As Mike previously reported, Rubber City Radio Group's WQTX-FM (92.1) has gone ahead with a scheduled format flip from Sports Talk to Oldies, albeit three days earlier than originally planned.
According to an article in Thursday's Lansing State Journal, the station was originally scheduled to change formats on Monday, April 3rd. However, listener reaction to the LSJ article prompted station management to make the change this morning (3/31), scrapping original plans to allow Ticket hosts to say their on-air goodbyes.
The format flip of WQTX to Oldies comes as a moderate, but not a total surprise. Lansing has been without an Oldies outlet since September 2005, when WJIM-FM dropped the format in favor of CHR, so it stood to reason that someone in this market would eventually pick up the torch and run with it. The surprise may be in the fact that WQTX, which seemed to have a successful Sports Talk format offering locally-produced shows during main weekday dayparts, was the one to switch. WQTX's sister station, WJZL, the original Ticket, switched to a satellite delivered Jazz format last fall.
The big question may be what becomes of the Lansing Lugnuts broadcasts? Rubber City had reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the Lugnuts to carry the local Minor-League team's games on The Ticket, but now that there is no Ticket, where will the Luggies land? One possibility might be Citadel's WVFN-AM 730 (The Game), now Lansing's sole Sports Talk outlet.
The transformation of WQTX came three days earlier than planned. The station (92.1-FM) had announced it would quit sports talk at midnight Sunday. At 12:01 a.m. Monday, it would switch to oldies music, emphasizing the 1960s. Late Thursday, however, officials decided to make the change immediately... WQTX ditches farewell sports shows, goes 'oldies' sooner (Fri 3/31, Lansing State Journal)