Groove 105.7 billboards still dot the landscape, but the station has gone Wild. (Check out the new logo on the right).
This completes the station’s transformation from a dance/pop station when it launched in October 2009 to its current hip-hop/pop incarnation. When 95.5/The Beat went away in August, the Groove quickly pivoted its music, adding more T.I. and Trey Songz and cutting out virtually all songs pre-2000.
The station quickly hired Maverick and Mami Chula from the Beat and program director Dennis Martinez (who had been there all of five months) left.
Comparing the old Groove to the current Wild, “the two stations sound completely different,” said Melissa Forrest, who runs Clear Channel Atlanta, which also includes 640/WGST-AM, 94.9/The Bull, 105.3/El Patron and Project 9-6-1. “The on-air hosts are different. The name reflects the shift.”
For its first six months, the Groove was home to music from the Bee Gees, Madonna and Prince as well as some more recent songs by the likes of Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. Ratings were mediocre. The station added more current music in late spring and cut back the oldies, which didn’t have any impact on the numbers.
But the Beat’s departure was an opportunity Clear Channel Atlanta management couldn’t pass up. And though the Groove could conceivably work as a name for a station which plays Waka Flocka Flame and Pitbull, management felt Wild was more apropos. Since the Beat’s departure three months ago, Wild’s performance has improved but has a ways to go to reach Beat-level numbers. (It may never reach such levels because its signal isn’t as strong as 95.5, now a news/talk station.)
The Beat had the most diverse listener base of any music station in town, with a polyglot of Hispanics, whites and blacks tuning in. Presumably, Wild will cater to the same mix.
Wild plays some songs that are heard on Hot and V-103 (mostly black audiences) and some songs heard on Q100 and Star (heavily white audiences). And it skews younger than any of its rivals.
The Groove is even taking frequency to a new extreme in Atlanta, playings its top songs as many as 125 to 130 times a week, or about once every 80 minutes. That is up from the Beat’s 100 times a week or once every 100 minutes. The goal: huge audiences spending not very much time.
The syndicated morning show Elvis Duran, which is based from a top 40 station in New York, will stay on, according to his publicist Amir Forester. It was launched in January of this year and had the lowest ratings among major time slots on the Groove. Forester’s note today:
Elvis is not only staying on the station, but is being incorporated even more. They’re going to run his show until 10a.m. instead of 9:30a.m., and will replay the Free Money Phone Tap later in the afternoon. Elvis is on other Rhythmic Top 40 stations, most notably WJJS/WJJX in Roanoke where he’s ranked #2 among Women 18-34.
The station is also simulcast on the weak, south-skewing signal 96.7, which (coincidentally or not) was briefly an R&B/hip-hop station earlier this decade called… Wild.