Music News & Reviews

WWTF?! Sports is out, rock is in on Lexington radio station

James Hetfield of Metallica, which will be one of the core artists on the new Lexington station WWTF-97.7 FM, and 1580 AM, shown performing “Moth Into Flame” at the 59th annual Grammy Awards.
James Hetfield of Metallica, which will be one of the core artists on the new Lexington station WWTF-97.7 FM, and 1580 AM, shown performing “Moth Into Flame” at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Invision/AP

Lexington-area sports fans were in for a surprise if they tuned in 1580 AM or 97.7 FM since Friday expecting to hear Fox Sports Radio or replays of Kentucky Sports Radio.

Under the cheeky call letters WWTF, the all-sports outlets have changed formats to rock alternative, pumping out the sounds of Metallica, Disturbed and their ilk — which could be great workout music, but you won’t hear the DeMarcus Cousins trade talked to death.

“Lexington was underserved in the active rock and alternative rock formats,” wrote Michael Jordan, senior regional vice president-programming for iHeartMedia, responding to emailed questions. “WTF 97.7’s format will share both active and alternative rock titles/artists, creating a greater selection for rock listeners in Lexington.

“The station’s playlist will feature songs from artists like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Ghost, Breaking Benjamin and Disturbed,” Jordan added, saying the station is designed to complement longstanding rock outlet WKQQ-100.1 FM.

When it was sports-oriented, the station also carried University of Kentucky baseball and other UK sports. Jordan says those will move to the company’s 1990s country station, Icons 98.5-FM (W253BK). Jordan said that Kentucky Sports Radio and Tom Leach’s show, “The Leach Report,” will continue to air live on WLAP-AM 630 and be available later as podcasts on the station’s website. Fox Sports programming is available on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio app, Jordan said.

The new station is running commercial-free, part of a promotion in which the 97th caller when WWTF airs its first commercial will win $1,000.

Follow Rich Copley on Facebook and Twitter, @copiousnotes.

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