Update: Nov. 18: Pittsburgh’s 94.5 3WS and Wish 99.7 are finally playing nonstop Christmas music!
Update: Nov. 12:
It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas…
Dozens of radio stations across the country are now playing Christmas music.
So far, Pittsburgh still does not have an all-Christmas channel. Historically, 94.5 3WS and Wish 99.7 delay their all-Christmas formats until mid-November — despite many stations across the county starting in early November.
But from coast to coast, you can find Christmas music on the radio.
And if you’re looking for streaming or satellite radio holiday tunes, you’re in luck.
There are 12 Christmas music stations available on iHeartRadio’s streaming service — country, classics, jazz, religious, R&B, plus a station hosted by Santa.
And it looks like Sirius/XM has 20 channels, including the popular Hallmark Channel Radio.
It’s happened! There are finally some all-Christmas radio stations in America.
Cumulus Media’s Lite Rock 100.7 in Shreveport, Louisiana, moved to an all-Christmas format at 9 p.m. Oct. 28, RadioInsight.com reports. The station’s first song was “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey.
In South Carolina, Audacy’s Magic 98.9 flipped at 5 a.m. Nov. 1, according to WYFF.
Radio Insight says the Shreveport flip on Oct. 28 is the latest all-Christmas flip since 2018, when WTRV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, flipped on Oct. 30.
Who will be next? Looking at you, Z104 in Youngstown. 👀
Above update posted Nov. 1.
Previous story published Oct. 22, 2022:
This appears to be the first year in quite a few years where no radio station in the country has flipped to Christmas yet.
Last year, Youngstown, Ohio, area radio listeners had Christmas music beginning Oct. 1, with WWIZ 103.9 Z104 turning to Christmas 104. The station also had October debuts in 2020 and 2019. So far in 2022, that has not happened.
All across the country, radio stations make a temporary flip to holiday tunes.
Western Pennsylvanians likely know 94.5 3WS and Wish 99.7 in Pittsburgh and Classy 100 in Erie all flip in November. Will that tradition continue in 2022?
While October might seem early for a radio station to go all-Christmas, radio companies (the few that exist these days) sometimes use Christmas music outside of the holiday season (or even during the holidays) as part of a marketing effort when they’re looking to launch a totally new station. It’s called “stunting.”
Of course, many stations change to an all-Christmas format in November and December and then go back to regular programming in January.
There seems to be one possible format shakeup in the works as iHeartMedia purchased Santa1039.com, which redirects to 103.9 Kiss in Sarasota, Florida.
It remains to be seen if the radio station will change formats completely or, at this point, when it might flip to all-Christmas.
Speaking of iHeartMedia, though. If you’re looking for a Christmas music fix (and who isn’t?), get the iHeartRadio app and play iHeart Christmas or one of the many other holiday season stations available.
Or, ask your Google Home device (and probably Alexa) to “play iHeart Christmas on iHeartRadio” and BAM jingle bells all the time.