Monday, November 01, 2004

WAVZ-AM (New Haven, CT) leaves ‘The Zone,’ switches to liberal talk format

Officials at Clear Channel Communications announced over the weekend that the New Haven-Hamden station would be changing from Fox Sports Radio to "The Voice" progressive talk radio.

The liberal talk format, which contrasts with sister station WELI’s conservative format, will begin today, said Jerry Kristafer of Clear Channel.

WAVZ, a popular-music station in the 1960s and ’70s, eventually came under the Clear Channel chain and switched to formats such as nostalgic music and, more recently, Fox Sports Radio ("The Zone").

That format couldn’t draw enough listeners away from New York’s WFAN and Hartford’s ESPN Radio (1410).

"I talked about doing this back in February, and corporate folks talked about it," said Kristafer. "I think it’s the right thing to do myself."

Music listeners have migrated in the past 25 years to FM radio, including Clear Channel’s WKCI.

WELI is a 5,000-watt station based at Hamden’s Radio Towers Park. WAVZ, soon expected to be granted new call letters, is a 1,000-watt station.

The station will run shows from the syndicated liberal network Air America including "Morning Sedition" from 6 to 9 a.m. and Al Franken’s noon to 3 p.m. show, in addition to Jones Broadcasting’s show with Ed Schultz in the afternoon, and WABC-AM veteran "Lionel" hosting at 10 p.m.

Sunday mornings will feature the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s program "Keep Hope Alive!" No local programs were announced for the retooled station.

Here's some info about WAVZ and their signal. And the website's already up and can be found here.


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