WRR-FM (101.1), Dallas’ classical music station, saw a significant spike in listeners over the holidays. From Dec. 8 to Jan. 4, weekly listeners were up by around 44,000 compared with the same time last year, according to data from Nielsen Audio, a consumer research company. Weekly listenership was also the highest it’s been since before the pandemic.
The radio station began playing round-the-clock holiday music the day after Thanksgiving for the first time this year. The move was part of a stationwide shift to all-classical programming and was a precursor to KERA taking over management of the city-owned station Jan. 3.
Under KERA management, WRR is still a classical station, but it has switched from a commercial to a noncommercial format. Commercial ads for CBD oils and carpet cleaning have been replaced by sponsor messages like those heard on KERA. And paid programs on Saturday and Sunday mornings, like church services and a retirement planning show, have been dropped. There are now more classical programs on the weekend.
Amy Bishop, WRR’s marketing manager and midday host, attributes the recent bump to the all-holiday-music format as well as heavy promotion on KERA’s TV and radio stations.
“We now have the resources to really market ourselves in a very meaningful way,” she said. “We can cast a wider net to reach more people who may not even know about us — or maybe they just need to be reminded that North Texas has a radio station committed to classical music and the arts.
“I feel like this is giving us a chance to live up to our potential in a way like we never have before.”