New owners take Pulse FM off the air; new format to debut on Monday
After just one year in which the station rose toward the top of the local ratings, 97.5 Pulse FM officially went off the air on Friday.
The station introduced a new "classic hits" format on Monday. Under the Pulse brand, the station played adult contemporary from the 80s to present day.
As part of the transition, the station let go of three employees, including program director and morning show host Tom Garrett. The rest of the staff will remain in tact. Garrett has been on the local airwaves since 1997.
During its short time on air, Pulse gained a strong base of loyal listeners, leaving many in and outside the industry surprised by the move. On social media, hundreds of people left comments voicing their frustration.
Here's a sample of some of the more popular comments:
Why can't you stay the same awesome station you've been for a year?! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! There's already a couple country stations, a classic rock station, and a real rock station - all we need is a nicely blended station, which this was, if it's different I'm done and I know a lot of others are too.
Where the heck is Tom?? He was one of the reasons that made Pulse FM so great! I don't think I've ever liked a radio DJ so much! His wit, humor, and overall personality... super. And what the heck is the deal with this kangaroo song playing all day long?? It's the first day in awhile that I've rarely listened to this station.
This is the worst move for radio here in Rochester..Pulse FM made so many of us non-millennials happy...What is WRONG with you?!?!?
Pulse's former owners, Albert-Lea based Hometown Broadcasting, recently reached a deal to sell KNXR to Blooming Prairie Farm Radio. It was the second time the signal had been sold in the past year. Prior to becoming Pulse, KNXR offered an easy listening format (now available exclusively online).
(Cover graphic: Pulse FM)