Thursday, July 21, 2005

An Ashtabula Bull?

A helpful tipster has reopened the "Case of the Bull" in Ashtabula.

Clear Channel recently signed on WYBL/98.3 in that city, which is currently running uninterrupted oldies music.

OMW has noted, in the past, that the new station was rumored to be considering a country format...though we wrote off some of that speculation due to the fact that a former Clear Channel country station in the Louisville market once held the WYBL calls, and that those calls ended up moving north to the current Ashtabula station. At the time, the website WYBL.COM resolved to a dead page with the Louisville market station's former "Bull" logo.

Today, still lands on a dead page, but the error message is rather clear:

You don't have permission to access / on this server.

Apache/1.3.33 Server at Port 80"

Note that the error message now shows a new URL, "". According to a Google search, the Louisville country station was on 93.1, a frequency now carrying smooth jazz WJZL. The only 98.3 anywhere near the Louisville market is in Elizabethtown KY, which is apparently a long-time local station called WQXE "Quicksie 98", and which is not owned by Clear Channel. Clear Channel does have a country station still carrying the "Bull" name in Lexington KY, but it isn't on 98.3.

Maybe we're putting the dots together too quickly, but it seems like too much of a coincidence to us. It wouldn't be the first new format inadvertently released by a website URL... though stations HAVE also taken to planting stuff like this to throw people off the scent.

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