Christmas music?! Already?
It's happening on Duluth's air waves, but this time, it's not just seasonal – it's here to stay.
Radio network Townsquare Media started broadcasting Christmas tunes simultaneously on two area stations – 106.5 FM and WEBC-AM 560 – on Wednesday, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
The new entity is called, appropriately, "Ho Ho 106.5 FM," and replaces ESPN Radio on the AM band, the paper says.
Duluth is certainly not alone in the early radio start to the holiday season – an Alabama radio station started its jingle bells even earlier this year – but what sets Ho Ho 106.5 apart is that once Christmas is over, the merry tunes aren't going away.
Ho Ho describes itself as "The Northland's Year-Round Christmas Super Station" on its Facebook page, and indeed, a radio spot announcing the format change (you can listen to it here, courtesy of northpine.com) corroborates this.
It's part of a phenomenon known as "Christmas creep," which usually refers to the increasingly early-starting holiday shopping season (which the Chicago Tribune editorialized "is ruining the holidays"), but it's nothing new on the radio.
Last year, WPRI reported on a station in Providence, Rhode Island, that turned heads when it began playing Christmas tunes 24/7 – in November.
Ho Ho 106.5's introduction to the Northland market was met with some confusion by Facebook users, with one commenter on the station's page expressing some skepticism about the change: