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August 12th, 2009

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12:36 am - my name is duane glasscock, king of kings
WBCN went out tonight on Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I caught the last few minutes as I got home.

Now there's nothing.

WBCN will live on in HD broadcast and online, but 104.1, a legendary frequency which never left my car presets no matter how my musical tastes changed, is being given over to Boston's Mix station, which currently broadcasts on 98.5. 98.5 will then become a sports talker, touting itself as "Boston's only FM sports station."

I'm sure you all remember the massive rallies and marches on City Hall and Copley Square with hordes of radio fans demanding an FM sports station, because there were just too many sports radio choices on the AM band. Why keep switching around Down There when you can just hit the FM and listen to the radio equivalent of YouTube commenters voicing their opinions about Theo Epstein? Yes, this was truly a change that Boston needed and none too soon. Thank heavens the corporate suits at CBS Radio know what's best for us.

Meanwhile, the Rock of Boston, a 40-year-old legend, steps aside to give its freq to Mix, a station which always comes close, but inevitably loses out to Magic 106.7 "Boston's Soft Rock" as the #1 Station You Quickly Switch Away From When You Hit It On Scan.

I will never say the word "Mix" in the same sentence as WBCN's frequency. To do so would be blasphemy.

Here's the thing, though: Format change and disappearing stations is an inevitability in radio. It happens all the time and usually without a thought for the former loyal listeners. Why bother with them when you're aiming to grab all-new listeners in a new demographic? It means new sponsors and all kinds of fun stuff. So you wake up one morning in Washington and WHFS, one of the best rock stations in the country, is playing Latino dance music. Or you tune to Radio 104 in Hartford expecting alt rock and you get Usher instead. Or (and this is dating myself here, I know) WAQY, good ol' Wacky 102 in Springfield, drops its Top 40 format and goes classic rock and is no longer wacky, though they sure do GET THE LED OUT every day at 5 with a classic rock block of Zep comin your way.

It happens to the best of them. It happens to the worst of them. But by god, it shouldn't have happened to WBCN. I'm glad they'll still be around in some form, but it's just not the same. Some may argue it hadn't been the same since Laquidara left or WZLX came around with a very similar format, but the original is now gone. Gone gone gone. Gone gone gone gone gone.

Now I'm sick of the word gone. Goodnight.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
I blinked. BCN is gone? The hell.

Their debut in '68, going straight from classical music broadcasts to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, was the stuff of local legends. Jesus.

*sigh* thanks for the heads-up, Spatch.

[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
Its interesting to see how many markets Clearchannel has decimated and completely redone on multiple occasions. Its as if they had dudes sitting around getting paid and they did this to justify their jobs.

Radio 104 is an interesting example: Shortly before I left CT, the station reverted back to a alternative rock station with little fanfare and rarely any DJs. Looking up on wikipedia, the station was sold (low ratings) and picked up by a local company who owns a couple of hilariously low rent stations in New London. Its back to the Radio 104 moniker; Hartford now is the only market I can think of that the two rock competing rock stations are ostensibly independents.
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
WHAAA??? Now who's gonna play Alice's Restaurant on Thanksgiving??

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