In late 2009, Elyria-based WNVW 107.3 FM abandoned its rapidly fading “Wave” format — “smooth” jazz & soft R&B — in favor of something a little more contemporary and upbeat. It became V 107.3, which featured a “Triple A” format— a mix of contemporary and classic rock, with artists like Steely Dan and John Fogerty getting airtime alongside newer acts like the Black Keys, Snow Patrol, and Clevelander Kate Voegele.
But after two years in which the uneven, mismanaged and under-resourced V107.3 failed to catch fire, the station will return to the world of smooth contemporary sounds. Dave Koz, Yanni, and Lionel Richie fans can rejoice when they wake up from their naps. For most Northeast Ohioans, the station might as well be going off the air, as “smooth” anything has bled followers across the country. Only about two dozen stations nationally still feature this soporific format.
The change is occurring following the sale of the station, now owned Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Company, part of the media company that also owns the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram. It announced in October that it would be selling the station to Rubber City Radio Group Inc., another small independent media company out of Akron (They own classic rocker WONE, country station WQMX, and news/sports AM WAKR).
At first, that sounded like good news. Rock fans were hopeful the company might beef up the station’s resources and upgrade its management. Instead it’s pulling the plug. All of V 107.3’s personnel will be out of work effective December 16; they have been ordered not to discuss their severance or the station’s format change. Rubber City Radio group hasn’t made any official announcement. But when a commenter asked about the format change earlier this week on the station’s Facebook page, the page was taken down. — Anastasia Pantsios