WKTI-FM 94.5 Milwaukee became the latest Milwaukee station to change formats, with an all-of-a-sudden switch at high Noon today (Thurs. Nov. 6). The "hot contemporary" format they had been doing as recently as this morning disappeared, and on came "Lake 94.5" with an "all music no air personality" approach. It looks as though the air staff is being let go. Word is the station will not have air personalities until 2009 at the earliest.
So those are the facts. Thus far, the playlist is 60's to today with no live announcers. They don't say "Jack-FM", but I would say it's only because they can't. But they might as well. After all, that is the best excuse to not have any air personalities and cut back on payroll.
Once upon a time when AM + FM radio actually made a difference, Milwaukee radio had some degree of innovation and was a breeding ground for young talent headed to Chicago and points beyond. Now, this market recycles everybody else's ideas that are killing the radio we once knew, enjoyed, and cared about.
Last week's Milwaukee format change was 95.7 FM suspending their classic hits (yep, remembering you can't say "oldies" anymore) format to begin playing holiday music during the warmest start to a November in many years. In September, it was WOKY-AM dumping their retro 60's rock and jock format - not for talk - to change to country music with a weak night signal on the AM dial.
I could go on about WKTI-FM and its place in Milwaukee radio over the years, the long time personalities, and the effort made toward its morning drive presentation. But that won't bring it back. Yes, Milwaukee radio truly got "Jacked" today. Again.
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