Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New York Finally Gets A Triple-A Radio Station, Sort Of

Smooth Jazz CD101.9 Bites The Dust, Makes Way for 101.9 RXP

In New York, the nation's most-conservative radio market -- because of the money at stake -- any change in a station's format is a big deal. That's even more so when a station that's played the same kind of music dumps its format without warning.
But so it went at 4 p.m. for CD101.9 , which had been the smooth jazz station in the Big Apple for 20 years.
The perception had been that while the station -- never my cup of tea -- was never gangbusters in the ratings, it attracted the right demographics to bill a healthy-enough amount to satisfy its overseers at Emmis Broadcasting.
But apparently not.
Now it's called 101.9 RXP, and flipped to a Triple-A-esque format that, at first blush, is more active than what can normally be heard at non-commercial WFUV.
A sample of the first hour, as posted on the Web site:

1. The Velvet Underground - Rock 'n' Roll

2. R.E.M. Supernatural Superserious
3. Elvis Costello - Pump It Up
4.Tom Petty - Mary Jane's Last Dance
5.Blondie - Call Me
6.The Bravery - Believe
7.Bruce Springsteen - Blinded By The Light
8.The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize
9.U2 - Angel Of Harlem
10.Nickelback - Rockstar
11.Red Hot Chili Peppers - Zephyr Song
12.The Black Crowes - Hard To Handle
13.The Killers - Somebody Told Me

Of course, it's early and the format will be subject to tweaking. First tweak: Anything by Nickelback, which doesn't fit into any incarnation of a Triple-A format.
Nonetheless, having a station like this in the market is most welcome, as rock music on commercial radio in New York has never been more stultifying, save for WFUV and WXPK, in the northern suburbs, which definitely has cause for concern.
The station's promising that it won't be deadened by corporate playlists -- we'll see -- and that it'll actually let its jocks have a big say in what music gets on, sort of hearkening back to the glory days of WNEW-FM.
So far, the only deejay announced is Brian Schock, who most notably was the PD at San Diego's alternative rocker 91X. He'll do PM drive and serve as music director. RXP's program director is CD101.9 holdover Blake Lawrence, a 30-year radio vet albeit one light on rock experience.
"It's unheard of in radio these days, but 101.9 RXP is about the music and not so much the music business - we're merging rock styles and generations into a singular community that we call The New York Rock Experience," Lawrence told FMQB.
The station will also frequently spotlight New York bands, such as The Hold Steady and Nada Surf.
So far, they're saying the right things.
Now they just have to play them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,
Or whatever your name is. Why don't you keep your mouth shut and just spin the tone? Your raps, and supposed knwoledge and acquantainces with music industry people is outright boring. Just play the music and i will again listen to your station in the A.M.