After 35-years on-the-air, 95.7 WAOR has switched formats, leaving its bread and butter classic rock tunes for an all-sports line-up coined, 95.7 “The Fan.”
With the advent of personal music sources like iTunes and Pandora, ratings have dipped at the classic rock powerhouse. Management says while technology has made it easier to find Seger and Springsteen tunes, quality local sports coverage is still hard to come by, making the switch a no-brainer.
WAOR isn't alone, Goshen-based Froggy 102.7 and Fort Wayne’s Froggy 106.7 are also making the switch to 24-7 sports radio. Together the three stations, all owned by Federated Media, will create the “Northern Indiana Sports Authority." The idea is to dominate sports coverage with both local and syndicated programming courtesy of the Fox Sports Radio Network.
Company leaders say despite Michiana being a huge sports region, until now, no station had around-the-clock coverage, a hole 95.7 “The Fan" will change.
"We tried to be as local as possible, but when you have Bob and Tom in the morning based out of Indianapolis and Alice Cooper on at night, we weren't as local as we wanted to be and it was really frustrating. This way we're going to be as local as possible and cover everything,” WAOR programming director Mike Ragz said.
In effort to appease its longtime listeners, WAOR is keeping its website active with a streaming music section. That will allow classic rock fans to still enjoy the hits online for absolutely no charge. There's also a free mobile application available on all iPhone and Android devices.
"Classic rock will live forever and we're going to try to make sure of that. If you just want to hear music, it's going to be there. Bob and Tom won't, but we feel the music is stronger than they are and that's what people want, that's what people identify WAOR with,” Ragz added.
In an email to NewsCenter 16, Premiere Network, which manages the Bob and Tom Show, says it hopes to make an announcement about future local plans for the syndicated program. In the meantime, loyal supporters can visit bobandtom.com to obtain access to the show for $6.95 a month.