|City||St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Slogan||Newfoundland's Classic Rock|
|Frequency||97.5 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||September 1982|
|Callsign meaning||Voice Of the Common Man|
|Sister stations||VOCM, CJYQ, CKIX-FM|
VOCM-FM is a Canadian radio station broadcasting at 97.5 MHz from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is part of the Newcap Radio group. Presently the station is branded as 97-5 K-Rock and broadcasts a classic rock format, although some recent rock songs have lately become part of the mix.
Originally launched in September 1982, it was called "VO Stereo" and later as VOFM and in the mid 1990s as Magic 97.
After a limited success with its easy listening format in the early 1980s as VO Stereo, a management decision was undertaken to pursue a younger audience.
The late 1980s under the direction of manager Gary Butler and music Director Pat Murphy, the station began programming a mix of new and classic rock with great success. In less than two years, the station vaulted from last place to the number one FM radio station in St. John's with a predominately young male audience. Although pleased with the results, management set about to build a stronger audience that would include more female listeners.
Research indicated that the Adult Contemporary format was the number one music format in North America, and Magic was the most popular of station names.
At the time the CHUM group were having great success in markets like Toronto, and in Halifax with C-100 with the latest Hot Adult contemporary format.
This is the format that was launched in the mid 1990s, known to listeners as Magic 97.
It became an instant hit with the audience and captured top ratings with young women.
The new format was a marketing hit with advertisers as well.
In addition to the new name Magic 97 and the music, Magic 97 became the first radio station to set itself apart by programming 40 Minute Music Marathons every hour throughout the day except for the Breakfast morning show.
Gary Butler, Mike Critch Jr. (Mike Campbell) were programming the music with a special attention to local talent.
Magic 97 became the leader in launching home grown talent such as Great Big Sea who were played on the air, several months before being aired by any other radio station.
In 1990, Celebration Saturdays was introduced to station listeners. It was a three-hour block of party-themed music sponsored by Bender's On George, a local nightclub, hosted by Mike Campbell and later Micky T (Thomas). Its success led to the creation of Celebration Roadshow on Friday nights starting in the summer of 1996. Celebration Saturdays was the last show aired on Magic 97 before the switch to K-Rock.
However, by early 2002, soon after Newcap bought the VOCM stations from the Butler family, its audience had apparently dipped enough that Newcap changed the format to classic rock, a format where research indicated untapped potential. Sure enough, it soon became the top-rated FM station in the St. John's market. Unexpectedly, much of its audience came from country music station CKIX-FM, also a Newcap property. It was enough that this station was promptly reformatted as well; it became a contemporary hit radio station, Hits FM, serving much of the audience lost after the end of Magic 97.
The sole rebroadcaster of the station is VOCM-FM-1 Clarenville, which broadcasts at 100.7 MHz, although three other NewCap stations in the province (CKXD-FM Gander, CKXG-FM Grand Falls-Windsor, and CKXX-FM Corner Brook) also feature the K-Rock brand and format. The brand is also shared by several other NewCap-owned stations throughout Canada.
Unusual Call Letters
Excluding rebroadcasters (i.e. those of VOAR (AM)), VOCM-FM is the only Canadian FM station with a call sign beginning with the ITU prefix "VO". VOCM-FM and its sister station VOCM (AM) are among just four radio stations in Canada still bearing call signs beginning with "VO," issued to the Dominion of Newfoundland before its confederation into Canada in 1949. VOCM-FM first went on the air in 1982, well after Newfoundland became a Canadian province. But it took the historic call letters of its sister station VOCM, which FM stations in Canada may do, by adding the "-FM" suffix.
- VOCM-FM-1 100.7 FM - Clarenville
- 97.5 K-Rock
- VOCM-FM history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for VOCM-FM