The Boston Business Journal reports the Phoenix has sold WFNX to Clear Channel and that pretty much everybody but news anchor Ted Baxter Program Director Paul Driscoll has been let go. The station could go to Spanish or country and western.
The station could go to Spanish or country and western.
Ugh, seriously?? So the only rock station we'll have left is the bot-station 92.9?
'FNX and 'BUR the only FM (and for that matter AM) radio stations that I listen to. FNX was immediately one of my favorite things about Boston when I moved here as a kid.
The quip about it going to a Spanish language or Country/Western station was a joke, right? Who the hell listens to country around here? I thought that FNX was thriving in its alternative format, in large part because of the enormous student population - please tell me that they have not started listening to country music.
In any event, it was nice knowing you, AM/FM radio - its all satellite all the time for me now.
You'd be surprised if you saw the ratings. Greater Media's Country station WKLB is actually #2 in Boston right now, only behind Clear Channel's "Kiss-108"! WFNX was, unfortunately, doing poorly.
It would be foolish for CC to try to use WFNX to compete against WKLB with Country. I don't think they'll really do that. Spanish is more likely, CC could use WFNX to rebroadcast their Spanish AM station WKOX without hiring additional staff, and Boston has no Spanish FM.
and I find those ratings depressing on both scores. Good grief. I just cannot tolerate that beggin' country sound.
And the homogenization of America continues - fuelled once again by big media.
The New England Country Music Festival sells out Gillette for two days every year around August. Scott Brown was elected because he wore a work jacket and drove a truck. The past few years for July 4th the Pops have had musical guests Gretchen Wilson, Rascal Flatts, and Martina McBride.
What I think I found surprising was that given the (relatively limited) reach of the FNX signal to the city and suburbs (excluding the 92.1 stuff up in NH and ME), I'm surprised to discover that there is apparently a large country audience in that geographic area.
It makes sense to me that the Gillette thing could sell out as it draws from all over New England one short period per year. As for the July 4th Pops - well, I think we can all agree that the programming for that event has been directed at a non-local audience for a long, long time.
As for Scott Brown, I always thought it was the spread in the magazine that got him elected. You mean I could just throw on my olive colored L.L. Bean Field Coat, jump in a pickup and be elected to the U.S. Senate?
Damn it! All of this working out has been for nothing!
a good 80% of my young friends go to country fest every year. It's more for the dress like a redneck, act like you're in college again tailgating party, than the concert. Which is why Foxborough is increasingly disliking it. Some go for the music, but the party is the main attraction for a considerable faction.
As for Radio, it's bad. Bad, bad, bad. Generic, manufactured Pop, Pop RB, and Country have taken over the large studios, which own the radio. Only thing making money is talk now, and it's not music fault. The few stations that don't run those pop genres only play the one or two of the official (and now old guy) sanctioned non pop bands still around (typically late 90's early 2000's rock or alternative). The rest is a cataloged playlist of the golden years on repeat. There's no effort to find and build out new talent. I used to prefer radio over CD/MP3 because it was easier and not knowing what was next was a treat. Now the not knowing thing went away, as they assault us with more dead commercial time.
Every wonder why when flipping the radio they all have commercials on at the same time? Same owner.... they time it to make sure you tune in to the commercials.
WAAF is like living my HS years over, they never bothered to find new music like they did when I was in HS. New rock and alt is out there, it's just not "in". They could find and promote more local stuff, but they don't want to spend that money. Laser out in western MA is even worse, you can use them as a clock by how little they mix up their daily playlist. Literally, when I worked out there, I knew when to take my breaks or lunch via what was playing. It's hilarious, for the first two weeks. Then it's a bad nightmare.
Which is funny, because outside of the corporate system music has been exploding in the local scenes and on the net. Hipster pirate radio has also been taking off in cities (hey hipsters, try using a bandwidth closer to the pop junk, not NPR...). Net radio is getting new, interesting music to people. The music is out there, but the big guys have deemed it's not profitable enough or too cost intensive to build out. And they really hate having to move to a different distribution model, that eats away at their power.
And so, Radio is a wasteland. MTV wasn't far behind, and was a visual example of the change. It's easier to plaster up more adds and create a reality TV show for dimes.
very sad. first 'bcn, and now 'fnx... not fair.
This is truly sad. Moving here, FNX was a breath of fresh air after breathing the smog of top 40, country and classic rock all my life.
That said: I wonder how much of this is caused by the rise of MP3s, iPods, streaming music, etc. I suspect FNX's target demographic - college kids and 20-somethings - are the same people who use these new-tech music options the most. They're not 100 percent mutually exclusive, but it's close - most iPods don't have an FM tuner, eg.
Well I have an iPhone and the only music played on it is through an app that streams live radio. The only station I listen to?: WFNX. What am I supposed to do now? Forget conforming! I can't believe the music WFNX plays is considered third tier only in part of ratings. Mainstream music (top 40 of any genre) is like jello for the brain, so easy to eat with no nutritional value. What a shame that it's not realized just how much WFNX feeds mainstream by playing all the new music they do. It's my belief the world needs public broadcasts like WFNX that don't conform to top 40 brainwashing. A major forefront for new bands and new music in the New England area is dying my friends.
The rise of all of those should have made music easier to find and to promote into big labels.
But the labels saw it as a threat to their standard operations and shunned them. Still do. They want large margins, and strict control. Not quality, or making profits in volume.
It's really just the last gasp of them circling the wagons and forcing a product out while keeping costs as cheap as possible. How else do you fire a whole station but one manager?
There was room for innovation, and micro-targeting markets for some nice profits. The technology finally made it possible. But that takes work and risk, antithetical to entrenched corporations.
Maybe some day. It's just hard to break into that market for small players willing to put in the work for the reward, crazy expensive broadcast license fees and all. No wonder internet broadcasting is huge now. Meanwhile try to find a easy way to listen to terrestrial radio on the net, or pick up that football game. Left and right they make it next to impossible, still.
More consolidation of the media under (hardcore) right wing ownership.
And guess who (co-)owns Clear Channel?
Bain. Yeah, that Bain.
And guess who was on the board of Clear Channel?
Vernon Jordan. Yeah, that Vernon Jordan.
You had to stretch back to 2000 when Clear Channel hadn't even bought AMFM yet just to try and find a Democrat to attach to Clear Channel?
Meanwhile, Bain OWNS Clear Channel..now...as in, bought it in the last few years and still owns it.
Come on, Dave. You've done better than that before.
I took "Yeah. That Bain." to be an attempt at Romney linkage, and the Jordan link to CC is 2-3 years more recent than Romney/Bain.
Oh boo hoo TV, other than Fox, is owned by proud lefties.
Man, I never get tired of hearing this parroted as a counterpoint to "Fox News is openly in the pocket of the GOP, and radio is disturbingly homogeneous and right-wing." Have you ever seen a breakdown of the ownership of the major US TV networks, anon? Here's a quick breakdown.
News Corp (Fox), Disney, CBS, and Viacom. Wanna make a wager about their respective owners' political affiliations?
It's even more stark in radio. Clear Channel owns everything. TV is at least an oligarchy; radio is straight monopoly.
This is nothing new. Radio has been dead as a doornail for a long, long time now.
This WFNX news just made me throw up in my mouth a lot.
Since Paul Driscoll is the only one left, looks like it will be all-Oasis all the time. Great.
If you're going to be listening to radio online from now on anyway, I'll put in a plug here for the public KEXP Seattle station (http://kexp.org). Jon Richards' morning show is what you're looking for.
Hell, I'd take 5 or 6 Oasis songs on a permanent loop over any variety of country anytime.
I also like KITS (105.3) out of San Francisco.
It was the station that we built an antenna in college to get reliably in the Back Bay. It was our family consensus station most of the time with the boys in their teens and all ... nooooo!
Peter Amara mourns the loss.
They have a regular playlist like any other top forty station and they play the same ten songs five times a day. They don't take chances, they're not "cutting edge," they feed the public the same crap BCN did at the end and the same repetitive playlist style WZLX does. Radio stations like WFNX and WBCN are responsible for their own demise. But then, they play the music the idiot masses want. It's all so much background noise. Real music fans gave up on commercial radio many, many years ago. If you care about music, seek out new sounds. The days of turning on the radio and letting someone else pick your music are over. Good riddance.
If they were playing to the idiot masses, they weren't doing a good job of it because their ratings were in the crapper.
This is why I stopped listening to FNX much at all. Everytime I turned it on, it was mostly the same handful songs from the 20 years ago and very rarely anything new or different. I would turn to it hoping to hear something good remembering back in the day when it was my favorite station for good new alternative rock, and was always disappointed when I'd just end up hearing the same stuff I was listening to back them. It's like they hit the 90s and stayed there.
Radio in Boston has been a depressing wasteland for years. The only thing left I listen to anymore is NPR, and I rely on the internet and friends for discovering music. I used to travel a lot and was always astounded that even in places like Louisiana I was able to find one decent station playing new/different music that wasn't pop or country, but I can't get the same in Boston of all places. Really?
that has been losing money for years. Mindich, as much of a slime-ball as he is, was right to drop the station.
I say this as someone who was listening to the station since it was WLYN. You want real radio, download either the WunderRadio or TuneUp apps for your smartphone and you'll never listen to terrestrial radio again. Real rock radio from internet stations (KNAC!) to the BBC and beyond are available to you on these apps and they have not only replaced regular radio in my car, I cancelled my Sirius also.
And just last month (or thereabouts) they sold "El Planeta" one of the local free Spanish weeklies. Are escort service and phone sex ads just not paying what they used to?
Sad about FNX, and sad about BCN, but this is the reality for this country -- if you don't make money, you won't exist as a for-profit entity. You could make a nonprofit radio station or something but then you've got annoying pledge drives and crap like that. The homogenization of our media landscape is addressing the needs of large corporations who are trying to sell crap to us - they pay for the ads that keep radio stations, newspapers and the like putting out their product and they want to cut one check to one company who can guarantee ad coverage from coast to coast. It's all about efficiency so you can maximize your profit. Everything in this country is about that, so you'd think we'd be used to this by now.
What's your reference on the El Planeta sale? I can't find anything (and it's still included in the Phx web site -- not that that means anything). It's possible that they did, but I think I would have seen something about it.
They did sell the g8wave text messaging business in April (never a great fit with the rest of the businesses anyway) and have sold off the other radio stations.
They have definitely been contracting over the years, now down to the newspapers, Stuff, the printing plant and people2people (an infrastructure business for offering personal ads).
Disclosure: I worked for PMCG for 4 years, ending in 2007.
Whether this is the source of the above commenter's statement, I don't know:
Media Farm: Phoenix in Flames?
The report also says the Phoenix is moving from Kenmore to Allston.
I take any news about PMCG from The Dig with a grain of salt, but sounds legit...
Obviously that was done pretty quietly (along with closing the People2People business). Surprised I didn't hear more from the PMCG people I know, but that's the nature of the biz. The money to be made there was in the adult ads, so maybe the bottom has finally dropped out there.
I'm not surprised by the move...that Fenway adjacent property has already been mentioned in some of the speculation around the future of the neighborhood recently (and lumped into some of the development maps).
I first heard it from someone who knew Marcela, but then it was mentioned in the Globe article (business section) on the WFNX sale as well. It seems like they're losing all the extremities to frostbite and pulling in the blood to keep the torso (The Phoneix weekly) warm and alive.
"Just want to give a shout-out to @marcela_elisa & the El Planeta crew; also sold from the Phoenix fam recently. Miss you!!!"
Boston has some of the best radio in the country - college & community radio. Check out 88.1 88.9. 90.3 and 95.3 for real alternative radio!
yes! hard to believe this is the first mention of those fine stations in this discussion
also: remember the Y102 days? that's the format i prefer to recall - wfnx was made "safe" too long ago - still, i wonder where Julie Kramer will go now?
Aren't there a couple others in the 90.9 or 91.9 area? All good music down the left-hand side of the dial.
'HRB's late-night Record Hospital show, Sunday morning Blues Hangover, and weekday morning Jazz Spectrum programs are all great.
I largely gave up on 'FNX and other commercial radio a few years back because I could always hear something I had never heard before when I tuned in to the college stations, and FNX seemed to play a lot of the same stuff that they did when I interned there, 16 years ago. (Seriously, why would they still play Primitive Radio Gods just about every day?)
This has been my problem with WFNX for a long time. Still playing "alternative rock" from the '90s/00s every time I tuned in. I don't need to hear Smashing Pumpkins or Weezer anymore. Truly. It's one thing if you're doing a retro show (i.e. Leftover Lunch) but generally speaking, the programming sounds dated to me. That's why they couldn't hold my attention.
Thank god for WZBC! The "No Commercial Potential" programming in the evenings really expanded my view of what radio can be.
as did henry. not as cutting edge as they once were but at least the station had some personality, and leftover lunch! wers is pretty cool but what am i supposed to do when they start playing showtunes?
somebody in this town with some money (ernie boch?) and a love of music should buy a station, staff it with people like julie k, adam 12, hardy and some other good dj's and give us a nice alternative, cutting edge kind of station. i dont want dave matthews, maroon five and boston. i want metric and the hives and old rem with some clash and elvis costello thrown in.
i know, it'll never happen.
and he freely admits his stations don't make a dime. Terrestrial radio is dead, homogenized to almost nothing by Clear Channel.
Hopefully, they'll be the next to be destroyed by the internet.
Why are people so drawn to Adam 12? As a DJ he had zero personality. WBCN was best left in the dust; I say bring back BIG JIM and the Sandbox!
...it could happen, right?
It's not at all the same music genre, but WJIB's owner runs the station just because he loves the music. He also refuses to run ads.
He does one fund drive a year, and actually makes it enjoyable rather than torture like some NPR stations.
I don't know if you can scale this up to a WFNX-sized station. WJIB has no employees and is fully automated except when Bob decides to spend a few hours a live DJ. It's also a pipsqueak of a station, with 250 watts of power during the day and five watts at night.
doing her last show right now.