete with a smaller pool of competing stations: namely classic rocker KGB and modern rocker Rock 105.
The new, as-yet-unnamed 100.7 would seem to have a decided advantage in that arena. Classic rock is a favorite of men aged 25-54. And DSC delivers the top-rated morning ratings for that group. DSC has twice the ratings for men 25-54 than the second-place morning show, which is Rock 105’s “The Show.” That Rock 105 morning team is composed of the remaining members of the Mikey Show who stayed at Rock 105 after its namesake Mike Esparza left the station four years ago.
The problem for Jack-FM for the past two years is that the pop hits played after the DSC show forced many DSC regulars to tune out when the trio left the air. It is hoped by 100.7 management that they won’t migrate as much after January 4.
A radio format change is a rare event. KSON has been country and KYXY has been adult contemporary for four decades (although KYXY started mixing in newer hits in recent years). 91X has been on top of modern rock for a third of a century, and Rock 105 has been rockin’ for 20-plus years.
During the past few years, the Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw show seemed to exist as an island at Jack-FM. The highly paid seven-member morning team seemed not too connected with what the station did the rest of the day. That seems to be different now as Rickards is involved in announcing the station’s new rocking direction.
But what of this new, still-unnamed rock station at 100.7 FM? Will longtime local DJ Coe Lewis be hired away from KGB? Will there be a place in the new lineup for former longtime KGB DJ Jim McInnes who started playing FM rock in this town at the now-defunct KPRI in 1974? And will this new station make a run at Rock 105 by playing modern cuts by Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch?
It is assumed because of DSC’s domination of the older listeners that the new station will hew closer to familiar, classic rock. But new program director Garett Michaels was known for playing out-of-the-box artists during the decade he helmed FM-94/9 (2002-2012).