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What is Martini Radio?

martiniWhether you are having a dirty one because you like to taste your liquor or maybe you like the cosmo or an apple one because you haven’t developed that taste just yet, many people enjoy some form of martini. Martini Radio is sort of like that in regard to the music they play on the station.

Appealing to both the sophisticated drinker and the new drinker is hard but possible. A new Milwaukee radio station, WZTI-AM (1290), whose Martini Radio format makes everything old new again. The format combines the music of Rat Pack artists like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with modern ones such as Norah Jones, Adele and Amy Winehouse.

What used to be WMCS-AM, which served the African-American audience for 20 years is now Martini Radio. “WMCS did not go away because it was a bad station. It was a great station. It was just a bad business,” said Bill Hurwitz, vice president and general manager of Milwaukee Radio Alliance, which is a partnership of Willie Davis’ All Pro Broadcasting and Times Shamrock Inc. of Scranton, Pa. The group also owns WLDB-FM (93.3) and WLUM-FM (102.1).

Martini Radio is changing the game just a bit because the station has no employees and its music is programmed in house at KZTI-FM in Reno, Nev., a Times Shamrock station that switched to the format last year. Hurwitz said he “made the call” about switching to the Martini Radio format “with my owners.” When he sent out email correspondence regarding the switch, he said he received 14 emails not supporting the change and 141 supporting it.

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