[Other Topic] Worst radio station format changes ever?


That's a lot of claws!
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 8, 2012
Western Slope, CO
Off the top of my head (in the Hartford area):
104.1 changed from modern alternative rock to rap, then back (sort of). The problem now might be that modern rock has gotten whinier.
105.9 changed from classic rock to... I'm not sure. some late 80'ssome 90's, some 00's light rock, pop, worksafe stuff.
106.9 seemed to have an issue with the way modern rock was going, so they switched to classic rock-ish, but you only hear a few big hits from each classic band, plus stuff that's not really classic or rock. Sorry, Billy Idol, you will never be classic rock.

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
Sep 7, 2003
Newington, CT
When WCBS lost its heritage format and was replace by Jack FM.

Luckily that did not last last long, and WCBS quickly said "Hit the Road Jack!"

The Fat Man

Poster of Randomness
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 2, 2010
Land where we pronounce our "R" as "ah"
In Boston WMKK (Mike-FM, a Jack like station) was flipped to put WEEI (sports talk) on FM. But they did it too late. By the time WEEI jumped to FM, CBS's WBZ-FM (the Sports Hub) was over a couple years on the air. WEEI is just a joke now, where WBZ dominates the format.

Entercom should have done what CBS did with WBBM in Chicago when Merlin decided to flip (the second biggest national blunder after Free-FM) and put WEEI on FM prior to WBZ's startup.

Also in Boston, Clear Channel bought WFNX and attempted a "we play anything" format. It was too bland, but luckily they made up for that by starting the city's first EDM station. It's not too mainstream, but neither was WFNX as the frequency wasn't/isn't the strongest. However, it serves a niche listener core.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 5, 2004
I don't live there anymore, but back in the day WHFS-FM (99.1) or "HFS" was an amazing alternative rock station. It was unusual in that it was one of the last large market stations not to have a pre-programmed playlist (the DJs actually got to pick the music) and was also organized an annual alternative "HFS-estival" music event.

In 1995 (per wiki) they switched to a "tropical Latin music" format. That switch was a an abject failure and to my knowledge 99.1 is now either a sports talk or all news format.


Resident Bozo
Jun 2, 2012
Northern, VT
Forgot the call sign but 96.9FM (Presque isle, ME) went from Rock (80-mid 90s) to 96.1 Light Rock to finaly country and now POP.


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Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 20, 2005
Northern VA
Some years back, the most popular radio station in the DC area (don't remember call sign) shifted formats and went downhill fast. Last I heard, some rich guy bought them to cover his sports team.

Any local yokels here remember the details?

The Fat Man

Poster of Randomness
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 2, 2010
Land where we pronounce our "R" as "ah"
My opinion, the top two nationally within the last 15 years are: 1.) Infinity's (CBS) Free-FM, and 2.) Merlin Media's FM News format.

There are other local blunders that super cede these, such as anywhere CBS flipped back to a rock format (NYC's Free-FM going back to K-Rock), because CBS did a horrible job managing the format on the East Coast. So I think this should be separated into categories.
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Big Dawg 23

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 13, 2008
Northfield, MN
Many years ago WLOL 99.5 in the Twin Cities switched it format to Classic Rock in order to bring Howard Stern to town and compete directly with KQRS 92.5. Howard failed miserably here and the station switched to Classical music.

Personally I wasn't a fan two years ago with WLTE 102.9 switch from soft rock to country music.

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