Are these radio companies killing Rock Radio on purpose . . . Especially CBS Radio? (1 Viewer)

The Fat Man

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This post is a subjective point of view about the state of Rock music. The statements made have little to no factual evidence for support. It also must be said that I fully understand that all radio is a buisness and companies will go in the direction that will garner the most amount of profit.

Yesterday, I posted in a thread, in the Dish Network Forum, that I am tired of specificly CBS Radio's "agenda" to kill Modern Rock Radio. In the thread, I was really vague, because my statement had very little to do with OP's post. It made me think though about how much repressed anger I have toward the topic. I'll have to begin to what caused the anger in the beginning.

In August of 2009, CBS Radio made a decision to end a 40+ year run of WBCN (formerly on 104.1 in Boston), the station that got me to listen to rock as a child, in the late 80s, start an Sports Talk format, and (to pour salt on an open wound) swap frequencies of the Sports Talk format with their pop station. So, in all, two hours after WBCN disapeared (I don't coun't that HD Radio escuse, the station I knew is GONE) Mix 98.5 became Mix 104.1. I acually went out to my car at 12:30 AM. and erased 104.1 from my preset before Mix switched. In the days that followed, I really got tired of people from CBS, and general people interested in the field claiming that men in their 20s and 30s rather listen to guys talk about Sports all day long instead listen to music that they enjoyed. I began to observe the state of other current and former Modern Rock CBS Stations around the country and noticed a very disturbing trend that began around late 2008/early 2009, and still continues today.

For arguement sake, we can say that the current onslaught began about a decade ago when CBS began to attempt to grow a replacement for Howard Stern with Opie & Anthony during their 102.7 WNEW run. During that time, Nu-Metal was on the rise with bands like Godsmack, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, and others. Howard Stern was still huge across America, but we all knew that their would be a time when Stern's run would end. CBS realized that shows like Stern and O&A brought in profit. They began to use a practice of limiting the amout of rock music being played on rock stations to push these shows that broadcasted across America, and limited the cost of hiring local DJs to play the music. Had Sex for Sam 3 never happened, we would have seen a growing trend of exactly what happened at WNEW. Shutting down rock for talk.

Unfortunate for CBS, SFS3 did happen, and they soon realized that besides shows like Stern and O&A, people really didn't care about Talk. Stern still carried the ratings for many rock stations like WXRK in New York. For others, like WBCN, programning following Stern held well enough in the ratings. In my opinion, CBS was livid at these stations, because it had plans dating back to 2000 to eliminate the rock format. Rock fans tend to be more assoiciated with Internet savy people who also follow the independent scene more willingly than those who listen to Pop radio. Which, CBS began doing with some of its former rock stations following the loss of O&A, most notably WNEW.

When Sten left for Sirius, CBS was stuck with two situations. For the stations that used Stern's ratings to hold themselves together, such as WXRK, CBS's answer was "Free-FM". For others, CBS couldn't justify killing them off YET. This began an act that CBS played with each of its rock stations on the East Coast. Watering down the music. Ironically, when Stern left, the remaining rock stations began to play a heavy rotation of 90s grounge and alternative with very little new acts. Most new music came from 80s and 90s established bands, such as Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Bush, etc,. or the Superbands that were a combo of members of 80s and 90s bands, such as Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, Army of Everyone, etc. Little new acts poke their heads up, and in my opinion, the majority of them were horrible acts, most notably Silver Sun Pickups. Bands such as the one just mentioned were over played with songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit, Machinehead, Down, Bulls on Parade, etc. Then when listeners began to look at their markets competition, who had a better variety in their catalogue and more NEW ACTS, CBS claimed that ratings were low, and they didn't need their rock stations.

One hurtle remained. David Lee Roth was selected to replace Stern on the East Coast, with other acts across the country. Stern refered to it in his final months on CBS Radio as "carving up my empire". Roth did as horrible as expected, trying to kill the national morning show; however, acts like Adam Carolla, Penn, and even Rover held some ratings. But, CBS's Fee-FM was failing in most markets. To help boost the Free-FM ratings Roth was replaced with Stern's original intended replacements Opie & Anthony. The show overall held very well, but Free-FM didn't. CBS still wanted to hold its men in their 20s and 30s demo so some stations reverted back to rock, such as WFNY going back to K-Rock and eevntually the WXRK call letters, and WYSP. Other stations went way of CBS #2 format, Pop.

Still watering down the music selection, CBS never intended to permentally replace Free-FM with rock. They just tried to hold on until the next big talk format was ready. In New York, Sports Talk was doing well on WFAN. The station generally did and still does hold well. Also, HD Radio was beginning to be pushed as competition to Satellite Radio. The light bulb then came on in CBS's head. First, kill K-Rock and Opie & Anthony in the morning. It wasn't easy to kill the latter, so they systematically pulled funding from their rock stations, causing the stations to drop O&A. Without many markets, it became easy to eliminate O&A. No more K-Rock meant no more O&A. CBS figured to force aits second Pop station on New York listeners, as WWFS (formerly WNEW) had been doing for a while.

Eventually, the rock stations one by one began to be sports talk. The rock formats weren't left for people to freely try to resurect. Instead, each of these formats were sent to the purgatory that is HD-2 and HD-3. This kept fans from demanding a return of their favorite stations. All CBS had to say was "it's alive and well at 222.2 HD-2 or 333.3 HD-3".

To wrap up this subjective "History Lesson", CBS is trying to get at the mass that I feel are "brain dead". It's one thing to love sports, as I do. I'm a die hard Hockey fan, and Football is a very close second. But, to sit in my car, and listen to some fat lazy sloth talk about his opinion of the game, and have people who couldn't hack it in high school sports call and talk about how they could do better, is a waste of my time. I enjoy the game, talk about it with my collegues, but I do enjoy diversity in my daily life. In the car, if I'm listening to talk it's a variety of stations. Especially ones that express different point of views. Not, the fat ass in the morning says the Jets could have played better, then the fat ass in the afternoon repeats the same thing, then the fat ass at night talks about how the other two fat asses could be wrong. All doing so while stuffing their fat faces with food provided by the radio station.

And Pop! What can be said, other than it is the same 15 songs in rotation between all 5 pop stations in each market, MTV, MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams (most pop listeners are Rap wanna bees), VH1, and with parts played in CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, NCIS, NCIS LA, American Idol, X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars, and the list goes on and on. My wife says it what people like, but in my opinion, it's only because it's what these companies are forcing down their listeners and viewers throats.

My question to you is, have we reached a point where with the exception of some Hard Rap and Country, no other music format is warranted on the FM dial anymore? Does Sports Talk and Pop deserve to be held in so many different radio and television locations. Does anyone agree with me, or am I just a cinic? Feel free to rip me apart. I know that I am more pasonite about this than most people I know.
 
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LostBoyinVA

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Hmm, I think somone has to write the Internet killed the Radio Station song. Why listen to an FM Radio station with 10 minutes of commercial in 30 minutes, traffic that isn't relelvent to you and another 10 minutes of some boring DJ yapping, when I can program what I want into Pandora or similar on my phone and send it the speakers in my car simply and not have to bother.

There is a local morning show in Washing, DC that has been with the same primary DJ for the 15 years I have been in the DC area. I listen to that show in the morning during my commute to work for maybe 30 minutes a day. For the drive home I plug my smartphone into my radio and listen to Pandora or MP3s. This also give me the benefit with my car-doc for my phone of hand free cell phone, but I'd do it with just a phono jack if I had to.

I have the advantage of working locally and I haven't had to listened to a traffic report in almost 14 years, but if what you want to listen to on the radio is a specific type of music you are more likely to get the kind of music you want internet radio then with FM Radio and you will hear the music you want to hear not endless commercials and DJ babble.
 

The Fat Man

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I know that I'm only speaking about Rock stations; however, Pandora and IHeartRadio still practice watering down playlists. I tell it I want modern rock, and it still plays the same artists. I see the most variety on SiriusXM, thankfully I have Dish and am able to listen to the music channels.
 

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