Is 102.5 re-formatting?

Radio station parent registers slew of domain names, 'exploring options'

The parent company of WPRT-FM 102.5 The Party went on a domain-registering spree last week, though the company won't definitively say the station is in for a new format.

Bayard "Bud" Walters, president of The Cromwell Group, registered dozens of domain names associated with the station, currently broadcasting in a Hot AC format. Among the Web addresses now held by the Nashville-based company are 1025TheGame.com, TheGame1025.com, Game1025.com, Fiesta1025.com, 1025oldies.com and TheHeat1025.com.

Walters said it was mostly an attempt to protect the station's branding, but admits the company is "exploring some options" for the station.

"We've been asked to consider some things, but right now we're happy with what we're doing," he said. "If there's something better we can do, we'll do it, but we're just registering [the addresses]."

Cromwell operates two other stations in the Nashville market: Christian station WQZQ 1550 AM and active-rock 102.9 The Buzz.

The Buzz served as the flagship station for the Nashville Predators during the 2010-'11 season. Walters said that, when the deal was inked just weeks ahead of the beginning of the season, there was discussion of using the hockey team as the centerpiece for an all-sports format, though he was happy with the cross-pollination afforded by the seemingly-unusual choice of broadcasting sports on a music station.

"From our end, it worked pretty well. We worked with some clients we wouldn't have gotten to work with. We are involved in so many events at the Bridgestone [Arena] that tie in with The Party and The Buzz," he said.

If The Party does end up using The Game — which would suggest a shift to sports — it would be the third all-sports station in the market, joining WGFX 104.5 The Zone and AM 560 WNSR. Cumulus owned 106.7 was all-sports until 2009, leaving Citadel-owned The Zone with a stranglehold on sports on the FM dial. Cumulus is in the process of buying Citadel.