I never listen to the radio anymore, so the only reason I know about this news is because I’ve seen an influx of traffic to one of my old posts about Big Earl 96.3. Back in December of 2005, the radio station switched formats from “96X” which was hit music, to “Big Earl” which was country music. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
If you’re scanning the radio dial here in Edmonton, you’ll notice we have a new station. Or, more accurately, an existing station that has for the thousandth time changed formats.
They’ve done it again. Big Earl is out, Capital FM is in. Here’s what they say on their website:
Finally Edmonton has a radio station that plays all your favorite songs from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. Welcome to the NEW 96.3 Capital FM, Edmonton’s Greatest Hits!
Yeah, because we don’t have that already? Whatever.
I have to agree with the verdict at the Edmonton Radio Ratings site:
It needs to be said. Someone has to take this lame horse of a station to a corner of the pasture and shoot it. Two’s company but three’s a crowd with the greenhorn seemingly regulated to always be on the outside looking in over the fence of the country radio market.
It remains to be seen how much longer Newcap general manager Randy Lemay can sustain the misery before accusations of radio cruelty can be levelled. Exactly five years ago the 96.3 frequency enjoyed a fifth-place 9.6 share … what was somebody thinking?
If you check out the ratings archive, you’ll see the clear decline. I guess they think that yet another format change will save them. Once again however, they’re going up against a Corus radio station that has been very successful for a long time (Joe FM at 92.5).
Currently, the Wikipedia entry for CKRA-FM still identifies the station as Big Earl. The latest switch is the station’s fifth since 1995.
Capital FM? Even the name is completely uninspired. It’s like a terrible car accident happening in slow motion that you just can’t look away from.
UPDATE: This Edmonton Journal article has more information.
UPDATE (4/1/2008): They now have a Facebook group – check it out here.