We noted this on our Twitter account last night, but just to put this on the main blog - Clear Channel Canton AC WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7" is spreading the Yuletide Music Cheer...in mid-November.
"My" is, by the best of our accounting, the first station in Northeast Ohio to take leave of its regular format for Christmas music. Elsewhere in the state, Clear Channel sister AC WLZT/93.3 in the Columbus market, and Pillar of Fire (now, THAT'S a radio company name!) Christian AC WAKW/93.3 "Star 93.3" in the Cincinnati market have already made the switch.
We're pretty sure we wouldn't be able to place a legal bet on this even when Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert opens up his downtown Cleveland casino in about 3 years, but we'd safely bet SOMEWHERE that all three of the above stations will be back to their normal formats after the last sleigh bell rings.
Elsewhere, CBS Radio Cleveland AC powerhouse WDOK/102.1 is still counting down on its website to what looks like an early Monday morning start to "continuous Christmas music". (Speaking of "safe bets to return to normal in January"...)
We'd expect Salem Cleveland CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" to switch sometime between now and Monday, but that's just a guess based on the station's past history with the format. There's no indication either on the air (that we've heard), or on the station's website, that Christmas music is coming...yet.
Some stations use the Christmas music format change to change to "something else" after the holidays, but the stations above are pretty well entrenched.
As always, our long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush is the keeper of what's generally considered the most accurate list of holiday format flips, which is offered by industry directory site 100000watts.com (where Scott is editor).
Though there is a subscription fee for the site, the holiday music flip list itself is free at this link...