Chattanooga’s oldest radio station, WDOD, has ended its 11-month experiment with progressive talk radio.
At 10 a.m. this past Monday, the station switched to a format featuring musical oldies and standards from the late 1950s and the 1960s and 1970s, according to Danny Howard, director of programming and operations for WDEF and WDOD.
The new format, which is locally controlled, is known around the station as Ruby AM 1310.
“It’s kind of funny,” Mr. Howard said with a laugh. “When we started talking about doing this, it turned out that everybody had an Aunt Ruby or a grandmother named Ruby who would like this kind of programming. And then, of course, Chattanooga has Ruby Falls . . . So we decided to name it after all the Rubys.”
One highlight of the new format will be Ruby’s Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, when host Chris Adams will play Southern Gospel music. Adams also will host a similar show on Sundays called Ruby’s Fried Chicken Sunday Dinner.
WDOD will continue to simulcast WDEF TV’s early morning news show on weekdays, as well as WDEF TV’s 6 p.m. newscasts.
The decision to drop Air America talk show programming grew out of the format’s failure to attract adequate advertiser support, Mr. Howard said.
The fact that Air America is only a few years old and has been through some tumultuous times made it more difficult to attract advertisers and listeners, he said.
“I think they will continue to do well in some markets, but we thought it was time to try something else here,” he said.
Mr. Howard said the new format will be similar to that used at WDOD prior to switching to talk radio, but it will be aimed at a younger audience.
The previous musical format, which was network driven, featured music from as far back as the 1940s, and failed to attract either listeners or advertisers, he said.
“Some of what they played, you wouldn’t recognize it unless you were 80 years old,” Mr. Howard said. “It was good music, but lots of people just weren’t familiar with it.”