Harvard Broadcasting debuted the emerging “Classic CHR” format on its newly-rebranded Power 107 (CJNW-FM) Edmonton on Thursday.
Christian Hall, Harvard’s National Program Manager, said with three Top 40 stations in the market, it was time for the station to move on to its next incarnation.
“We just felt that the landscape was a little crowded with three stations sharing 80 to 90 per cent of the same playlist,” Hall told Broadcast Dialogue. “It didn’t seem like there was opportunity to hone the space and it was time one of us got out of that mainstream Top 40 battle.”
Hall said the Hot 107 rebrand had been in the works for close to a year. The relatively new Classic CHR or “rhythmic classic hits” format will see the station harken back to 90s and early 2000s power pop from the likes of Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, and Rihanna.
“The time is certainly right for the Top 40 from the 90s and 2000s to have a format of its own. We think it’s strong, if not stronger than some of the new stuff out today,” said Hall, who added that the format also recently surfaced on The New 97.7 – The Beat (WKAF-FM) Boston.
The format tweak is being accompanied by a shuffle of the station’s on-air talent. Ryder and Lisa will continue to host mornings while Johnny Infamous moves from drive to middays. Former midday host Hannah Witherbee and Jake Ryan, who previously did evenings, will team up on afternoon drive. Witherbee also retains her music director role. Market fixture Gary James will also return to the airwaves to host the Power 25 Countdown on weekends, which will jump back and play the 25 hottest hits of a particular year.
New logo reflects shifting listening habits
Integrated into the some of the new Power 107 branding are mobile and smart speaker icons reflecting shifting consumer habits.
“We treat this station and all of our stations as audio platforms, not simply as FM radio stations,”said Hall. “We know the importance of going beyond FM. We know there’s a significant amount of tuning being done online through mobile devices and smart speakers and we’ve made a concerted effort to make sure we’re not pigeonholing ourselves as just one audio source.”
Hall said that logo integration debuted last month on X92.9 (CFEX-FM) Calgary and will be rolling out on Harvard stations across the country in the coming months.
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