Some listeners may think it’s too early, but one DFW radio station started playing a Christmas-music format at 4 p.m. Thursday, and another one is expected to go all-Christmas by Friday.
KDGE/102.1 FM “Star 102.1” launched its Christmas format Thursday afternoon with Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Although the adult-contemporary station is only two years old, Christmas music is already a tradition there: It launched Nov. 17, 2016, with a Christmas format that also signaled the end of long-running alternative station “The Edge” (although a version of “The Edge” continues on a 102.1 FM HD Radio channel).
Star flipped around the same time last year, launching its holiday format on Nov. 10. It was actually planning a slightly later start this year, but after word started leaking out on social media that rival KLUV/98.7 FM would start its Christmas format on Friday, Star flipped the switch.
Classic-hits KLUV is expected to go all-Christmas at 5 p.m. Friday, unless Star’s early flip leads it to go earlier. KLUV has done an all-Christmas format for the past several years. UPDATE: Indeed, KLUV went all-Christmas just after 5 p.m. Friday, kicking off with Andy Williams’ version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
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Early November might seem too early for some listeners, but from a ratings standpoint, it’s a smart move: stations playing it 24/7 usually top the Nielsen Audio ratings, sometimes for a couple of months.
And the DFW stations were relatively patient: According to industry-watching website RadioInsight, more than 20 stations nationwide had started playing Christmas music by Nov. 1 this year.
Expect more in DFW: Contemporary Christian station KLTY/94.9 FM usually goes to an all-Christmas format, although typically it usually waits till at least after you’ve digested your Thanksgiving meal.