Springfield’s new radio station has supplanted a range of popular news talks on the AM dial.
“The Lake,” which features music from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, including the Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pat Benatar, and Bruce Springsteen, among others, airs simulcast on 970 AM and 102.5 FM.
This means that WMAY, anchored by the local conversations of Jim Leach, Greg Bishop and Frank McNeil, is now exclusively on 92.7 FM.
WMAY was also simulcast on 92.7 FM for just over a year, Leach said.
Both stations are operated by Mid-West Family of Springfield.
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Part of the reason for WMAY’s move to the FM signal, said Elwood Bjorn, brand manager for 102.5 The Lake and 97.7 WQLZ-FM, reflects a broader trend in talk radio and radio in general.
The FM setting, Bjorn said, “is where we find a younger audience, an often more engaged audience. This movement for WMAY has been happening for a while.”
Leach, who grew up in Springfield and has been a WMAY staple since 1990, also returns to his DJ roots by running the 5-10 a.m. slot on The Lake in addition to his popular 4-6 p.m. WMAY talk show. An hour was cut from the talk show in mid-March.
Leach is also the News/Program Director for WMAY.
The DJ role, Leach said, was “something I craved. When I started at WMAY in 1990, we were actually an oldies station at the time on AM and I absolutely loved it. this era of music. The lake has a lot of really fantastic music that honestly hasn’t been on the air (locally) in a while, so it’s exciting to bring it back. A lot of those songs, first time many people heard (was) on an AM radio station.
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“It’s something I really enjoy, so I get the best of all worlds in this.”
Leach’s return to a DJ role, Bjorn noted, “fits into the larger structure of what we do at Mid-West Family Media, using all the resources we have in our building, in our business and finding the best ways to maximize everyone’s skills and passions.
“When you have someone like Jim who has skills, knowledge and a passion for the music that we put on The Lake, it just makes sense to bring him into the fold and let him shine that way. .”
Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected], twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.