WDXX to announce big changes Sunday

Published 11:56 pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

WDXX on-air personality George Henry was at his post Friday running the station's broadcast. -- Dennis Palmer

Broadsouth Communications will take a giant leap forward when it flips the switch on a new format for its local station, WDXX – FM 100.1. The company’s owner, Mike Reynolds, says the change will involve moving “Dixie 100” from a country format to a “secret” format that he says will be revealed at noon Sunday. While Reynolds would not divulge much about the new music format, he said “It will be unique and different than any other format in the area” and that it would have broad appeal to all music lovers.

More importantly, Reynolds said, the change will involve utilizing the station’s new 550-foot tall tower that will essentially double the station’s listening population from 200,000 to 400,000, thus opening up the Montgomery market to Broadsouth.

“Anytime a broadcaster can improve their coverage area they take advantage of it because the more people they reach the greater revenue opportunities they have,” Reynolds said. “This new tower gives us and our customers the opportunity to expand our coverage area by radiating a signal over seven counties in the central part of the state.”

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Reynolds said the new project has been several years in the making, with the new tower having to be approved by both the Federal Communications Commissions and the Federal Aviation Administration. He’s also had to ensure the tower didn’t run afoul of fowl – specifically the flight pattern of the Canadian goose.

Reynolds stressed the format changes will not come all at once, but will also eventually include the addition of a morning sports talk program focused on local college football and in-depth coverage of high school football.

“We’re going to expand our local football coverage on Friday nights that will include post game interviews of coaches, scores and a complete wrap up,” Reynolds said. “We’re also going to be the River Region’s affiliate for the Alabama Crimson Tide football games. We’ll broadcast ‘Hey Coach’ on Thursday nights and ‘Crimson Tide Today’ each weekday. We’re going to build a brand around it and clear as much Alabama programming as we possibly can including basketball, baseball and softball.”

Broadsouth’s other radio station, WHBB 1490-AM, will continue with it’s current format and programming without change, meaning listeners will still be able to listen to talk shows such as Viewpoint, Laura Ingram, Rush Limbaugh, and enjoy jazz and gospel music.

Longtime Dixie 100 radio personality George Henry, who Reynolds calls his “star,” will continue in his current role, but will be moved from early mornings to the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. timeslot.

“George Henry has been the top rated radio personality in this market for the last 20 plus years,” Reynolds said. “He is the most important person here. He’s the playmaker for us and we’ve added some help for him, including some additional salespeople.”

Bill Jones will also be joining Broadsouth to run their new Montgomery studio.

“Bill has been all over the country managing major market radio stations,” Reynolds said. “Most recently he was programming director for a country station in Nashville and he managed the Cumulus (Broadcasting) cluster in Montgomery. We also have a new afternoon guy from Jackson (Miss.) that listeners are going to love.”

Henry said in his 23 years working with Reynolds this is the most significant and exciting change the company has made. It also means listeners will have to adjust to not waking up to his unique voice as they have for the last two decades.

“Ultimately I’ll probably get to sleep a little bit later,” Henry said laughing. “But it’s going to be an adjustment. There are going to be some people who are upset because they’ve woken up with me for so long. But I think people are really going to like the music and additional programming. It will be different than anything else on the dial.”