Cumulus Upgrades Alternative With New Orleans Signal Swap.

A frequency swap in Louisiana brings modern rock from “The Underground” to a signal that provides coverage for a majority of the state’s population. Cumulus Media New Orleans has moved “Nash FM” from the 92.3 frequency to 106.1, switching places with modern rock “106.1 The Underground.” The Underground has been re-christened as “Alt 92.3” and upgraded to a 100,000-watt signal that covers a huge chunk of the Bayou State.

The stations keep the call letters respective to the signals—WRKN (92.3) and WZRH (106.1)—with a slight rebranding for the country outlet, which will now be known as “Nash-FM 106.1.” The signal swap follows “strong listener response” to “The Underground” since its 2015 launch, the company stated.

With 100,000 watts at 1,946 feet, Cumulus regional VP/market manager Pat Galloway says WRKN is “twice as big” as any radio station in New Orleans or Baton Rouge. “All that power and coverage establishes Alt 92.3 as the exclusive alternative rock station in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Hammond, the Northshore, and much of the Gulf South,” he said. “We believe this signal flip will effectively meet growing listener demand and will better serve the needs of our communities and advertisers to maximize our position in these evolving communities and marketplaces.”

Despite its blowtorch signal, WRKN wasn’t moving the ratings needle with country. It posted a 1.4 share (12+) in Nielsen’s Winter 2017 survey, compared to a 4.8 share for iHeartMedia country WNOE. While WZRH on a lesser signal only managed a 0.8 with modern rock, it doubled its share to a 1.6 in Phase 2 of the Spring survey.

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