Top 40 WDRQ-FM 93.1 Detroit has ditched the format in favor of a Jack FM clone named "Doug FM" as of this afternoon. Most of the station's air staff, with the exception of morning show host Jay Towers, has been released along with program director Alex Tear and music director Keith Curry. Station general manager Steve Kosbau commented, “We chose the unusual name ‘DOUG-FM’ for the express purpose of letting Southeast Michigan listeners know how different we intend to be from other radio stations in the market. We have developed a new mega-playlist that is unlike anything Southeast Michigan has experienced – more like a packed MP3 player in shuffle mode than a traditional format with fewer tunes, frequently repeated.”
Claiming "We Play Everything", station’s new format aims to provide one-stop listening with pop songs that previously could only be heard only by searching many different stations in Detroit. Core artists, spanning different popular musical genres across the past four decades, will include The Beatles, U2, Matchbox 20, Fleetwood Mac, Prince, The Police, Madonna, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, and a vast array of others. Many of these artists have received spins in the first 3 hours of the new station's existance, which has featured tons of liners, few stop sets, and a jockless presentation.
This is the first full signal Detroit FM to make a big move since 106.7 changed from Country to Rock 4 1/2 years ago.
WDRQ has a long legacy in town- the past 9 years the station has been primarily focused on various subsets of Contemporary Hit radio after moving to the format with a dance lean in 1996. WDRQ first arrived on the 93.1 frequency in 1972 when Detroit's first FM talk station was launched. The station then moved to a Top 40 format, followed by forays into Disco and Urban. In 1985, the WDRQ calls were set aside for a run as Soft Adult Contemporary WLTI 'The Light'. If this is indeed the next chapter in 93.1's history, it'll be interesting to see if they can make the WDRQ calls work with 'Doug'.
The Adult Hits / eclectic "Jack-FM" type formats have been finding new homes in many large cities across the USA in recent months with launches in Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis among others. Sure looks like this is radio's 'next big thing'... now we'll find out if works here.