Saturday, July 07, 2007

It Should Happen Everywhere

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for this update.

iWon News - Are Oldies the New Jack on NYC Radio?
NEW YORK (AP) - Everything oldies is new again. WCBS-FM, the nation's No. 1 oldies station for more than three decades until a 2005 switch, is ready to shift from its current "Jack" format and re-embrace the classic sounds of its past, according to online reports.

"If this happens, it will be a fantastic move," said "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, one of the veteran DJs jettisoned when the station swapped formats. "There isn't a day that goes by that people don't come up to me and say, 'We miss the station so much.'"

CBS Radio, owner of the station, declined to comment on the much rumored change.

Oldies fans were outraged when WCBS - which began as an oldies station in 1972 - abandoned that music without warning for the jukebox-style "Jack" format June 3, 2005. Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind" faded out and the Beastie Boys'"Fight for Your Right" announced the drastic changeover.

At the time of the switch, WCBS was eighth in the New York Arbitron ratings. The most recent numbers released, for the January-March period, showed the Jacked-up version of the station sitting in 16th place. The station's revenues had also dropped.


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15 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Geeze, I listened to Cousin Brucie 47 years ago, and he was already a mainstay of the NY rock radio scene. He was a good guy, though, and always stood up for the kids.

Bill Crider said...

I hope they give him some work.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Don't worry, the guy's a zillionaire. They'd give him whatever work he wants to do. Personally, I know I'm in the minority but I never cared for him.

We went to the same high school and he was the honored guest at Homecoming when I was a student there, which I guess makes him even more of a geezer than the rest of us.

Bill Crider said...

I'm glad to know that someone's more of a geezer than I am.

Shelly said...

The CBS-FM DJs have scattered. Cousin Brucie does 2 or 3 nights of satellite radio.

Some of us won't be going back to CBS when they reinstate oldies and I listened to them for 30 years. I've found a new radio station I enjoy: WAXQ, the Classic Rock station. Others started listening to satellite radio and others to the Long Island and NJ oldies stations.

CBS might be changing back too late to recapture its loyal audience.

Shelly said...

BTW, I wasn't much of a Bruce Morrow fan. I listened to him at 77-WABC in the '60s, but he was far from my fav DJ. That honor is held by Harry Harrison, Dan Ingram, and the late Jack Spector whom I had the pleasure of meeting. Even before firing all the DJs, CBS had treated Ingram shabbily, forcing him out.

Bill Crider said...

Satellite radio is about all I ever listen to now. Houston's stations are the pits.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Cousin Brucie was kind and encouraging to my brother Jim when Jim was breaking into the DJ business (Jim's now the morning man on WBCB in Bucks County, PA). Be sure to read the book _Cousin Brucie!: My Life in Rock 'n' Roll Radio_ (1987).

Fred Blosser said...

One of my memories from family vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the '60s -- listening to Dan Ingram and others on "Music radio ... WABC," which came in clearly if somewhat faintly from NY. Memory grows dim, but I think I also heard WABC sometimes on clear winter nights as a kid in West Virginia; WLS from Chicago and CKLW from Windsor-Detroit also came in at night in WVa; I'd often wake up in the morning to WLS farm reports on the clock radio because I'd been listening to that channel just before I went to sleep.

Bill Crider said...

Beth, that sounds like a book I need to read.

Fred, we could pick up WLS down in Texas, too. I'd listen to Dick Biondi at night on the car radio.

Todd Mason said...

My own memories of WCBS are pretty much focused on tuning in for THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER when I lived in New England in the '70s, when I couldn't find a more local station that was clearing it. Not that it was really worth the effort, too often.

Kent said...

WLS must have covered the middle part of the continent from Texas to at least north of the 53rd parallel. When I was growing up in The Pas, Manitoba, it was one of the 50,000W clear channel stations that blasted in after dark on cold winter nights. We also got two other Chicago stations, WGN with Jack Eigen broadcasting live from the Chez Paree and WFAM. A couple of weeks ago we were discussing late night radio on our Yahoo The Pas Schools and a former student now living in the Ukraine jumped in with memories of listening to Dick Biondi on WLS.

Although I haven't got around to reading it, I have a copy of Rocking America by Rick Sklar. who was the program director at WABC. It's described an an insider's story of the rock radio revolution.

Bill Crider said...

At night in Central Texas we could get WNOE from New Orleans, WLS, WLAC from Nashville, and KOMA from Oklahoma City. And of course XERF and XEG.

Brent McKee said...

DXing Medium Wave (AM) stations used to be something of a hobby for me. The New York stations were always covered by something closer, but from Saskatoon I could usually pick up stations in Cleveland, Chicago, sometimes LA. I think my longest distance pick-up was San Antonio, and Dallas was usually fairly easy. CBK in Watrous Saskatchewan used to reach way down into the great plains states at night and covered most of North Dakota and parts of Minnesota even in the daytime. Unfortunately my log book is long gone and I don't try for them anymore. It was easier when Clear Channel wasn't a media company but a mandated requirement of the FCC to restrict some frequencies to one or two stations in all of North America.

Bill Crider said...

WFAA in Dallas had a 5K watt transmitter that pretty well covered the US and some of Canada. Bill Mack had a late night show that truckers from all over listened to.