Local Radio Station Gets Early Jump on Memorial Day 500 Countdown

Philadelphia radio station PHYL (99.99) started its Memorial Day countdown of the top 500 rock songs on Thanksgiving Day.

The move appears to be in response to a decision by its closest competitor, station WAQW (100.00), which began playing Christmas music on July 4.

Bruce Turley, station manager at PHYL, had plans to begin broadcasting Christmas music the day after Labor Day, but was upstaged by WAQW.

“Not only is there a certain prestige associated with being the first local station to begin playing holiday music, but it’s also a bonanza for our ad team since they can start selling Christmas-related ad space before anyone else. ”

Turley is suspicious about the departure of program manager Bill Tomlinson back in mid-June to join WAQW.

“Tomlinson knew all about our plans to start playing Christmas music right after Labor Day. It seems to be more than a coincidence that he left PHYL and three weeks later WAQW is playing ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ and ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’. Let’s get real; the temperature hit 95 degrees on July 4.”

Turley is hoping to get companies locked in for ads related to high school graduation, Fathers’ Day, and Coppertone before his competition.

Asked if he thought Thanksgiving was a little early to be advertising for such events and products, Turley responded, “I know Memorial Day is still six months away, but there’s no way WAQW is beating us again. Plus, COVID has thrown off everyone’s schedule. No one knows what day of the week it is, let alone what time of the year it is.”

On a related note, the band KISS and singer-songwriter Barry Manilow have contacted PHYL to see what they can do to place high in the Memorial Day 500 countdown.

P.S. This post is in response to a challenge from a fellow blogger, Chel Owens, who suggested I write an Onion-like post after I had written a post saying how I would give up my day job if I got a job writing for The Onion

*image from Valley Cultural

38 thoughts on “Local Radio Station Gets Early Jump on Memorial Day 500 Countdown

  1. Yes, well, as a former broadcaster I know that no radio station has call letters that begin with a “P.” They either start with a “K” (mostly west of the Mississippi), or a “W” (east of the Mississippi).

    Funny story though, and I’ll admit you had me scratching my head from start to end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that as part of putting the post together, but I didn’t want to use a real radio station, and all the good ones were taken (WPHL, WFIL). I then tried to use call letters that no station had, but it was hard to find one (WKZQ, WZRX). So that’s when I made one up for Philly, and just went with the other one. There is at least one exception to those call letters – the most popular news radio station in Philly is KYW.

      Is there any reason for the K and W letters for west or east?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alright, here’s a history lesson:

        Back in 1912 an international conference was held about a new thing called radiotelegraphs. They decided to assign specific letters to identify each country’s radio signals. The USA was given the letters W, K, N, and A. The N and A were for military use, and the W and K for commercial use. The W was for stations east of the Mississippi, and the K for stations west of that great river. However, there were already some radiotelegraph stations east of the Mississippi that started with a K, and they were grandfathered in.

        In fact, the very first radio station, that broadcast audio in our country is KDKA, in Pittsburgh.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. That closing really pushed it over the top. This read with a beautiful deadpan realism and seemed highly believable. My favorite detail though is the “closest competitor” dial frequencies. That is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow July! That’s early! When I used to work in retail I hated holiday music – could not stand it! But now I feel like I play it soon as thanksgiving is over (Canadian Thanksgiving) and I even move some of my holiday faves into regular non-holiday playlists too 😊😍 can’t get enough of that fluffy, joyous holiday spirit!! ❤️💕🎄🎉


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