Thursday, April 28, 2005

Radio: We Hate Rock'n'Roll

According to the New York Times, radio stations are running away from "new rock" as fast as their corporate-owned feet will carry them:

In the last four months, radio executives have switched the formats of four modern-rock, or alternative, stations in big media markets, including WHFS in Washington-Baltimore area, WPLY in Philadelphia and the year-old KRQI in Seattle. Earlier this month WXRK in New York discarded most newer songs in favor of a playlist laden with rock stars from the 80's and 90's.

..."The format in the last couple of years has gone through an identity crisis," said Kevin Weatherly, program director of KROQ, a closely watched alternative powerhouse in Los Angeles. "You have stations that are too cool, that move too quickly and are only playing the coolest music, which doesn't at the end of the day attract enough of the audience. Or you have the other extreme, dumb rock, red-state rock that the cool kids just flat out aren't into."

...Some analysts fear that, when radio stations switch from alternative rock to programming aimed at older listeners, they may be making a sacrifice. "Radio has ceded the younger demographic to other media," said Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media, a radio consulting company in Southfield, Mich., specializing in rock. "I just don't know how we're going to get back people who didn't get into the radio habit in their teens," he said, adding, "It really becomes problematic down the road."
Radio has been terrible for years, so it's not surprising that people who like good music don't listen to radio. I think the whole concept of formats is a little bit stupid in anything but maybe country and Top 40. Maybe I'm wrong, but people like to shuffle all kinds of music on their iPods, so why wouldn't they want their radio shuffled the same way?

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