What's Oldies is new again

Kelowna's radio station for the hits of the 1960s, '70s and '80s has gone from start-up to challenging for top spot in the lucrative 45-plus listener demographic – all in its first year of existence.

Okanagan Oldies 103.9 was included for the first time in Numeris ratings this fall.

The partner radio station to Castanet, which operates out of the same newsroom, went on the air for the first time on Nov. 1, 2017, too late to be included in that year's ratings.

Okanagan Oldies was the top ranked commercial station in the 45-plus age bracket, with a 11.7 per cent share in that demographic, behind only CBC.

With a weekly reach of 27,000 listeners and an overall market share of 9.8 per cent, the oldies format, with hourly news from Castanet's team of journalists, has proven to be a hit.

"I feel really proud of what the team has achieved in the last year," said program director and afternoon drive host Ryan Watters.

Castanet owner Nick Frost launched the station after purchasing the broadcast licence of former station The Juice FM.

The Juice closed its doors last fall, and in its last ratings book garnered a 4.0 audience share, lowest in Kelowna. Okanagan Oldies has more than doubled that to 9.8 per cent.

"It feels really good to increase the station's listenership from 19,000 to 27,000," said Watters. "And we have received great feedback on special events like our radiothon and Mercedes-Benz giveaway."

General manager Chris Kearney is excited over the success.

"We wanted to play great music for people who felt they didn't have a radio station to listen to," he said. "So we specifically targeted the demographic of 45-plus, and we feel we have achieved what we set out to do."

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