A format change away from national sports and back to conservative talk is in the works at WBCN-AM (1660).
Marketing agencies and key advertisers have been alerted that beginning Tuesday, the radio station will be rebranded as “America’s Pulse” and feature syndicated conservative talk hosts like Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.
WBCN operations manager D.J. Stout said he could not comment on the format change, but the station has been running announcements hinting at a change coming next week.
Morning drive time would be anchored by “This Morning America’s First News with Gordon Deal.” Afternoon rush hour will be covered by Hannity.
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Aside from local news and traffic breaks, there are no locally produced shows on the new schedule.
WBCN broadcast conservative talk until January 2013, when its owner CBS Radio, ordered it to pick up the network’s national sports package. CBS Radio wanted the network carried in as many top 25 radio markets in the nation as possible, and Charlotte, at No. 24, fell in line.
But in October 2014, Florida-based Beasley Broadcast Group took over CBS Radio’s cluster of Charlotte stations, which includes sports talk station WFNZ-AM (“Fan” 610). To offer potential advertisers a greater variety of formats, executives decided to switch back to news talk on 1660.
Charlotte also has sports stations at WZGV-AM (“ESPN” 730) and Fox Sports Radio at iHeartRadio’s 98.7 FM.