Music

DFW radio is already beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. And it’s just starting

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.”

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.

Bedford Junior High Choir sing Christmas carols as part of Bedford's tree lighting festivities at Old Bedford School in Bedford, TX, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. (Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram)

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