What is Martini Radio?


martiniWhether you are having a dirty one because you like to taste your liquor or maybe you like the cosmo or an apple one because you haven't developed that taste just yet, many people enjoy some form of martini. Martini Radio is sort of like that in regard to the music they play on the station.Appealing to both the sophisticated drinker and the new drinker is hard but possible. A new Milwaukee radio station, WZTI-AM (1290), whose Martini Radio format makes everything old new again. The format combines the music of Rat Pack artists like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with modern ones such as Norah Jones, Adele and Amy Winehouse.What used to be WMCS-AM, which served the African-American audience for 20 years is now Martini Radio. “WMCS did not go away because it was a bad station. It was a great station. It was just a bad business,” said Bill Hurwitz, vice president and general manager of Milwaukee Radio Alliance, which is a partnership of Willie Davis' All Pro Broadcasting and Times Shamrock Inc. of Scranton, Pa. The group also owns WLDB-FM (93.3) and WLUM-FM (102.1).Martini Radio is changing the game just a bit because the station has no employees and its music is programmed in house at KZTI-FM in Reno, Nev., a Times Shamrock station that switched to the format last year. Hurwitz said he “made the call” about switching to the Martini Radio format “with my owners.” When he sent out email correspondence regarding the switch, he said he received 14 emails not supporting the change and 141 supporting it.Similar formats have been tried “many times over the years” under many names, said Robert Unmacht, a radio consultant and editor at RTK media. One name is Lounge Radio, another is Timeless Cool. Some similar formats are called “adult standards” and others “soft oldies,” said Unmacht. Not that long ago, WOKY-AM (920) played a “Music of Your Life” easy-listening version.”But you can't get young people to listen to it,” said Unmacht. “The numbers always come out the same. It's a format for people over 55.” Hurwitz willingly admits the same.”It just won't have good demographics. I think a lot of people 55 to 60 who have discretionary income are going to love this station. If you're under 55, it won't be your favorite station, but I think you might tune in from time to time.”Who says a 55 year old and 25 year old can't enjoy a Martini together. Let's all toast to Martini Radio!

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