Skip to comments.After 3 Decades:WCBS FM In NYC Switches Formats,Stuns Listeners
Posted on 06/04/2005 2:42:15 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache
Rock shock: Nation's No. 1 oldies station changes formats
NEW YORK It's the day the music died.
W-C-B-S F-M in New York, the top oldies station in the nation for more than three decades, stunned its legion of listeners by abruptly switching formats this weekend.
Goodbye, Buddy Holly and the Beach Boys.
Hello, Duran Duran and Jet.
The station had switched to an oldies format in 1972, initially as a bastion for the doo-wop sounds of the '50s. Although the playlist changed over the years, W-C-B-S F-M always remained the outpost for classic Top 40 radio in the nation's largest radio market.
The station's new format is called "Jack," an eclectic mix of hit music from the '70s through the present. The station's owner, Infinity Broadcasting, made the same format shift Friday at its Chicago oldies station, W-J-M-K F-M, where classic Top 40 had aired for the past 21 years.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press.
Change is good. 70's music is good.
Very upsetting. Tried to find it on my dial this morning before I heard the news and it was weird not being able to.
Now New York City has neither an oldies nor a country and western station. And my cable system doesn't offer the country music channels, either.
I like Jet. Buddy Holly-no way.
I'll be resetting my car radio FM a few ticks down the dial, to the New Jersey oldies station. But I will miss Cousin Brucie!
Grown men wept.
As did 94.9 Zeta in Miami when they went from rock to spanish in the blink of an eye. I will never forget 103.5 WSHE changing overnight from AOR Rock to All Alternative. Beyond pissed. Same with 97 GTR in Miami from the 80s and 90s...became Adult Contemp.
All 3 ruled big time back in the day...XM and Sirrius is where it is at now,or just plain cd's. Commercial radio sucks beyond anything the Democratic Party can do...and that is really sucking.
Come to think of it..103 SHE in Ft.Laud/Miami went from AOR Rock to Alternative to Pop to Dance to Disco to now Rap. All in 10 years.
People in their fifties like music from the 70's - 90's.
The stations have to go where the money is in order to survive. If there was a lot of money in oldies, they'd still be playing them.
"Cool 100.3 in Orlando switched from oldies to Rumba 100.3 (en Espanol) a few months ago. "
Lol. Now that's quite a change
They claimed that their audience was aging out, and as I look in the mirror there is some truth in that. But there are many kids like my 19 year old daughter who grew up in households all over the tri state area listening to CBS FM and Cousin Brucie and Harry Harrison. Go to any sweet sixteen party and listen to how many 50s and 60s songs are played and danced to. There's a long ago episode of WKRP that this is reminiscent of, only thing now is, it's not funny.
Even took a call from a disgruntled listener and played one of the dj's sound bite(?), or whatever they're called.
Their listeners were stuned?
"Grown men wept."
I don't blame them. I myself feel like crying over this. I'd be listening to CBS right now if this hadn't happened.
Someone who knows WSHE.!!!!
I used to have a shirt that said "She's only rock and roll....." I loved that station. WCKO (102.7 FM, IIRC), too.
We have had Jack here for a couple of months (Los Angeles), and it's working out OK. At first they did play all the listeners' complaint calls on the air. Kind of funny. But the station they replaced had about 5 records (I think they WERE records!) and three of them were Led Zeppelin.
You're right. What's the alternative? Compelling stations to play oldies? Good grief.
What about the new terrestrial HD Radio? Many broadcast stations across the country are now broadcasting a seperate digital signal along with their analog broadcast. So soon, FM radio stations will not only be digital, but will offer multiple channels of audio. So Sirius and XM may be where it is at now... but eventually they will have local competition.
One station in the Seattle area played nothing but 70's music. That included disco, rock, beginnings of punk, what country they had back then....an incredible mix. You could listen for a week and never hear the same song twice. Great stuff.
I'm in my50's. I listen to 50's & 60's music! I have Sirius satellite radio.
"The problem with a lot of oldies stations is that they play the same blasted playlist all the time"
Yup. I find that too.
I used to work at SHE. You have to say it like the sweeper/bumper said it with a screaming crowd "SHE'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL" with the crowd screaming after it. Double Shot Tuesdays,Triple Shot Weekend's....oh yes...rock radio is dead in South Florida for good. BIG 106 is just dreadful.
It is auditorium testing,not the radio station's fault. They bring in about 1,500 people and play them 10-20 second samples of songs and people vote on them for a few hours and are paid like 20 bucks for their time.
Whatever the results are of the tests the radio station sets their playlist accordingly. That means deeper cuts ala AOR Rock radio are not going to be picked because instead of radio giving a chance to rock artists they just play it safe and play the hits that the idiotic public chooses...
"oh yeah man i love black dog from zep..im votin for that...oh yeah i love more than a feeling from boston...im votin for that" so when they throw in a mix of songs and people do not recognize the song,they don't vote for it because they have either forgotten what that song was or only have 10-20 seconds to decide.
I was in South Florida about three weeks ago. Fairly decent recent addition to the dial (93.1 I think) but you are correct. Not many choices.
She's only rock and roooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllll.
SHE was fantastic!
How many freakin' times do you need to hear 'Rock Around the Clock' in your life?
It's 1690 WRRL-AM, Chicago, IL. Goes by 'Real Oldies.' They are on the Internet at http://www.realoldies1690.com/main.html.
You can listen to this station on the Internet at that URL.
While I've enjoyed a lot of oldies music myself, not to be forgotten on a thread like this is the fact that a lot of the "oldies" stations have created continuing subsidies for Liberal/anti-American musicians/fellow travelers like Springsteen, John Fogerty, WAR, Linda Ronstadt, The Guess Who and many others from around the Vietnam era. A list of last year's anti-Bush "Rock The Vote" participating bands might also be worth mention in this regard.
Those who might consider adding to collections -- even by MP3 files now -- and thus paying royalties, -- or going to concerts by these people -- and paying a minimum fee plus a percentage of the gate -- PLEASE reconsider!
Side note: of the British Invasion of the '60s, how many are outspoken American patriots today? (The Dead Kennedys group doesn't count)
I used to listen to Cousin Brucie. I like oldies. Anything but most modern pop and rap.
Cousin Brucie posted somewhere yesterday that he intends to be back on the air somewhere pretty soon.
Jack replaced the station that had two records. One was Van Halen and the other was Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".
The posters complaining of the change obviously aren't music lovers.
If it's anything like "Jack FM" (100.3) in Dallas - Fort Worth it's probably quite good. Austin's got "Bob FM". It's a strong format and fun to listen to.
I don't channel-surf as much as I used to in the car. They're good.
You are absolutely correct. The percentage of teenagers and twentysomethings that have turned their back on current Top 40 music is higher today than it has ever been since the beginning of rock itself, mainly because today's "popular" music is more homogenized than ever before. You can choose hip-hop or pseudo-punk "alternative" rock, nothing else. And within those two genres, almost every song sounds the same as the one before, which makes it even worse.
What I really can't understand, though, is why Infinity chose CBS-FM for the format switch, when it was their second-highest-rated station in NYC (only 1010 WINS did better in the most recent ratings book). Why didn't they try the Jack format on WNEW-FM, which has been in the ratings toilet for years?
MrLee has your answer.
I listen to radio as much as I watch TV.
Nada. None. Zilch. Zip.
Obviously its all the illegal downloading of oldies that has forced the format change. And people say stealing music does no harm.
Anyone listen to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater back in the day? EG Marshall and later Tammy Grimes as host? A whos who of great voice actors...Fred Gwyn, Mason Adams (the voice on the Smuckers ads) etc
Sounds like it's time for XM Radio?
>>>> Buddy Holly-no way
Buddy Holly yes-way. He's the reason hundreds of people flock to my home town in the middle of winter to remember the anniversary of his last performance.
LOL! Man, you want the Democratic Party to attempt to fix commercial radio?
We pay big bucks...6 figures worth....for the testing. It pays off sorta. Our demo is a professional 25-54 year old woman. Proabbly divorced, possibly on her second marriage. Coupla kidz and at least one pet. Drives Hondas, Toyotas and other toaster cars but would really like a bimmer.
Our cash cow station is WSHH-FM. (we have 3 stations in Pittsburgh, 30+ across the county) WSHH broadcasts to wimmin and we spend tons of cash to figure out what they want.
Right now i'st Eagles , Eagles , Eagles....sigh.
We're always running around 5 in share. Usually around 5th in ranking... sometimes up to 4th... sometimes down as low as 8th. In the long run we prove we can >reliably< deliver the pantyhose demo and buyers shell out for that.
But DANG...Do I MISS the OLD DAYS and REAL RADIO!!
BTW since I'm old and like 50's music I can really get into DooWop, Beach and early R&R. Right now I'm on a Tiki Lounge kick to the EXTREME of remodeling my attic into a bachelor pad/tiki lounge setting complete with thatched roof and bamboo/rattan furniture. Only gals like Sandy Warner in a sarong or bikini will be allowed and the musical wallpaper will be all be Martin Denny Exotica or Space Age Pop stuff. Check out the Retro Cocktail Hour on KANU Kansas Public radio and the net - netcasting. You'll have to Google, I'm too tired to find the link.
Disco is good? No wonder the country is so screwed up right now.
Oh, by the way, terrestial radio is dead, long live satellite and Howard Stern rules.
"I like Jet. Buddy Holly-no way."
Go for Buddy. Jet sucks garbage juice.
...the musical wallpaper will be all be Martin Denny Exotica or Space Age Pop stuff
I think "Rock Around the Clock" by Hal Singer (1950) is a great tune.
My favorite radio station for rock and roll music is XESUR, a border blaster out of Rosarita Beach, BCN, at 540 kilocycles on the AM dial. This station has a rich repertoire of music that includes not only hits, but obscurities as "Wicked Ruby," by Tony Zella (1958), an up-tempo rocker by an obscure Detroit artist that I had never heard before. Its signal can be heard throughout much of Southern California.
If you want to hear some real radio, surf over to http://www.reelradio.com.
An even more bizarre format change was for the Bethesda, MD WHFS going from Alternative/Album Rock for 35 years to a Spanish only station without any previous announcement. People turned on their radios and thought the tuner was broken.