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April Fools on Wild Country 96.5 listeners

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MALONE - Wild Country 96.5 has gone alternative rock? Not quite as radio officials say the switch was part of an April Fools joke.

Drew Scott, Martz Communications’ Corporate program director, said Monday afternoon that the company decided to switch out the station’s country music, which listeners have been accustomed to since it went on air 18 years ago, and roll out alternative rock just for the day.

“We’re telling people we got hacked,” Mr. Scott said, adding that the station was called “Pirate Radio” for the day, which goes along with the whole idea in the radio world of someone taking over a station’s frequency.

He noted that the station’s headquarters received 118 phone calls over a four-hour period during which residents gave mixed reviews about the station’s switch. Some said they were in favor while others wanted their country music back.

Despite how listeners felt about it, Mr. Scott said the station was set to switch back to country at midnight on Tuesday for those who enjoy waking up to their country music in the morning.

Other measures went along with the prank, including disabling the station’s website for the day and making it so that anyone who has a car radio that displays the name of the station and song playing would see question marks instead.

Anyone who left a voicemail at the radio station office should beware, however, since some of the recorded reactions may be played on 96.5 throughout the day on Tuesday.

As for the alternative rock, nothing has been set for Martz Communications to create a station for the genre anytime soon.

“There has been talk of an alternative rock station,” Mr. Scott said.

He noted that the company just bought two stations in Potsdam, but neither of those will be alternative rock.

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