WTKK-FM made its anticipated switch from talk to music Wednesday, rebranding as Power 96.9 with an urban contemporary format at the conclusion of the final “Jim & Margery’’ morning show, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
A format change by WTKK, a talk radio station since 1999, had been reported for weeks but owner Greater Media Inc. did not make an official announcement until Tuesday and kept the music genre a secret until it unveiled the new name and slogan — “Jamz for Boston’’ — for the station on Wednesday. The first song played under the new format was Rihanna’s “Diamonds.’’
On his final broadcast, Braude joked that “America did not fall off the fiscal cliff, but we are falling off the radio cliff.’’
Greater Media issued a statement saying “the change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past several years.’’
WTKK posted a low, 2.3 share in the Arbitron ratings book in December. The station’s switch to music leaves former rival WRKO-AM as the only non-sports radio station in the Boston market dedicated to an all-talk format.
“We would like to thank Jim Braude, Margery Eagan, Michael Graham and the entire News Talk 96.9 WTKK-FM staff for their many contributions to the station and talk radio format over the years in Boston,’’ said Rob Williams, Greater Media’s market manager in Boston. “They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.’’
The NewsTalk969.com website remained active on Wednesday, but a new site, Power969.com, was launched with live streaming of the station’s new music. The station’s Wikipedia page was updated within minutes of the format change.