Vancouver's radio industry is really going through some changes this summer.
Another new station is launching, at 102.7 FM, and first broadcasting at 1:02 p.m. on Monday, July 25. Called NOW!radio, the station will focus on adult contemporary music (think Dua Lipa and Imagine Dragons), but in a press release management notes there will be more freedom to play all sorts of music, "from Johnny Cash to The Notorious B.I.G."
"There’ll also be lots of 'Woah, they’re playing THAT?!' moments, too. That’s because our hosts are free to play anything they like (I mean…what could go wrong?)," states Pattison Media, the station's parent company, in a press release.
They're calling it the "evolution of radio in Vancouver," noting they want to grow a community around the station.
"Our on-air hosts and listeners are at the very centre of everything. We call our community 'The NOW! Family,'" they say in the release. "And because our hosts have no rules…they might talk about anything, at any time…and for as long as they want to."
Pattison Media has two other NOW!radio stations: one in Edmonton and one in Winnipeg.
Previously 102.7 FM was the Peak, an alternative rock station. The Peak is continuing on as a streaming and HD radio station; some of the hosts have moved over as well. It stopped broadcasting on regular airwaves the morning of Monday, July 25, replaced by spacey, ambient music, interspersed with ads for the upcoming NOW! launch.
NOW! is the third radio brand to launch in Vancouver since June 30. That's when SONiC Radio launched on 104.9 FM, replacing KiSS, which had gone off the air earlier in the week and was replaced by a non-stop loop of "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine, a stunt that garnered international attention.
Then on July 18 the Wave revived 98.3 FM, which had been Roundhouse Radio until 2018, at which point it went unused until the smooth jazz station launched this year.