» Portland Radio

Christmas Music Stations

(91 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Craig_Adams
  • Latest reply from NoParty

  1. Thought I'd start this thread now that the first station in the U.S. has switched to a Christmas format. The article it mentions other stations before this but they were HD-2 channels. This from All Access:

    --------------------------------------KOSP Brings Out The Mistletoe Music--------------------------------------

    Another station has flipped to an all-holiday music mode as MID-WEST FAMILY Classic Hits KOSP (STAR 105.1)/SPRINGFIELD, MO turn on its audio Christmas lights of sorts. "It’s been such a tough year, we all need something to look forward to," OM MARY FLEENOR said. "And there’s nothing more positive and uplifting than CHRISTMAS!"

    The station is also partnering with the city of SPRINGFIELD for a series of free family events for the holiday season, and has been declared "SPRINGFIELD's Official Christmas Music Station."

    Posted on October 29, 2009 - 09:42 PM #
  2. paulwalker

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    I've said it before, and I think it still applies...stations that go all-xmas extremely early are usually good candidates for format changes in the new year.

    However, I will admit that I have not studied, nor have any interest whatsoever in the Springfield, MO market. Best wishes to "you and yours" in the the Springfield market!

    Posted on October 29, 2009 - 09:49 PM #
  3. Happy Ho Ho's - I agree with Paul that stations in general start early with the Holiday music do switch format like the time in Eugene back in the 80s with KBMC 94.5 to KMGE on Christmas day.

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 02:40 AM #
  4. Now there are 4. This from All Access:

    ----------------------------------------Santa Songs Times Two In Appleton----------------------------------------

    Christmas can't come too soon in APPLETON, WI, as both MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS Adult Hits WROE and WOODWARD COMMUNICATIONS AC WECB flip to all-yule tunes, all the time. However, listeners who don't want to get in the holiday mood -- at least not until they burn BRETT FAVRE in effigy this weekend when the VIKINGS play the PACKERS in GREEN BAY -- can still hear WROE's regular programming online.

    ---------------------------------------KKSR Gets In The Holiday Mood, Too----------------------------------------

    At 5p TODAY, NEW NORTHWEST BROADCASTERS AC KKSR (STAR FM)/TRI-CITIES, WA becomes the latest of what will soon be an avalanche of stations flipping to an all-Christmas music format.

    "It’s been a pretty tough year for many people," VP/GM KURT LUCHS said. "With holiday music being like audio comfort food -- totally upbeat and associated with warm, happy family experiences -- we figured it would be nice to start Christmas a little early this year. The holiday season didn't used to kick off until after Thanksgiving. That has shifted year by year until lately it’s been starting right after Halloween. All we've done is to move the fun up by one day."

    "If jump-starting the Christmas music helps give TRI-CITIES retailers a better holiday season, well, that’s just an extra present under the tree," he continued. "The main thing is that this music gives people a reason to feel good, and we can never have too much of that."

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 07:03 PM #
  5. hwidsten

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    Posts: 349

    This is like the department stores putting out all the Christmas merchandise before Halloween. It is rushing the season, because no one is in the mood for it. These programmers need to let the season change naturally in the mind of the listeners at Thanksgiving and take advantage of it then. Last year's PPM ratings results during the holidays showed a big gain in cume for all-Christmas music stations.

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 07:20 PM #
  6. I was in the Jacque Penné store in Washington Square yesterday and couldn't believe they had their Xmas decorations up. C'mon folks, it was 80 degrees less than a month ago.

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 07:53 PM #
  7. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    Bi-Mart in Hillsboro has 2 rows of Christmas stuff up as well and Freddy's was just putting in out tonight... UGH!

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 08:28 PM #
  8. Springfield MO, Gateway to the Ozarks !!

    White Christmas by the Hollyridge Strings

    White Christmas by Travis Tritt

    White Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller

    White Christmas by Dianah Ross

    And all played in ONE hour !!!! ON the same signal...And probably on 95.7 star FM...

    Perhaps this year we will have 3 FMs doing wall to wall Christmas in the Tri cities...wont that be a treat ??

    I am looking forward this year when perhaps NNB will also flip KEGX, Eagle 106.5 ( Classic Rock ) to an all Edie Van Halen Christmas format...

    BAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRFFFFFF...what a waste of Bandwidth !!!

    Posted on October 30, 2009 - 09:50 PM #
  9. Since most of you are appalled at the early Christmas music programming going on at stations around the Country, thought I'd tell a story I've mentioned on occasion.

    It was on this date in 1973 that KGON signed on the air at 6:00am on 92.3MHz with an All Christmas music format. This format would continue until January 24, 1974 when KGON was shut down for its February 1st debut as an AOR station.

    If you think November 1st is too early for Christmas music in 2009, can you image what listeners & media thought 36 years ago! I remember reaction from media as totally off the wall! I believe it would have been even termed "stunting" if there was such a word. I've heard, the reason the Christmas music was programmed was to blow off the old KLIQ-FM Talk Radio listeners.

    When the Fall book came out in January the station was surprised the ratings did not fall but went up! This could have been the first long term Christmas music format ever measured in ratings. Most stations at the time didn't begin playing All Christmas music until well into December.

    We had evidence 36 years ago of the power of Christmas music in ratings but it was never used. KGON would go on to much higher ratings as an AOR station.

    Can you imagine if this had been a different situation and the station was going to become "Easy Listening" in February. They might have decided to continue the Christmas music experiment for another year to see if the rating would again up turn which I'm sure it would have. Then imagine this going on for decades! How would this station be perceived today? I wonder....

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 02:20 AM #
  10. semoochie

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    Up until recently, most stations programing All Christmas didn't switch over until December 24th! It was almost impossible to find it on a continuous basis, as late as the 23rd.

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 04:15 AM #
  11. hwidsten

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    Posts: 349

    Since all-Christmas stations have shown big increases, the real question becomes what happens when a second station in a market also goes all-Christmas. Does that diminish the effect of the first station? What happens to the second station? This happened in a number of markets last year including here in San Antonio. This year will be our first with PPM, so we'll find out.

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 08:11 AM #
  12. RobP

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    Posts: 501

    Up until recently the Christmas-shopping marketing machine didn't kick into gear until "Black Friday" but with the economy in the crapper along with the advent of online shopping the holiday shopping season starts on November 1. So why shouldn't radio follow the trend?

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 08:38 AM #
  13. hwidsten

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    Posts: 349

    I am a big beiever in reflecting what the audience is thinking about, participating in, etc. As far as new music is concerned, if I'm doing a format aimed young, I want them to hear it first on my station. But, there isn't much, if any new Christmas music and I believe the listeners who will turn it on will be older and tend to stay with it longer, using it as backgroud. So, to avoid burning it out and being reflective of what the audience is thinking, I'd start on all-Christmas on Thanksgiving day.

    I know that doesn't equate to what the retailers are doing RoyP, but there's no reason why on-air talent couldn't do some positive talk about potential Christmas gifts...shopppng, etc. before the all-Christmas keep the retailers happy.

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 03:46 PM #
  14. paulwalker

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    Posts: 4,248

    I don't know if Clear Channel had the original idea (probably not), but they can probably be creditied for turning this into a widespread format decision, as they were one of the first companies to make it mainstream, if not for anything but their sheer numbers. Perhaps this will be the legacy of this company, along with fine-tuning the voice-tracking process. There is power in numbers, and if anything, those numbers produced widespread acceptance of the all-Xmas format. So, bottom line, if you love Xmas music 24/7, credit CC.

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 08:34 PM #
  15. Speaking of CC, this will be the first Christmas CC controls Portland's only Oldies station. I'm betting You will not hear Christmas music on "Oldies 106.7". I'm thinking CC might run promos saying if you want to hear Holiday music, turn on K103. I'd love to be WRONG on this. Does anyone else think different?

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 09:17 PM #
  16. paulwalker

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    Posts: 4,248

    Hmm, good question Craig. I might go against your train of thought here and speculate that "two is better than one", and the competition might actually help both. Similar to the old, "if Burger King moves next door to McDonalds, they both increase!"

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 10:06 PM #
  17. missing_kskd

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    Posts: 14,966

    Seems to me, there are a ton of Christmas Music niche songs produced that do not always get airplay. Last couple of years, I streamed some absolutely great xmas streams that featured diverse and interesting mixes, composed of artists I know I didn't hear much of, but who ended up making great xmas tracks.

    Agreed 100 percent on "strength in numbers", but with an evil twist:

    If your business model depends on lowering expectations, so that costs can be lowered and the organization can then scale, you need the numbers to manage those expectations. In a way, this makes the CC approach self-fufilling. It's not actually "proof" of what "the market" would want most, only validation for the idea that less can be positioned as more successfully, given large enough numbers to starve meaningful competition.

    So, given that, it makes the most sense to fire off xmas stations early, and do it with some texture so that several can exist at one time.

    This sets the expectation early, and strongly downward, while at the same time making it difficult for the competition to either find a niche to exploit, and position their offerings otherwise!

    As much as I hate this kind of thing, I would absolutely do it, given the position CC is currently in.

    Posted on November 1, 2009 - 10:21 PM #
  18. I agree with Missing KSKD. I'd like to see an all-Christmas music station playing stuff like the South Park Christmas stuff, not to mention "Bob Rivers' Twisted Christmas," etc.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 12:30 AM #
  19. Alfredo_T

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    I would be really amused if the pirates at 96.5 or 100.7 were to become the first Portland stations to switch to all-Christmas music, as a joke! Actually, I recall hearing that there was a very short-lived all-Christmas pirate on 96.7 on the West side (possibly associated with somebody's Chrismas lawn display).

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 06:15 PM #
  20. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    Bets on when K103 flips on the Christmas switch?

    Day after Thanksgiving?

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 06:56 PM #
  21. Reported by All Access today as switching to All Christmas over the weekend & today were:
    4. KATZ-FM (Christmas 100.3) St. Louis.
    5. KCKC (Star 102) Kansas City.
    6. KQLL (Kool 106.1) Tulsa.
    7. KBEZ Tulsa.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 07:51 PM #
  22. Bigpuppy

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    Posts: 187

    K103's even running an online ( guess-the-day-we-flip contest...$500 BiMart gift card to winner. My ignorant guess is that it'll be later (in Nov.) rather than earlier...since 106.7 is no longer in a position to force it...

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 08:01 PM #
  23. However, if you're Entercom, Alpha, or Salem, do you simply let K103/CC take in everything this year?
    My baseless speculation: Friday, November 13th, at Noon.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 08:38 PM #
  24. paulwalker

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    Posts: 4,248

    Here we see a great radio connection to the web. Today, we put our Xmas music on an alternate web-channel, obviously linked to our main website. So we are not forcing it on anyone, but it is there for those who want it.
    If you are one of the few who would like to hear it, you can find it on

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 08:46 PM #
  25. Bigpuppy

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    Posts: 187

    A good idea that stations have been using for the past few years. Plus they'll use an HD channel for it too. Then when they flip the main stick to Xmas, they swap channels and put the regular playlist online and HD. (Still not a hundredth as good as my iPod.)

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 08:53 PM #
  26. paulwalker

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    Posts: 4,248

    Yeah, didn't say it was a "new" idea, but so far advanced in my market it isn't even funny...

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 08:59 PM #
  27. semoochie

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    Posts: 4,959

    K-Hits never ran All Christmas. You have to go back to K-Lite to find it on KLTH.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 09:55 PM #
  28. B.T.Puppy: What about "The Fish" pushing it? Most of what they play is Secular.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 10:01 PM #
  29. semoochie

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    Posts: 4,959

    We always have K103 and The Fish. Last year, KRSK-HD2 jumped in there as well.

    Posted on November 2, 2009 - 10:08 PM #
  30. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    9:00 the 27th right after the morning show.....

    We will........ See ya!

    Posted on November 3, 2009 - 12:38 PM #
  31. semoochie

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    Posts: 4,959

    I think it will be earlier. They'll try to get as much of the December book as they can without scaring away listeners. Are they still calling this a book?

    Posted on November 3, 2009 - 01:31 PM #
  32. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    With their ass whoppin' they laid down on P-town in the last book I don't think waiting till the end of the month with hurt ad rev at all...

    Posted on November 3, 2009 - 02:30 PM #
  33. 97.1 KYCH-HD2 and 105.1 KRSK-HD2 started simulcasting the Entercom-Portland annual "Christmas FM" Holiday Music format this morning.

    Also streaming at

    Posted on November 5, 2009 - 08:18 PM #
  34. So it's an HD simulcast! I wonder if that's a Portland first, or even a Nation first!

    Posted on November 5, 2009 - 08:24 PM #
  35. semoochie

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    Posts: 4,959

    I'm missing the point of this. I suppose it's possible that 1 of the signals might go somewhere the other doesn't but still...! In related news, Ibiquity and NPR have come to what they are referring to as a "compromise", where both parties have agreed on a 6db boost for HD Radio. Ibiquity has been pushing a 10db boost while NPR has steadfastly held out for 6db. Where is the compromise? 8db would be a compromise. 6db just means 1 of the parties gave in. I'm not crazy about this situation because they're still looking for ways to increase power and some stations might take that as a reason to wait and see. It would be better to lock down onto 1 power level or the other.

    Posted on November 6, 2009 - 02:57 AM #
  36. 100,000 is reporting 26 All Christmas Music stations across the U.S. I've added two from All Access reports today:

    Appleton/Oshkosh, WI WROE-FM
    Birmingham, AL WMJJ-FM
    Burns, WY KEZF-FM
    Cape May, NJ WEZW-FM
    Charleston, WV WZJO-FM
    Charlotte, NC WLYT-FM
    Chattanooga, TN WLND-FM
    Cincinnati, OH WAKW-FM
    Columbus, OH WLZT-FM
    Detroit, MI WNIC-FM
    Detroit, MI WMGC-FM
    Grand Rapids, MI WLHT-FM
    Green Bay, WI WECB-FM
    Green Bay, WI WRQE-FM
    Kansas City, MO KCTO-AM
    Kansas City, MO KUDL-FM
    Kansas City, MO KCKC-FM
    Monmouth-Ocean, NJ WJRZ-FM
    Philadelphia, PA WBEB-HD
    Philadelphia, PA WOGL-HD
    Salt Lake City/Ogden, UT KOSY-FM
    San Francisco/Oakland, CA KOIT-HD
    Springfield, MO KOSP-FM
    St. Louis, MO KATZ-FM
    St. Louis, MO KEZK-FM
    Tulsa, OK KQLL-FM
    Tulsa, OK KBEZ-FM
    Walla Walla, WA KKSR-FM

    Posted on November 9, 2009 - 08:37 PM #
  37. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    Must be a lot of stations needing a ratings bump...

    Posted on November 9, 2009 - 08:56 PM #
  38. Name a station that wouldn't like a rating bump in this economy.

    Posted on November 9, 2009 - 09:10 PM #
  39. I'm thinking that in this economy there's a lot of stations that are trying to keep the transmitter on.

    Posted on November 9, 2009 - 09:27 PM #
  40. Pat

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    Posts: 393

    Any hints on when K-103 will start?

    Posted on November 9, 2009 - 11:28 PM #
  41. Anonymous

    Posts: 3,201

    November 27th at 9:00am.....

    Posted on November 10, 2009 - 12:01 AM #
  42. Thought it's worth mentioning here, after 20 years, we now have the second CD reissue of "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector". Phil Spector/Legacy 88697 59214 2 (from Sony). It's been out of print since last year. The new reissue has also been remastered and is a bit brighter but the biggest difference is the softer portions have been turned up. "Sleigh Ride" seems longer only because you can hear the fade more at the end.

    Legacy was done a nice job on the first time ever 16 page booklet which includes 7 pictures in the studio during the recording and these were not featured in the abkco CD. There's also Phil's liner notes & pictures from the 1963 original, plus new liner notes from Jim Bessman of Billboard. The CD features the classic "Philles Records" logo with aqua background.

    Inside the jewel case, under the CD you can view the DJ only 45 EP release with cover. By the way the record is worth $100.00 Near Mint and with the picture sleeve add another $400.00! I was hoping since Sony was involved we might get the Stereo versions which were only issued on LP's but not this time.

    The front cover is a bit fuzzy since the image is taken from the original LP cover. The abkco cover was clearer but someone cut around the heads of The Ronettes too fast and sheered off some hair. Well I'm happy to report their full Beehives are back!

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - 04:05 AM #
  43. Now like Right Now... LOL

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - 10:03 PM #
  44. In Eugene, 99.1 flipped to Christmas, Monday (11/16) at midnight, while 94.5 waited until 11:20 AM.

    Posted on November 17, 2009 - 02:20 AM #
  45. 101 stations now:

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - 08:53 AM #

  46. Posted on November 19, 2009 - 09:01 AM #
  47. I cant believe it over here !

    The Tri Cities, Wa media market is barely considered at a "Medium", just over 200 K in the metro. Having said that we now have....A GRAND ROLL HERE>>>>>>>>> 3 FM stations that have flipped to continuous Christmas Music !! For pitties sake ...!! How much Brenda Lee and the Holly Ridge Strings can I stand !!

    Star 95.7 Walla Walla, Tri Cities... a Class C ( flipped on October 30 )

    MIX 103.5 ( KONA FM ) Kennewick, Pasco , Richland , a Class C ( they flipped to total Christmas yesterday )

    KOLW ( 97.5 KOOL-FM ) Basin City, Tri Cities ...a Class B-3 ( I think ) , they flipped November 14th.

    Judas H. Priest on Horseback ....all we have now is Rush, ESPN radio, Country Music and Christmas..and one red neck Classic Rock station !!!!

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - 04:22 PM #
  48. paulwalker

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    Posts: 4,248

    LOL! Sounds like a chain reaction traffic accident. My bet is atleast one of those three will be trying something new after Christmas!

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - 04:55 PM #
  49. semoochie

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    Posts: 4,959

    "B3" is good; I like that! They have "B1" in B territory. It's roughly equivalent to our "C3" except they protect to 54dbu instead of 60.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - 10:18 PM #

    "A Christmas Story" Movie Soundtrack CD has been issued and it's better than You can imagine! This is the original 1983 recorded music from the movie. Some friends have been waiting for this CD for over 20 years!! I predict by next Christmas, this music will be everywhere on Radio & TV. It's A Goldmine! The music is fun and infectious. It was composed & produced by Paul Zaza & Carl Zittrer with Paul Zaza, conducting the orchestra for the movie. All 20 cuts are in full stereo which is a trip to hear for the first time.

    There are no vocals except for the last cut and no Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters. If there is a draw back, it's the titles of the songs, they're not very descriptive of the scenes. Rather than listing what were originally music cue titles, I've decided to re-title them here, for you to get a better idea of what's on this CD:

    1. Opening Theme - Bells Ring "Deck The Halls".
    2. Ralphie's Run, No. 1. (:08 sec.)
    3. Black Bart "Grand Canyon Suite".
    4. Tongue Talk.
    5. Ralphie's Run, No. 2. (:11 sec.)
    6. Tongue's Stuck.
    7. Inside Higbee's Dept. Store "Jingle Bells"
    8. He Had Yellow Eyes.
    9. (Medley) The Major Award / Ralphie's Red Ryder.
    10. Ralphie Waits For Punishment On Bed.
    11. Ralphie's Run, The Decoder Pin (:16 sec.)
    12. Ralphie's Teacher.
    13. (This music was taken out of the movie just before release)
    14. Ralphie's Run, (Not in movie? :16 sec.)
    15. The Christmas Tree Lot.
    16. Later known as The Scut Farkas Affair.
    17. (Medley) "Joy To The World" / "Silent Night".
    18. The Bumpus Hounds.
    19. End Credits Theme - "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".
    20. "Silent Night" sung by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    I found my copy at Music Millennium at the very end of the Christmas various artists CD's, next to the Christmas Children CD's. They had two more copies left. Here's the CD order number in case they run out:

    TCM/Rhino Movie Music R2 522315 (Warner Music Group).

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - 07:05 AM #

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