That didn’t last long, did it? Drew came to The Shark in the spring, but now he’s out. I’m not sure what “new direction” the station is considering, but it can’t be a different music format, can it?
Early ratings have been very strong. Marketing of the product has created a nice buzz on the island. And, most importantly, revenue is up, according to Market Manager Dave Widmer. The station mixes classic rock music with newer rock music, which according to the research Connoisseur paid for, works with the younger demo.
I admit I’ve been tuning in myself, just for the halibut. The music mix sounds good (to the ears of this ex-WRXP listener), but the one thing that keeps me from sticking around for extended periods is their lack of personalities. Without them, it sounds like a non-stop jukebox. If you listen to the podcast in the linked article, Widmer talks about personalities and how the audience is looking for people who know the music that’s being played. Makes me wonder what kind of big fish they’ll hire for mornings.
I don’t think there are enough fish puns in this post. This should fix that.
Kip Addotta – “Wet Dream”
These past few weeks have been interesting, to say the least. We’ve been hit with a hurricane, early snowfall, not to mention island wide power outages and never-ending gas lines. Today, the gas lines are almost nonexistent, and power has been restored to most of the Island, but we’re still in recovery mode.
Back on November 2, WFAN took over the 101.9 FM frequency. This ended the alternative rock format… at least on terrestrial radio. WRXP is now available as an online-only station. So, if 101.9 was planning on going to go online-only, why were they playing ads for 94.3 The Shark? I’ll admit to tuning into The Shark once in a while, but it’s not the same as RXP online stream. Plus I can’t get the stream in my car, anyway.
Meanwhile, we’re all waiting to see what 94.7 WFME will turn into at the end of the year…
By now you know that WRXP will be flipping to sports in November. 94.3 The Shark is seizing this opportunity by advertising on 101.9 FM, telling listeners to flip to 94.3 when 101.9 flips to sports. It’s unusual for radio to be advertising on radio in this way, although it’s not unprecedented.
A little over 20 years ago, Z-100 used to advertise on what was then known as HB-107 (now WLIR), encouraging any city dwellers/workers that their station will be waiting for them when they came back on Monday morning. In 2012, with many stations owned by one entity, the idea of cross-station promotion is not a novel one, and makes sense when it comes to corporate synergy. For example, WCBS-FM may promote upcoming Jets games on sister station WFAN.
For now, RXP is owned by Merlin Media, but after all the paperwork is done it will be owned by CBS. The Shark is owned by Connoisseur. Perhaps Merlin feels it has nothing to lose by promoting a competitor. But it’s not just any competitor, it’s one that’s outside the city. One that covers just part of Long Island (never mind Brooklyn and Queens), and one whose format may lean alternative but still plays Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Fans of the current 101.9 probably will not be satisfied with what 94.3 is offering, if they can pick up the signal. And it’s anybody’s guess what Cumulus will do with 94.7 in December, perhaps they will be reading this petition.
Eventually, we’ll find out if The Shark’s advertising has paid off. My guess? Not by much.
Will you listen to 94.3 The Shark after 101.9 flips to sports? Or is there another station on-air or online where you will get your alternative music?
That sound you hear on 101.9 FM is the sound of the WRXP Mark II in its waning hours. In November, the sounds of Giants football will arrive when WFAN begins simulcasting on FM. I’m a bit depressed about that.
Rumors had been swirling that Merlin Media was (or wasn’t) for sale, so this wasn’t a complete surprise. What is a complete surprise is who bought 101.9: CBS. Yes, the same CBS who currently owns channel 2 (WCBS-TV), 92.3 (Now FM), 101.1 (CBS-FM), 102.7 (Fresh), 660 (WFAN), 880 (WCBS-AM), and 1010 (WINS-AM). Recently, they purchased Long Island’s channel 55 (WLNY-TV). CBS was already at the ownership limit of 2 TV, and 6 radio stations. Adding 101.9 puts a 7th radio station into the mix, and puts them over the ownership limit. Either one radio station or TV station will have to be sold.
Having said that, it makes me wonder why the purchase was even needed in the first place. Couldn’t they just switch off the struggling 92.3 and put WFAN on there? Is CBS to blame for RXP’s impending death? Merlin Media certainly was in debt, and $75 million will go a long way to bring that debt down. Is Merlin Media to blame for RXP’s impending death?
Regardless of where to lay the blame, the end result is still the same. RXP is going away, and rock fans (including myself) are not happy. I try to listen to the station now, but I get melancholy, knowing that it’s going to be gone in a month. Whither The Black Keys? Florence and the Machine? Foster the People? Other unhappy listeners have made their own Facebook page and group to voice their displeasure. A petition has also been created. Hopefully, all this activity will get the attention of someone, anyone, who is willing to take a chance on alternative rock on terrestrial radio.
At this point, you might be asking, “Hey, doc, what about the new stations you mentioned previously?” Yes, 94.3 The Shark and 103.9 WRCN are the newest rock options to hit Long Island, but I’ve always found myself going back to 101.9. The “everything that rocks” format has some alternative songs in it, but not enough to keep me coming back regularly. With this change in the radio landscape, there may be some format tweaking for them in the future.
Maybe the music will return somewhere, but for now I’m mourning 101.9’s impending loss. For some reason, this song seems to be appropriate. Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of Shonen Knife, and they do a pretty good cover of the Ramones.
Are you disappointed that alternative rock is disappearing from 101.9, like I am? Or are you looking forward to hearing more sports on FM?
Shonen Knife – “The KKK Took My Baby Away”