Another day, another station trying to cut costs by using its lead engineer’s iPod as its “program director.” From a Washington Post blog:
A moment after WGMS died, something called George 104 launched, billing itself as music of “the 70s, 80s and whatever we want.”
“Change is difficult, change is hard, change is tough,” the opening announcement said. “But when you look back, change is always good.” After reeling off a long list of famous Georges (Harrison, Gershwin, Clooney, Takai, Allen, Burns, Michael, Jetson and of course Washington), the announcer said the new station will be “all about the music. One minute, you’ll flash back to high school, then college, then you’re chasing the kids.” Ugh.
The station started off with Sheryl Crow’s “Change Will Do You Good,” followed by a mix of mostly 80s hits, mostly rock tunes, with the occasional bit of 70s stuff, such as the Bee Gees’ “More Than a Woman.”
While we’re sad that yet another classical station has bit the dust (the flophouse clock radio is tuned to the New York classical outlet, because its morning patter is relatively Paris-joke-free) we’re also chuckling to ourselves grimly: Another radio station is sticking itself in July 1989, and marketing itself as “regular-guy music” (“George”? Because it’s in Washington, right?) while keeping its playlist safe as milk. (The Post‘s Marc Fisher, who provided the above report, said that there are now four stations in the D.C. area playing this faceless blend of cubicle music.) There’s something about the George/Jack/Bro branding of this new lite-radio breed that particularly sticks in our craw; maybe it’s the fact that the “we” in the station’s tagline seems to be an army of 30something bank managers, or maybe it’s the idea of using Sheryl Crow as a clarion call for anything. Either way, this narcissistic hybridization of the “lite” format adds up to yet another way for radio to continue its fade into oblivion, playing yesterday’s musical wallpaper to an ever-dwindling audience.