Twin Cities commuters and radio listeners are slow-grooving to R&B and soft-rock oldies again, as Love 105 has returned to the local FM dial after changing from sports-talk to a classic-hip-hop outlet over the last five years.
The reversion to a format perhaps best described as grandma's makeout playlist was made this past week after the station spent what felt like five more years -- but was actually just six weeks – operating as a holiday-music station.
Wednesday’s playlist under the newly relaunched Love 105 banner reminded listeners what they were missing: Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder smoothly blended on air with other ‘70s/’80s staples such as the Bee Gees, Joe Cocker and (look ‘em up!) Skylark.
Originally aired from 2007 to 2013, the Love 105 brand took over the trio of frequencies (105.1, 105.3 and 105.7) that used to house alt-rock stations Drive 105 and Rev 105. The soft-and-silky format apparently did well enough in that span for the bosses at Cumulus Media to make the unlikely decision to go back to it once the briefly hot Vibe 105 format fizzled.
“Love 105 was a very successful format for us, and we are excited to return to it,” Shelly Wilkes, vice-president and marketing manager at Cumulus Media’s Twin Cities office, said in a statement.
Crosstown competitor iHeartMedia is still offering classic-rap alongside modern hip-hop on Hot 102.5, which emerged within weeks of the Vibe 105 changeover in 2015. Even then, though, radio experts voiced skepticism over the “shelf-life” of the classic-rap format after other cities saw similar stations enjoy only short-lived popularity. Modern, youthful hip-hop station Go 95.3, on the other hand, has turned into a consistent and influential brand on the local FM dial over the past three years.