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The Palm, 92.1: 2 August 2016   10 comments

Posted at 12:47 am in closing


Well, that's a shame.

While I was out of town, 92.1 The Palm vanished from the Columbia airwaves. This station had one of the most interesting playlists in town, running to R&B flavored cuts you didn't hear elsewhere along with album tracks that seemed to have been chosen with some actual thought. According to their goodbye message you may find a similar mix online at their sister stations in NC & VA though I have not yet sampled them. Wikipedia has the history of the frequency (officialy WWNU) here.

I'm not quite sure what has been going on with the replacement signal, praise channel HIS Radio. The first time I heard it, it was on 96.7 HD2, the old Son Of Steve spot, replacing Son Of Steve follow-on format "Classic Vinyl". After that, fairly brief, time, it moved to 96.7 HD3, with "Classic Vinyl" returning to HD2. Then I saw the billboard above trumpeting the debute of HIS Radio on 106.3. So, as of now, I believe HIS Radio is in the Columbia market at three simulcasting locations: 92.1, 106.3 and 96.7 HD3. That seems odd to me.

(Hat tip to commenter Mr. B.O. via email)

Written by ted on August 9th, 2016

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10 Responses to 'The Palm, 92.1: 2 August 2016'

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  1. I've been listening to the Wilmington station for a few days now. VERY similar. A few different songs, but the music's good. Heck, I think this Handpicked music is syndicated. They promote "Port City Daily" (in place of our Cola-City Daily). The bumper music's the same. Just a shame I can't get it in my car.


    9 Aug 16 at 5:13 am

  2. Well, another one bites the dust. Columbia's radio station selection keeps getting worse and worse. Seems that if you do not like A/C, urban, classic rock, top 40 or religious music you are SOL around here. Only in Columbia can a syndicated station like Steve-FM have the highest ratings of any station in Columbia (not sure if this is still true, but it was #1 in the Arbitron's a while back).

    I will miss The Palm. It introduced me to several national and local groups that you would never hear on another station in town. The jazz programming was another highlight for me. As of today, there are only two local stations programmed in my car radio, Fox 102 and WXRY. The rest are XM channels. I dislike paying for radio, but at least you have a myriad of choices on satellite.

    Speaking of which, I was installing an XM receiver in my Mom's car and trying to find an open FM frequency was next to impossible. How can there be such a crappy selection of stations around here but dang near every frequency is pulling in something? I finally tuned it to some other religious channel around 99 that is weak enough that the XM signal drowns it out. But every time I turn off the XM this fire and brimstone tirade come blaring from the speakers.

    Take me back to my youth when there were just WNOK-AM and WCOS-AM when just about any genre of music was played.


    9 Aug 16 at 11:47 pm

  3. From someone who may or may not have worked in the industry, radio has become a strange animal. There's a lot that goes on behind the curtain, so to speak.

    *Everything* boils down to what kind of revenue you're able to drum up. *IF* you're not able to generate the bucks Management/Investors/Ownership are looking for, the plug is gonna get pulled, no matter how much local love the station/format gets. You can be #1 in the ratings, but if that doesn't translate directly (and quickly) into ad dollars, the station won't be long for this world.

    For the record, Steve FM doesn't rule the ratings roost. Depending on which demo you look at, generally speaking, your market leaders tend to be WWDM, WNOK or WCOS.

    On topic re: The Palm - The format was the one of the top brass' pet project. Kind of a "well, I like it so we're going to do it" sort of thing. Very rarely does that ever work out well. The station never generated meaningful ratings, which means it was all but forgotten by big-time local spenders. From there it was a matter of time until some kind of change was made.

    Lone Wolf

    10 Aug 16 at 11:30 am

  4. I've gotten so used to Sirius that I didn't realize that Columbia really only had about eight unique radio formats locally, but with four or five stations competing within each format. Does a city this size really need four different sports talk stations? Is it like this everywhere now?


    10 Aug 16 at 9:41 pm

  5. It's sad, but Lone Wolf is absolutely right about the state of commercial radio today. It's all about the bottom line.

    To reiterate one of my comments on Columbia radio, I picked up the Free Times 'Best Of' issue today and lo and behold the top two reader pics were WNOK and Steve-FM. And, like always, that pompous ass Jonathan Rush got best local radio personality. Let me slit my wrists right now and get it over with!

    @Jason, amen to your comments. If I'm not listening to prerecorded music I have my radio on XM. Even though I have to pay $11 a month I get a much wider variety of music without the onslaught of never ending commercials and the incessant ramblings of DJ's (no offense to Weird Beard).....


    11 Aug 16 at 12:06 am

  6. The call letters WOMG have been resurrected on the 98.5 FM location. Cumulus has shown a total lack of direction with a revolving door format ranging from Oldies to classic country to a mix of new country and now classic rock. And that's just in this decade.
    Every so often I will run the 'seek' function on a radio and am surprised at what I hear up and down the dial.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    11 Aug 16 at 2:53 am

  7. The radio stations a market does or doesn't have is a direct reflection of what sells well there.

    For example, right now Columbia has 4 different Urban stations on the FM side of the dial, and essentially three "top 40" stations. Up until a few weeks ago, there were also three Country stations. There are four Sports stations, but three of those are on the AM dial. While populations and the composition of a market can and do change over time, these are the things that have been relative fixtures in Columbia.

    The Palm - went away because their dial position was their most valuable asset. Money talks. At the end of the day, the station couldn't gain traction in the ratings and money wasn't coming in to achieve whatever projected monthly budgets they had. Someone came in and offered them a check.

    WOMG - that station had an opportunity to be a thorn in the side of WCOS. But, because Cumulus is facing some serious debt, they never put any money into the station and it withered on the vine. They're betting the new format (called Classic Hits) can dig into Fox 102's listenership and ad dollars.

    Lone Wolf

    11 Aug 16 at 10:37 am

  8. WOMG has been around all along but it was originally on 103.1 then it switched with Kiss 98.5 several years ago where Kiss 98.5 became Kiss 103.1 while what was Oldies 103 became Magic 98.5. Then WOMG 98.5 They abruptly went country and my dad was less than impressed with the format change. I don't keep up with music genres much but

    I typically listen to B106.7. I find that I like the music except for the most part except for I'm not too impressed with Bruno Mars (and there were a few other songs I felt that way about that they thankfully don't play as much as they used to). I've even taken a liking to 104.3 WBBQ in Augusta and 101.7 Chuck FM in Charleston.

    If it were up to me, we'd get away from radio & TV stations being owned by Cumulus, Clear Channel, Raycom, etc. and go back to the days where local radio stations were truly locally owned. I've had several occasions where I'm catching news from a local news station outside Columbia and it looks like cookie cutter Raycom or TEGNA graphics which to me is pretty much insipid.


    11 Aug 16 at 11:09 am

  9. I'm listening to the 'new' WOMG right now and from what I have heard so far, they are competing more with Steve-FM and the other AC stations. 70's and 80's. So far Don Henley (The end of the Innocence), Modern English (Melt With You), David Bowie (Modern Love), Pure Prairie League (Amie), Grand Funk (The Locomotion), Tommy Tutone (867-5309) and an buttload of commercials.


    12 Aug 16 at 12:07 am

  10. MrBO

    12 Aug 16 at 4:26 pm

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