The “New” WJYE-FM 96.1 has a fresh voice in the morning, the latest in a series of personnel and programing shifts by station executives, who hope to appeal to a younger audience.
Laura Daniels, 37, brings 15 years of experience to the morning show. Originally from Jamestown, Daniels spent 15 years in Albany, hosting the morning show on WYJB-FM 95.5 since November 2006.
She graduated from Fredonia State College.
“By updating our music and our personalities, we want to engage some of the younger moms,” said Richard Chiaino, station general manager. “We want to be sure we are entertaining our 35-year-old moms the same way we were entertaining our 55-year-old moms. One of the things with an adult contemporary station is that as years pass you need to update the music you play.”
Expect to hear Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson, a departure from the format that has traditionally featured soft rock favorites.
But don’t expect to hear the new sounds until after Christmas, when the station stops its holiday music format.
Also on tap is a new co-host to join Daniels, according to Chiaino.
“Ratings show our listeners really like the station,” noted Chiaino. “And they listen for a long time.”
Summer Arbitron ratings placed WJYE’s morning program fifth in the Buffalo Niagara market for listeners ages 12 and over with a 5.7 share.
In the same time slot with the same demographic, the station trails: WKSE-FM in fourth with a 6.5 share; WBLK-FM in third with 8.2 share; WBEN-AM in second with a 11.8 share; and WYRK-FM with a 12.8 share.
WJYE’s fifth-place showing in the morning represents an improvement over the 10th position it held in the spring morning book for listeners ages 12 and over.
WJYE’s makeover goes beyond the mornings. Within a month, Chiano also expects to hire a new voice for its 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot, which has been filled by Craig Williams since the departure of Alexis Williams.
Chiaino is part of changing wave. The former director of sales said he was promoted to general manager three months ago.
“It’s all part of the ongoing process of contemporizing the sound of the station,” said Joseph Bonacci, program director.