Backstage Pass: Lots of changes over at Radio One
By Kiarra Solomon
There have been lots of changes over at Radio One this week. The three stations owned by Radio One, Praise 103.9, 100.3 WRNB and HOT 107.9, have long struggled to keep up with its (larger) competitor (Clear Channel). And like most radio stations have been known to do when ratings are low, Radio One is not opposed dropping talent and changing formats in an attempt to keep up or catch up. So, on Monday Radio One made a highly publicized announcement that it will be switching formats on its Urban Adult Contemporary station (100.3FM) and would move from 100.3 WRNB to Old School 100.3.
That’s right, 100.3 WRNB is now Old School 100.3! The station will only play music from the late 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. That includes artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Teena Marie and Luther Vandross.
“We asked the question and the people of Philadelphia answered emphatically. old school, old school, old school and as the O’Jays song states ‘Give the People What They Want,” said Elroy Smith, program director for Old School 100.3. “Adult listeners will be stuck to this radio station like glue. Philadelphia now has a station that plays the music they know and love.”
Although not officially announced yet, word is that Radio One also let go of on-air personalities Moshay LaRen and DC Todd. The Tom Joyner Morning Show along with Soulful Sundays will still air, according to their press release. Lady B will also still honor all of her currently scheduled appearances. And it’s not clear yet if and when the new Old School 100.3 will stick introduce new talent. It’s also not clear how well listeners who are typically very loyal to their favorite personalities will deal with the switch, and whether they will switch stations.
Radio One has also made some additions over on Hot 107.9. The PMS (Philly Morning Show) which also debuted on Monday, is hosted by Shamara (former longtime midday personality on Clear Channel) and Laiya (formerly of ‘Monie, Pooch and Laiya’ back when 100.3 was “The Beat”, ironically enough). ‘PMS’ will fill the morning show slot that has been vacant since the ‘Ricky Smiley Morning Show’ was taken off the air a few months ago.
Shamara fans were shocked and outraged last year when Clear Channel abruptly fired her from her longtime midday slot. Prior to snagging the morning show at Hot 107.9, Shamara worked for a short time at WIRED 96.5. Laiya who has been off the air in Philadelphia for a few years, has filled her time starting her own video production company, among other things, according to an interview she did with Philly 360. Both ladies are very well liked in the Philadelphia area and listeners seem to be excited to have the two of them back on air, together nonetheless
With all of these rapid and drastic changes at Radio One, bringing back old favorites (including the recent addition of Philly’s own Q-Deezy on Hot 107.9) and switching formats, one has to wonder if Radio One is working to recreate a Philly Radio vibe reminiscent of the 90’s, when radio in Philly was thriving. And if so, will that bring the listeners back? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out!
For more information and updates about the all new Old School 100.3 or Hot 107.9 you can visit their sites at http://oldschool1003.com/ or http://hot1079philly.com/
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