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Radio station AM 1290 WMCS announces it is changing its format

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee radio station AM 1290 WMCS is changing its format after 20 years. This caused a mix of confusion and concern on Tuesday, February 26th.

At Gee's Clippers, longtime listeners lamented the loss of R&B, blues and gospel music shows and hosts, including Earl Ingram and Eric Von.

"I was shocked. I was really surprised. 1290 has been, truly, that voice for the community. It was just a great opportunity for the community to hear about things that's going on, stay aware, stay in tune," Gaulien Smith said.

So what happened?

"A business decision was made that a radio station has to make money and unfortunately, 1290 WMCS was not a profitable entity," Vice President and General Manager of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, Bill Hurwitz said.

Currently in a strategy known as "stunting," the station is playing a steady stream of Elvis Presley music.

"They gonna lose a lotta listeners," Smith said.

FOX6 News spoke with Real Milwaukee's Cassandra McShepard, who spent five-and-a-half years working at AM 1290 WMCS. She said she's saddened to hear that the community has lost this resource, but added she's not surprised it has something to do with money since she says revenue was always a challenge there.

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