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This is the new/old logo for WRIT-FM as it readjusts its play list to includes '60s tunes.

"Oldies" return to Milwaukee radio


If things go as planned, Christmas tunes should be ending on WRIT-FM (95.7) at this hour and the station should be going back to a regular play-list -- although the music is changing a bit.

Instead of the 1970s and '80s tunes that have been the hallmark of "My 95.7," the focus will be more 1960s and '70s on the retooled "Oldies 95.7 FM."

"It's not really a format change," general manager Kerry Wolfe told me. "It's more of a brand. People still consider us 'oldies'."

Winding back the musical clock to the Beatles era means there's less overlap with stations WKLH-FM (96.5) and WLWK-FM (94.5), along with Clear Channel sister station WQBW-FM (97.3), better known as "The Brew."

"We'll lock up an era of music that's not heard anywhere else," said Wolfe. Another Clear Channel station, WOKY-AM (920) had played "oldies," but moved to Classic Country as "The Wolf" in September 2008.

The new/old playlist will feature songs like Abba's "Dancing Queen," Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and America's "Sister Golden Hair."

Wolfe says the music change won't mean a change in on-air voices.

Talkbacks

merlin | Jan. 1, 2010 at 7:54 p.m. (report)

All I can say is I hope they do focus groups and audience research to find out what I like....Only kidding. As a man who is now in his mid 50's and who grew up with a radio glued to my head I have no use for commercial Milwaukee Music radio. I still enjoy listening to things I grew up with but I also like listening to new bands too and love Pandora. Radio continues to kill itself. I wonder what music radio stations a person who is now 10 will be listening to when they are 20. I don't think commercial music radio has the answer, maybe they should do some research

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cuprisin | Dec. 29, 2009 at 10:35 a.m. (report)

You can find my thoughts on the state of radio in my Monday OnMedia column.... I think low-power FM radio is a non-starter. The Internet makes far more sense for hyper-local community groups.

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BluMilo | Dec. 29, 2009 at 8:35 a.m. (report)

@cuprisin... do you think there are other (better?) models for radio that could work in this market? I'm thinking of LPFM specifically, and how that can be done inexpensively and tailored to individual communities, audiences, or even neighborhoods. I know that the FCC has licensed a number of LPFM stations over the past 10 years, but never in Milwaukee.

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speakthetruth | Dec. 28, 2009 at 10:40 a.m. (report)

I look forward to the near future when cars are inherently WiFi/3G/4G enabled and I can stream Pandora over the air. Internet radio is far superior to satellite for a host of reasons, but the two big ones are that you can listen on a wide array of multifunction device and the economics of internet delivery make it far cheaper and broader in scope than anything that XM/Sirius can deliver.

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cuprisin | Dec. 28, 2009 at 9:19 a.m. (report)

Commercial radio isn't about providing music to listeners. It's about delivering the largest chunk available of a specific audience to advertisers. That's why it generally only plays only "hits" in whatever music genre it airs, and that's why folks old enough to be interested in pre-Beatles music aren't targeted, since they aren't what advertisers are looking for. Virtually all Milwaukee commercial radio targets some part of the 25-54 demographic. "Oldies" on WRIT-FM target men and women between 35 and 54.

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