Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa introduces 105.1 The Block

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Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa introduces 105.1 The Block

Arayna Wooley, Contributing Writer

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After a year’s worth of research, Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa decided to give hear the people out. Along with giving local sounds to local listeners, it is letting go of its educational station to give Tuscaloosa a sound listeners have been craving.

The station will be named 105.1 The Block: Bama’s No. 1 for Hip-Hop and R&B. 

The station will not be drastically changing but will be more finely tuned to its location and surrounding area. 105.1 will now be programmed locally, allowing the most accurate and relevant information to be given to west Alabama residents. The Rickey Smiley Morning Show will remain with The Block, as well.

Mary Schmitt joined Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa as the new assistant operations manager and the branding manager of WALJ-FM. Recognized by Radio Ink Magazine as one of the top program directors in America, she is excited to be locally focused and to give the listeners what they have been asking for.

“I am thrilled to launch 105.1 The Block to reflect the lifestyle and tastes of the Tuscaloosa millennial,” Schmitt said.

Townsquare continues to expand in the Tuscaloosa market and now offers eight distinct stations and sounds:

  • Urban adult (92.9 WTUG)
  • Urban gospel (Praise 93.3)
  • Modern country (95.3 The Bear)
  • Classic hits (Nick 97.5)
  • Classic country (Catfish 100.1)
  • Sports (Tide 100.9)
  • Alternative rock (Alt 101.7)
  • Hip-hop and R&B (105.1 The Block)

WALJ-FM is ranked in the Top 3 stations for age brackets 18-34 and 18-49. It is also ranked No. 2 for listeners 25-54, right behind Townsquare’s 92.9 WTUG station. With the addition of WALJ-FM, Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa will own all five of the top five radio stations in the designated market area of Tuscaloosa.

The new hip-hop sound will round out Townsquare’s current stations, giving Townsquare increased potential to reach all listeners. According to Townsquare, after the launch of 105.1 The Block, they will account for 90% of African American listeners in the Tuscaloosa market.

Brenda Ball, Tuscaloosa resident and senior at The University of Alabama is excited for the shift in locality.

 “I like that they are listening to their audience,” Ball said. “Hopefully now we can listen to what we want to hear and not what they assume we want to hear.”

David DuBose, market president of Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, explained the move as another example of their commitment to live, local and relevant radio content in Tuscaloosa.

“We studied the market to analyze the benefits and opportunities of these changes,” DuBose said. 

As Townsquare continues to grow in the Tuscaloosa market, this change will aid in Townsquare’s approach to creating the “dominant radio group” in west Alabama by being the most listened-to media outlet, according to DuBose. He says Townsquare plans to continually support local talent.

The station is set to launch August 1, just in time for the upcoming school year.