The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 June 2005

Those oldies but goodies

I learned a long time ago that I was no longer valued as an audience member by the commercial-radio industry; I'm too old and I can't be persuaded to listen to the stuff they're most anxious for me to hear. Still, it never occurred to me to mourn.

Until Michele said this:

As I got older and had my own radio tuned to the rock and roll of WNEW, I never tired of hearing CBS emanating from the kitchen or the backyard. I prided myself on knowing all those doo wop lyrics, all those early rock artists. Even now, walking into a store that had CBS on the stereo, to hear the call letters was the equivalent of comfort food; the warm, cozy feeling of your past reaching out to give you a squeeze. It made my heart and soul feel good and now it's gone. I never thought I'd be saddened over the loss of a radio station, especially one I rarely listened to anymore — I've been angry and pissed off and cynical every time a station I like changed formats, but I've never been so sad to see something go.

WCBS-FM continues to issue forth some semblance of an oldies format at its Web site, but much of the value of radio is in its portability: if you can't listen to it in the park or on the freeway, why bother?

Here in the Okay City, KOMA is giving more airtime to 70s tunes, but their playlist hasn't expanded; they've simply divested themselves of that ancient 50s stuff that people like me (and Michele, who is just about a whole decade younger than I am) still cherish. Fortunately, I still have my records.

Posted at 5:39 PM to Overmodulation , Tongue and Groove


TrackBack: 3:39 PM, 6 June 2005
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On my way to Round 2 of DJ's baseball playoffs in a few (despite ominous thunderstorm/tornado warnings). Something for you to read: Darth Vader, the Yourish interview. And then there was that insufferable Yoda. The creature never learned how to......[read more]

TrackBack: 12:18 PM, 10 June 2005
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As I recently wrote to Chaz (who has probably forgotten more about pop music than I ever knew):The demise of WCBS-FM is still sinking in around here. My daughter (age 15) liked it and this is her first taste of...[read more]

Maybe there will be room for the "Real Oldies" format in Oklahoma City. I know it hasn't been a huge success in some cities, but in others, it's done fairly well. Coupled with personality radio and not like the old Drake-Chenault-like reels, it can be fun. "Real Radio" (for those that don't know) is a format that focuses on 50's and 60's and leaves the 70's and early 80's that are creeping into "oldies" stations on the shelf. Radio has changed so much (for the worse) since I left the industry in 1991 after 17 years. Thank you Clear Channel (and deregulation) for ruining radio in America. I still get my fix at www.reelradio.com ................

Posted by: Mike Sw... at 8:03 PM on 5 June 2005

Oops!
"Real Radio" (for those that don't know) is a format that focuses on 50's and 60's and leaves the 70's and early 80's that are creeping into "oldies" stations on the shelf."

I meant to write "Real Oldies"....

Posted by: Mike Sw... at 8:05 PM on 5 June 2005

I don't know who'd be willing to take on the format here. All the Tyler stations fill specific niches; Clear Channel is loath to put something on KEBC lest they be granted the KGYN move-in, in which case they have to give up KEBC; Renda is doing poorly with KOKC, but converting it back to a music station would cannibalize its KOMA listeners.

That leaves Citadel, and the logical place for it would be WKY. But I haven't seen anything to suggest that they're ready to give up their talk format, despite ratings that can be legitimately described as uninspiring.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:13 PM on 5 June 2005

Besides most radio is programmed for =women=. Music radio anyway.

Posted by: ms7168 at 6:03 AM on 6 June 2005

WJMK in Chicago made the same switch this weekend (same owner, Infinity), and I was listening when it happened, or shortly thereafter. My first clue was when I realized AC/DC was playing.

So, what had been an oldies station for over 20 years is just like that Nine FM I wrote up a couple weeks ago. Color me not that enthused. Like Michele, I like having a good oldies station around, even if I don't listen to it all the time.

Radio executives show a lot of contempt for their audience with abrupt moves like this. But, we should know better by now ...

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at 6:59 PM on 6 June 2005

The demise of WCBS-FM is still sinking in around here. My daughter (age 15) liked it and this is her first taste of the cruel world that is radio. Here one minute - gone the next.

The switchover occurred a few hours after CBS-FM morning jock Mickey Dolenz (yes, the ex-Monkee) celebrated his 100th show with a big on-air fete in mid-town. He came back to the studio from the live venue to find he had no job.

Posted by: The Prop at 6:14 AM on 7 June 2005