Friday, June 03, 2005

The new WCBS-FM, New York City...

UPDATE (June 07, 2005) - the WCBS page I previously linked to below now holds a message from the program director of the old format. The station lives online, for those with the inclination and hardware to stream it from the web. And Mr. Chad Brown is quite gracious in his remarks. stands for Whacked Corporate Bull S*** Format-Monkeying.

They are no longer a 60's oldies station. They are now another cookie-cutter Infinity Broadcasting tool. And oh, how they're trying to sell us:

Jack in New York is a dramatic change from traditional radio formats.
This dramatic change means sounding like the mutant spawn of classic rock stations like New York's Q-104.3 and The Hawk, 97.5 out of Philly.

You told us that you are tired of stations that play the same 300 songs over...and over...and over. 101.1 Jack FM is playing what we want…the best songs from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, right up through today no matter where you first heard them.
So glad my personal memo got through. C'mon, you're not fooling anyone. You're losing market share and just want to elbow your way into the trough. News flash: the only thing in the trough is swill.

Just listen, it's like your iPod on shuffle.
My shuffle at work spit out the following ten songs to close the day:
1. Grateful Dead, "Eyes of the World"
2. Steely Dan, "Blues Beach"
3. Dave Brubeck Quartet, "The City is Crying"
4. Seatbelts, "Too Good Too Bad"
5. Leroy Andersen, "Sleigh Ride"
6. the Cantina Theme from Star Wars
7. Dire Straits, "Skateaway"
8. "Revenge Rocco Style" from Interstate 76
9. Yes, "Lightning Strikes"
10. Sly and the Family Stone, "Stand!"
Better or worse isn't the point. The point is, how many people have heard even half of that list on any radio station?

Join Jack as we blast away the traditional rules of radio with something different...
CBS-FM was the only major oldies station left in the New York metropolitan area. The only thing approaching it is the weekend programming of NJ-101.5. On my way home from Target, they were playing Elvis, the Beatles, and the Spinners. You were playing "Sultans of Swing," "Synchronicity II," and "Heat of the Moment."

Maybe a whole evening will reveal a more balanced listening portrait, but I don't want to bother. WCBS had the same format for longer than I've been alive. Some of the DJs have been staples on the air: Cousin Brucie, Harry Harrison, Bob Shannon... even Mickey Dolenz had his 100th broadcast just this morning. You didn't even tell them they were off the air as of today - not only were we shocked, but they didn't even know. What a petty, pissy little move.

Now you're playing ELO's "Turn to Stone" even as I type. What a drag. You can cram it with walnuts, boys, because I am not listening to you, ever. I will sign whatever protest letter crosses my path. And on the very off chance that my little backwater is graced by their visits - Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Brucie. Thanks, Bill Brown (who once played a listener Brown Bag that I sent in!). You guys deserved so much more. One and all, I'll miss you.


Therese Z said...

Same thing happened in Chicago, to its last FM oldies station, WJMK 104.3 FM. Probably owned by the same conglomerate.

There's still an AM oldies station, and some of the DJ's fled there. There's also an on-line station coming up, with the long-time DJ's appearing on it, perhaps simultaneously with the FM station.

It happened silently, but people are waking up to what's happened and are sighing helplessly.

Kate B. said...

You ahve Seatbelts? As in, the Seatbelts that did the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack? Where do I get 'em?

Oh, yeah, we have Jack in Dallas, too. Unfortunately, it's at least as good as anything else we have in Dallas, because we are being eaten alive by ClearChannel.

nightfly said...

Ah, a connoisseur... Yes, I do mean Yoko Kanno (seven times I bow before her) and Seatbelts. What a genius.

I got my copies of the soundtracks from Anime Nation. It looks like they have a CD sale, too, so you may be in luck.

OST, No Disc, Blue, and the movie soundtrack ran me about $90 all told, including shipping. The Vitaminless EP was another $14. Totally worth it. BTW, I suspect Tim Jensen may be a believer, based on the lyrics to such tunes as "Gotta Knock a Little Harder."