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Cumulus sets “I” on Star’s market leading ratings with new 104.3 CHR

i104.3“You’re in the middle of 10,000 in a row.” A far cry from the K104-play, huh.

But 10,000 songs non-stop launched the new i104.3 on Wednesday afternoon at 1:00, the translator of WXKC-HD2, which is a new CHR competitor to perennial market leader, Connoisseur Media’s WRTS/Star 104. The 173 watt station originates from the WICU downtown tower and covers the city well.

This signal was originally at 104.9, and years ago was a translator constructed by the late Dr. John Duda of Gannon University, and rebroadcasted the classical format station out of Cleveland to Glenwood Hills. It was then given to Mercyhurst College to aid Erie listeners to hear WMCE when it was lower power. Most recently, Cumulus purchased it, with the conventional wisdom thinking that it would be an FM outlet for ESPN Sports 1260. However, with the launch of Erie’s first HD radio station on WXKC, they put this new “i” format CHR on the HD2 channel and they are now translating that on 104.3.

It was inevitable that Star would get a head-to-head competitor. What will be interesting is if Cumulus staffs the new station with all out-of-market personalities or not. We’ll have to wait to see…by my calculations it will take over 30 days to get through those 10,000 songs in a row.

Editors Note: I have not been able to scan in the WXKC HD digital signal on my Mighty Red HD radio. Finally tuned WXKC-HD 1 & 2 and they sound great. If you have an HD radio and picked up the HD1 and now HD2 signals, I’d love to hear from you.

15 Responses to Cumulus sets “I” on Star’s market leading ratings with new 104.3 CHR

  1. Michael says:

    I live in North East with an HD radio (it was a gift) and I can’t pick up the WXKC HD signal either. What is the range on the HD signal?

  2. David says:

    I thought Rocket was supposed to take over that frequency?

  3. Tom Lavery says:

    I was pulling in the HD2 signal at my home near Cochranton but could not get it last night. Classy must keep it on since the translator cannot be on with original programming. It has to repeat a signal (AM, FM or HD.)

  4. Heavy D says:

    Not sure how this will work out for them, 173 watts versus STAR’s 50,000? The rate card I saw shows prime time spots at $40 each. They are running some deals to start but with the lower power and no ratings book (I understand they don’t subscribe so they won’t be out at any time) I think it might be a bit tough. I would have thought they would have taken Z & put it on this & used Z’s signal for the top 40 format.

    Bigger question: Now what does Rick Rambaldo do?

  5. K104Ever says:

    Cumulus doesn’t even list any of the Erie stations they own on their web site.

  6. schrief says:

    that’s because they are a spin off company,called radio license holdig,cbc,llc…..so no good radio for erie!!!

  7. Ken Franklin says:

    Is there a website or link to listen to i104.3 online? It’s about time someone stepped up to take on Star 104.

  8. Tom Lavery says:

    I am getting the HD2 signal from WXKC which means that the I now has a much better signal (if you have an HD radio, that is.)

  9. joel says:

    Thanks Tom…I finally pulled it in on the Mighty Red and I must say, both Classy & i104.3 sound spectacular! Full separation and no 19 MHz pilot tone hiss.

    I know that consumer acceptance is weak, but this HD Radio is an amazing improvement.

  10. Tom Lavery says:

    I’d still add a third HD channel for 1260 to be on. It may be the only way the ESPN affiliate will have a clean & much larger signal. Since they have the equipment, why not use it and maybe push HD a little bit. Just my “Paul Brown’s 2 Cents Worth.”

  11. RJ says:

    The station is always fuzzy when its on…which is kind of depressing.

  12. Ken Franklin says:

    I’m listening to the station right now. It has much better music programming and general flow. Of course, the lack of commercials is nice.

    I’m glad someone has stepped up, showing Star 104 it cannot continue to be a mediocre station. More and more, Star seems like it has lost much of its shine. Then again, it’s so popular because there’s has been no competition… until now.

    Fantastic job, Cumulus! I actually agree with one of your decisions, but I’m still disappointed about what you let happen to Chico and Company on WRIE-AM/1260.

  13. joey o says:

    DITTO to Ken Franklin…

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