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October 31, 2022 8:57 pm  #1


Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

It's not even Thanksgiving in the U.S., but sure enough a plethora of stations have all begun programming - you guessed it - non-stop Christmas music. This has to be the earliest this trend has ever begun down south, and like COVID, it seems to be spreading everywhere. 

The list of stations that all made the change is pretty long for something that happened so soon. They include Star 93.3, a religious station in Cincinatti (which I guess at least fits the format), Chicago (WLIT-FM), Magic 98.9 Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina and WARM-FM, York, Pa. (beginning Wednesday.)

What's really odd about this is that it's not a single owner playing the Yule Fool. One station is run by Audacy, another is a Cumulus property, while yet a third is iHeart. The religious broadcaster is a non-profit that depends on donations. So it's not like a central owner sent out the command to its stations. 

I know we get into this "when is too early" about Xmas tunes every year, but you have to admit this is way too soon to get into the Christmas spirit. As popular as these songs are, they tend to wear thin over a 2-month long+ period. 

I just hope none of the Toronto P.D.s read this, or CHFI will go tomorrow. (Traditionally, they wait until at least after Remembrance Day.)

 

November 1, 2022 9:45 am  #2


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Sometimes going all Christmas too early is a stunting, leading to a new format...sometimes even before Christmas arrives! 
 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

November 1, 2022 12:51 pm  #3


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

CHFI will likely will make the change the day after Remembrance Day on the 12th which is a Saturday. For years CHFI made the switch to Christmas music  the weekend of the Toronto Santa Clause Parade which makes more sense.  This year the parade is on 20th, so they could start on Saturday the 19th or even Friday the 18th. 

It will be interesting to see if Guelph's Magic 106 changes format again this year.  They got the jump on everyone in 2021 and went all Christmas music for the first time that I recall.  CHYM FM in Kitchener has been our Christmas Music station for a long time but last year CIMJ beat them by a few days.   

 

November 1, 2022 1:03 pm  #4


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Last year, mid October, the first all Christmas station aired, but it was stunting... https://itschristmas365.com/2021/10/30/this-could-be-the-first-all-christmas-radio-station-for-2021/


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

November 1, 2022 1:08 pm  #5


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Just one day after posting that list above, there are more, including one very close to home.

Star 102.5, WTSS-FM in Buffalo is now officially in the holiday spirit. 

KAGC-FM in Bryan, Texas is all Xmas all the time, while Albany's The Breeze 103.9 has blown in the holidays early, starting 9 AM Tuesday morning. 

And no less than two stations in the same market - Grand Rapids, Michigan - are ho-ho-holding the regular music. 100.5 WTRV (The River FM) is fulltime Christmas and All-Christian WCSG-FM has begun offering Yule yowlings on its website, in preparation for adopting it full time. 

Finally, SiriusXM on satellite is now in the spirit of the not-quite-yet season, with 22 (!) channels of All Christmas Music, the most ever for the service, as of Nov. 1st. It runs until at least Dec. 27th.

     Thread Starter
 

November 1, 2022 1:29 pm  #6


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Way too early.  WTSS is a bit of an also ran in the ratings coming in at #7 or #8. Does this actually make any difference in their revenue in a smaller market like Buffalo?  

 

November 1, 2022 2:13 pm  #7


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

paterson1 wrote:

Way too early.  WTSS is a bit of an also ran in the ratings coming in at #7 or #8. Does this actually make any difference in their revenue in a smaller market like Buffalo?  

It's about beating WJYE (or whatever their call letters are this week)  to be first before them to play Christmas music.


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

November 1, 2022 3:10 pm  #8


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

According to a new survey, Mariah Carey DOESN'T have the #1 all time most played/streamed Christmas song. It belongs instead to an oldie but goodie - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee from 1958 (not 1964 as the chart below indicates.)

It was written by Johnny Marks, who also carved a place on the classic Xmas hit list with "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer."  In an interview I did with him years ago, Marks told me he wrote it in the middle of July while lying on a beach! So much for Christmas cheer!

https://radioink.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/11/Top-ten.jpg

See the rest of the Top 60 songs here

     Thread Starter
 

November 1, 2022 5:45 pm  #9


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

WSMX 96.1 The Breeze is still playing its regular Adult Contemporary format judging by it's playlist.

https://961thebreeze.com/playlist/

Not sure when CHRE-FM Move 105.7 in Niagara will switch to Christmas music along with CHFI Toronto, CHYM-FM Kitchener CIMJ-FM Guelph CKOT-FM in Tillsonburg and CFHK-FM London. I wish CFHK 103.1 would stay with its Hot AC format while CKOT-FM 101.3 goes to Christmas music. My guess is CFHK and CKOT have been competing against each other based on the format they play during non Christmas months. Also WINC in Detroit is still playing regular music as of now picked it up this morning in my car during the foggy conditions.

Last edited by haydenmatthews14 (November 1, 2022 5:54 pm)

 

November 2, 2022 7:30 am  #10


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Last year, WTSS ran their regular format on an HD  channel for all the "Scrooges" [their words]  who weren't quite ready to celebrate the festive season. Are they continuing with that plan again this year?

 

November 2, 2022 10:27 am  #11


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

paterson1 wrote:

CHFI will likely will make the change the day after Remembrance Day on the 12th which is a Saturday. For years CHFI made the switch to Christmas music  the weekend of the Toronto Santa Clause Parade which makes more sense.  This year the parade is on 20th, so they could start on Saturday the 19th or even Friday the 18th.

Judging by this link: https://www.chfi.com/contests/win-a-1000-gift-card-to-nordstrom-rack/ it looks like CHFI will be making the Christmas flip Monday November 14th at 8:30AM.

 

November 2, 2022 10:36 am  #12


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

After November 14th. I will have another reason not to listen to CHFI.

 

November 2, 2022 12:47 pm  #13


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

It's not exactly the most statistically sound survey - only 400 people - but a media group in the U.S. did a survey of listeners about when they thought Christmas music should start taking over the airwaves of their local radio stations. The results are divided. 

"...nearly half (48%) want it to start before Thanksgiving, with 27% saying it should begin in early November and 21% in mid-November, while 21% prefer a Thanksgiving start and 24% at the beginning of December. Female listeners drive those wanting the earlier start, as 70% favor a November format flip, vs. 57% of men."

Apparently, they didn't offer them the choice of it not being played at all. Now that would have been an interesting number!


For Half Of Christmas Music Listeners, The Earlier And Later The Jingle Bell Rocking, The Better

     Thread Starter
 

November 2, 2022 1:47 pm  #14


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Don't understand why it needs to be all or nothing.  I prefer stations that mix in Christmas music with the regular format and heavy up closer to Christmas. Nothing against the sounds of the season, but all Christmas all the time 7 or 8 weeks ahead seems to be overkill IMHO especially if more than one station does this in the market.  For local radio does this translate into increased revenues, or would the increase happen regardless.  All stations are busier with more advertising leading up to Christmas.  

The huge jump in ratings seems to be more of an American thing.  Last year WNIC in Detroit zoomed up to a 18.8% share with Christmas music.  In regular format the station has a 4.5-6% share.  Latest ratings WNIC were #7 with a 5.1 share.  Has CHFI or any other major market in Canada had a huge jump in ratings share like this?  CHFI always has strong ratings regardless, so increases likely are not so dramatic. How about in other Canadian markets? 

 

November 2, 2022 2:00 pm  #15


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

CHFM Calgary sees massive gains. They're normally a mid-pack station, but their R1 book (Dec/Jan/Feb) is usually ~20% higher, with a strong #1 in the December portion.

CHQM Vancouver *was* a lot like CHFI in that they were already a top station, but extended their lead significantly over Christmas. Vancouver now has two local and one rimshot Christmas stations each year, which splits off the Christmas bump.

Last edited by RadioAaron (November 2, 2022 2:03 pm)

 

November 2, 2022 2:39 pm  #16


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Radio.Intern wrote:

it looks like CHFI will be making the Christmas flip Monday November 14th at 8:30AM.

Same day that Christmas decorating will begin here at the homestead on the soon-to-be-frozen Bonnechere River, though if I do have Christmas tunes playing during that job, they'll come from either Stingray Music on the TV, or from various Spotify playlists.

Not sure exactly when Ottawa's Move 100.3, the usual all-Christmas outlet around here, will make *that* move, but the myFM stations in the Valley usually ramp up their xmas tunes beginning around the first of December, with one xmas song per hour the first week, two per hour the second week and so on.

 

November 2, 2022 7:39 pm  #17


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

mace wrote:

Last year, WTSS ran their regular format on an HD  channel for all the "Scrooges" [their words]  who weren't quite ready to celebrate the festive season. Are they continuing with that plan again this year?

I just checked, and HD2 is running a simulcast of 104.7/107.7 The WOLF, and HD3 is Channel Q, with LGBTQ themed programming.

 

November 5, 2022 6:48 am  #18


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Listen to the WTSS 2022 flip from their regular format to ALL Christmas here: 
https://archive.org/details/star-102.5-buffalo-christmas-music-launch-2022


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

November 5, 2022 8:26 am  #19


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Radiowiz wrote:

Listen to the WTSS 2022 flip from their regular format to ALL Christmas here: 
https://archive.org/details/star-102.5-buffalo-christmas-music-launch-2022

To me it's like fingernails on a blackboard. I am thankful that I can avoid all of the "Holiday Hits" formatted stations across Southern Ontario and Western New York.

 

November 5, 2022 11:07 am  #20


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

Pretty hard to listen to Christmas music with the beautiful fall weather we have been having.  I really find it hard to believe many people are actually tuning in at any length for Christmas music yet.  Maybe in a few weeks but not when it's 22 and sunny outside. 

 

November 5, 2022 11:52 am  #21


Re: Earlier & Earlier. WTSS-FM Star 102.5 In Buffalo Goes All Xmas Music

paterson1 wrote:

Pretty hard to listen to Christmas music with the beautiful fall weather we have been having.  I really find it hard to believe many people are actually tuning in at any length for Christmas music yet.  Maybe in a few weeks but not when it's 22 and sunny outside. 

I have been listening to pop stations like Virgin Radio, Z103.5 and Energy 95.3 to keep the summer like feeling going for a while.

Also 100.3 WNIC in Detroit has switched to Christmas music now.

Last edited by haydenmatthews14 (November 5, 2022 11:56 am)