High ratings aren’t everything. The University of Florida announced that its 100kw commercial station, WRUF-FM Gainesville, will flip to Country this weekend from its male-oriented Rock format.
The station came under attack from lawmakers last year for its allegedly “raunchy” content. The programming was pretty standard fare for a Rock station, but put the government-owned station in a delicate situation. That shouldn’t be a problem with Country. “Rock 104” will live on as an online stream at Rock104.com.
Under its new name, “Country 103.7 — The Gator,” the station will broadcast Country music in a move U of F says will attract a broader audience and help ensure the economic viability of the media properties for decades to come.
Randy Wright, executive director of the college’s multimedia properties, said Country music is the nation’s No.1 music format and research shows that the biggest growth in the country music audience is among 18- to 24-year-olds.
“Throughout my career I’ve been involved with numerous format changes on radio and program launches on television and without doubt this is the most exciting,” Wright said.
UPDATE: The Gainesville Sun reports that two stations in the market have already inquired about picking up the “Lex & Terry” syndicated morning show, which leaves WRUF-FM after Friday’s (10/15) show.
RBR-TVBR observation: This could be a tough battle, since the #1 station in the market is Country WOGK-FM and there are several others in the format, including WTRS-FM, which is also a top-10 performer. WRUF had the Active Rock format all to itself. Whoever wrote the press release claim that “The Gator” will be “Gainesville’s only country radio station” needs a reality check.