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Area radio stations start 24/7 Christmas music

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 19 2012 08:04:59 AM CST

Christmas music on radio

Turkey Day is this week, and that means another holiday season is right around the corner. Some radio stations are already playing Christmas music around the clock, but what's behind this trend?

The trees are trimmed and the tinsel is twinkling, so what's your favorite holiday tune?

"Um, probably Silent Night," said Leann Shoudt of Bethlehem.

"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, said Alberta Sfarra of New Ringgold.

Whatever it is, chances are, you'll hear it on WLEV 100.7 FM.

"We are all Christmas music from now until Christmas Day," said morning jock Scott Evans.

WLEV began the non-stop carols last Wednesday. It's a bit early for some.

"I think it should come after Thanksgiving," said Angel Ochoa of Fountain Hill.

"It's just too early," added Tim Shoudt. "It's not even Thanksgiving yet."

Evans said people actually started requesting holiday songs weeks ago.

"That's always a big question mark -- when we should start Christmas music," said Evans. "Some people think it shouldn't start until after Thanksgiving, but our philosophy is, it's the holiday season. The holiday season is here; people want to hear holiday music."

This whole "All Christmas Music, All the Time" format is a fairly new phenomenon. It's only been around for about ten years. So why do stations do it?

"It's a huge ratings bonanza for us," said Evans.

And not just here. According to Arbitron, ratings in markets from New York to Dallas to California have all doubled when stations make the all-holiday switch. Stations can also create lucrative sponsorship packages for retailers looking to reach holiday-minded shoppers.

For Evans, the appeal to listeners is simple.

"Lives change every year from a little bit to a lot, but these songs stay exactly the same," he said.

So bring on the Bing -- Crosby, that is. Christmas music 24-7 is here to stay.