CBS Radio forced a name change of Lorain radio station 107.3 FM WNWV, which is now known as V107.3.
The locally owned station rebooted with an Adult Album Alternative format in December with the nickname Boom! Vice president and general manager Lonnie Gronek says he promptly received a “big, scary letter” from CBS’ legal team, informing him that the word “Boom” was used in the title of a corporate station’s online stream in Seattle.
Gronek says he was glad to let it go.
"The whole branding with Boom!, we were still debating it three or four days before the launch,” says Gronek. “It doesn’t really matter what our brand name is. For the new Arbitrion ratings, all you need is the dial position.”
Arbitron's quarterly radio ratings aren’t available yet to gauge the station’s overall performance. But anecdotal evidence suggests that V107.3’s more freeform format is taking a chunk from all four of CBS’s Cleveland-cluster stations (WDOK, WNCX, , WQAL and WKRK).
The station’s broad playlist includes piano girl Norah Jones, Celtic punks the Street Dogs, superstars U2, up-and-comers the Noisettes and more David Gray than ’NCX has David Lee Roth.
Gronek estimates that the station has between 100 and 150 songs in regular rotation; most stations spin closer to 40. Unlike nationally programmed radio stations, DJs are free to improvise and add songs at the last minute.
“The comment we get most of the time is, ‘I’m tired of hearing the same 15-to-20 songs on other stations,'” says Gronek.
The station plans to launch a new, interactive approach next week. Gronek didn't provide details.
“It involves a real audience and gives the listeners a real voice in what’s going on,” he says. “We’ll hopefully engage them on a much more intimate way with our programming. Anybody can do it, but nobody will take it as far as we will. They can’t.” —D.X. Ferris