By Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
As Haligonians turned the dial to 96.5 FM Monday afternoon, they were greeted by the unusually modern sounds of Matt Mays, Imagine Dragons and Adele.
© Jeff Harper/Metro
The old Kool 96.5 sign can still be seen at their Kempt and Windsor head office.
[HALIFAX, NS] - As Haligonians turned the dial to 96.5 FM Monday afternoon, they were greeted by the unusually modern sounds of Matt Mays, Imagine Dragons and Adele.
At noon, Kool 96.5 FM’s classic 1970s and 80s tunes were replaced by “honest and real” singer-songwriter music on the new Radio 965, said the vice-president of programming for Newcap Radio.
“Kool was doing alright, but we felt we could do better,” said Steve Jones.
Jones said over the past few months, Newcap had noticed more and more people were listening to the likes of Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers across the country.
He said based on their research, the trend was especially pronounced in Halifax.
“They were looking for something less packaged than a lot of the top-40 music,” Jones said, adding that the audience passionate about Kool’s retro music was “diminishing and getting older.”
He said the new Radio 965 fits the interests of Halifax’s young, educated, white-collar demographic about 25 to 45 years of age, interested in finding new music.
“We saw that no radio station was really satisfying them,” Jones said.
Former Q104 announcer Dominik Diamond is replacing Griff Henderson and Caroline Parker on the morning show, Jones said, while Colin Sweets will take the afternoon slot.
He said four new people will be added to the 96.5 office, and Henderson and Parker have moved to “other opportunities” as it’s hard to keep the same personalities during a brand change.
Jones said Radio 965 is more low-key and won’t be holding big contests, or goofy games like “stump the host to win a prize.”
Kool had been on the air for a decade, Jones said.
For those left missing Fleetwood Mac, the Steve Miller Band, Queen and others, Jones said Kool’s classic favourites will have “more prominence” on Newcap’s Q104.
Jones said the rock station has recently undergone some changes to move away from the need to be “edgy and extreme” at all times.
“We’ve tried to be a little more well-rounded in our approach and a little bit friendlier,” Jones said.