Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) re-launched 101.5 KooL FM (CKCE-FM) Calgary as 101.5 Today Radio at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Jamie Wall, general manager for the JPBG stations in Calgary and Edmonton, says 101.5 Today Radio will maintain its Hot AC (Hot Adult Contemporary) format, but feature more songs from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.
“It’s an evolution, not a revolution from where we were,” Wall told Broadcast Dialogue.
“KooL has a lot of history. It’s been a few different things over the years, different versions of an AC or Hot AC, and the rebrand is really an extension of a strategy we started about two years ago when we finalized our on-air lineup and got the music where we wanted it,” said Wall.
Wall says market research showed audiences were enjoying the hosts, but that there was bigger opportunity for 101.5 to grow by taking the station’s playlist more familiar to include gold from the 2000s, along with hits from the 80s and 90s.
101.5’s on-air lineup remains virtually the same with Christy and Fraser helming mornings from 6 – 10 a.m., Taylor Daniels on middays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Rob and Joelle on afternoon drive from 2 – 6 p.m. Joining the lineup is the introduction of an evening show from Crash and Mars, the morning duo from sister station 102.3 Now! (CKNO-FM) Edmonton. The evening show will feature highlights from their morning show, along with content localized for Today Radio. The on-air roster is rounded out by Nick Potter on weekends.
“It’s going to be a lot of high personality. Really the personalities sew the whole thing together, the on-air hosts. There’s going to be a lot of engagement on text, on social media and a lot of story telling, not just from the hosts, but getting stories from the listeners too,” said Wall.
Wall says while radio used to be all about getting people on the phones, that dialogue has now largely shifted to text.
Hear more from our interview with Jamie Wall on this week’s episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast.