Rock 93.9/101.7 To Flip Formats

Word on the street is that Lebanon-based WVRR, bought earlier this year by Jeff Shapiro’s Great Eastern Radio group, is switching to all talk soon.  Rock 93.9/101.7 PD and drive time DJ Steve Smith got the hook yesterday, coincidentally the same day former WNTK afternoon talker Gardner Goldsmith debuted on Great Eastern’s “The Pulse.”

Over 13 employees have been let go since the buyout, part of Clear Channel’s sell-off of small to medium properties approved by the FCC last November.  The format switch is a blow to the local music scene, which could count on a little bit of airplay with Smith at the helm.

Ironically, reports are that Clear Channel was a friendlier environment for both staff and musicians trying for exposure.  Hard to imagine the corporate behemoth as a symbol of the good old days, but there you go.

On Goldsmith’s show yesterday, I noticed a lot of ads for businesses in Sunapee, Newport and Claremont – that seemed odd for a Concord station.  Now it makes more sense.  I would not be surprised if Shapiro, the king of triangulation back in his Q-106 days, simply bulks up his talk empire with the flip of a few switches.

5 thoughts on “Rock 93.9/101.7 To Flip Formats

  1. Hey Mike

    Yep, you heard right, I was “let go” from the Great Eastern Radio stations on Monday. Man, you have some good sources! I am not sure if you heard, but they also got rid of Liz Fox, the mid-day girl on my station. It’s lame. She was an awesome rock jock. The station is now jockless, except the Morning Buzz in the AM and Quinn & Cantara at night. Or atleast I think it is, I try not to listen to the station anymore….I dont want to hear something that I spent almost 5 years building, being ruined.

    On the local music front…sigh…I don’t know what to tell ya. I tried and tried and tried to help. Looks like 99 Rock may be trying to pick up the void. That station just needs to figure out if it’s a college station or not a non-com $$$.

    The Nassau stations are trying (Q106, The Wolf, etc) but don’t have the mainstream rock station that’d play bands like Spectris, Hexerei, Syd, Stonewall, Sarvella, or any thing else.

    Radio is a changing animal. All I gotta say is that I’m glad I have satellite radio on my tv, and my mp3’s on my computer.

    For now, I’m unemployeed, looking for a job. I spent 10 years with Clear Channel (and all it’s buy outs) and 3 months with Great Eastern Radio. I liked the 1st 10 years the best.


  2. I don’t know who’s idea it was for the changes on 93.9 but I am disspointed to the point of no longer listening. Whoever decided to remove the Morning Buzz doesn’t know what the hell they are doing. I actually tried to listen the last two mornings but was so bored I had to find another station. 93.9 WAS a great station but no longer is and I’m sure I’m not the only listener you have lost. WOW what a disppointment to the area!!!!!!!


    Former listener

  3. Hey Mike

    Well…the complaints have been coming in FAST to my email address. I think bye now people realize that I am gone, but I still have my myspace page. Lots and lots of pissed off people over 93.9 flipping. The funny thing is that I fought pretty hard to keep 101.7 a rock station. Found out on a thursday or friday, then monday I was let go.

    I feel horrible for my old listeners. We had a GREAT radio station! Solid line up. Now if you listen to the Buzz on 101.7, there is lots of dead air. Also, the station cuts in and out all the time (I know how to fix it…but they let me go, so why should I?) The current management team is clueless on broadcasting, they only know how to make money.

    But really…isn’t that what it’s all about? Make as much money as you can, screw the listeners?

    Not the way I look at it. And I like to think I’ll prove it pretty soon. I have a new radio gig in the works. It’s not officially announced to the media yet, but when it, I will let you know!

    Just one note to any former listener of my former station: I was the Program Director of that radio station for almost 5 years. My goal in radio, from the get-go, was to bring a Rock radio station to 101.7, and also the Upper Valley. Running Rock 93.9 & 101.7 was a dream job for me. We started small and grew into something amazing. We did alot together with Rock The Whale, our Stuff A Bus campaign, Battle Of The Bands, Who Wants To Be A DJ….. I always wanted the station to be a heritage rock station for the Valley. And it was well on it’s way. But now, sadly, it’ll be a station that you look back on and think “man I loved that radio station.” It’s dead in the Upper Valley. I think back to when I listened to Q106. I personally use to love that radio station. It was the most listened to station in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Then it got crappy. Sadly…that’s what will happen to my former station. So, to all the listeners, I am sorry that you and I both have to live thru this. I miss the station and I miss the listeners. I do NOT, however, miss the management. I am much more happy not working for them. The flipping of 93.9 is just one of many reason I am glad to be gone.

    Thanks Mike…


  4. The change really sucks. I’m a country fan, but every morning I would listen to the buzz. Now I don’t even listen to KIXX because of the change. I’ve known many of the jocks on the stations, including Steve Smith. It really is crap what happened, he was great for the station. Best of luck to you Steve in your future endeavors, I’ve been listening for you on the AM station you told my wife about.

    There is no place to go for good rock, today my wife and I decided to just start listening to CDs again in the car, we spend close to an hour in the car every morning and now have no good station to listen to, as she doesn’t like country.

    I hope they realize just how bad this move was for them and they go back, but even if they did I am not sure I would give them my time and listen.

    Matt from SoRo

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