Last spring, WOMC completely stopped using the 'Oldies' term, instead shifting to the awkward name and positioner, "The Motor City's 104.3 WOMC" which was often coupled with "The Hits You Loved Growing Up". Ratings-wise, the results of last year's renaming have not been very successful with the station having lower listener numbers in each quarter since. Typically, WOMC's ratings are the strongest during the warm weather months so making the switch now should help gain back ratings momentum through the summer and into the fall as loyal listeners - especially those with ratings diaries - can identify the station more concisely. Today's name change came complete with new jingles and the additional return of the identifier 'The Greatest Hits of the 60's and 70's.'
The station is currently without a permanent program director and instead is under the guidance of consultant Gary Berkowitz. Interestingly WOMC joins another high profile CBS Radio station, this one across Lake Michigan in Chicago, in reverting back to a previous name this week. Talk WCKG-FM 105.9, which has had abysmal ratings in the Windy City, dropped its 'Free FM' moniker and went back to calling itself 'Chicago's FM Talk Station', perhaps signaling that there will soon be more changes to other CBS properties around the country.
Former CBS Radio top exec Joel Hollander is widely viewed as the person that directed many dramatic changes to the company's radio stations, including the roll out of the 'Free FM' talk concept in major markets along with the dropping of the Oldies format in several of the same cities. New CEO Dan Mason has reportedly been traveling around the country and been involved in addressing some of the stations that have been under-performing since the changes under Hollander's watch.
As for WOMC, the station's music selection still dips in to the early 1980s in addition to its normal focus on Motown and The Beatles. It still sounds a bit strange to hear a Billy Joel 80's tune being played as an Oldie, but especially when it comes right after hearing "The Greatest Hits of the 60's and 70's." Can radio stations go back home again? WOMC is about to find out.