Corporate Rock: Not Selling As Much As It Used To
Boston-area rock stalwart WBCN is going off the air later this summer, with its Linkin-Park-and-Led-Zep playlist being shoved aside in order for parent company CBS Radio to make room for a new, all-sports yakfest on the area’s radio dial. (WBCN had broadcast New England Patriots football.) The flip is scheduled for August.
WBCN was one of those stations that bridged the gap between “modern” and “mainstream” rock, two genres that have been coming together more and more as the number of rock stations in the country have diminished; as a marketing deck from December 2008 put it, “On WBCN you will hear Classic Rock, Alternative Rock, 80’s Gold, 90’s Rock, Grunge and breaking new rock. It is the appeal of the station’s music and it’s personalities that attract listeners that are educated, goal-oriented, well-established and have money to fit their lifestyles and needs!” [Sic.] The “classic” and “alternative” were particularly well-represented in this sample playlist from the same deck:
“Come As You Are,” Nirvana
“What I’ve Done,” Linkin Park
“Yellow Ledbetter,” Pearl Jam
“Immigrant Song,” Led Zeppelin
“Snow,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Comfortably Numb,” Pink Floyd
“Big Empty,” Stone Temple Pilots
“Mr. Brightside,” The Killers
“Sweet Child O’Mine,” Guns N’ Roses
Quite the soup, that. WBCN had been rumored to flip formats at 9 a.m. ET, although its channel on the iPhone’s AOL Radio app, which broadcasts CBS Radio stations, is playing the Dropkick Murphys as of this writing. (And BCN’s “Indie” offshoot, which is available on HD radios and on the aforementioned app, is still churning out the Bright Eyes.)
10:45 a.m. ET UPDATE: The Boston Phoenix has more on the flip:
CBS, ‘BCN’s owner, is moving Mix 98.5 to 104.1, WBCN’s frequency, and starting a new, all-sports station–apparently to be dubbed the Sports Hub, and to carry the call letters WBZ-FM–at Mix’s spot on the dial. Word is that ‘BCN’s morning team of Toucher and Rich will do the Sports Hub’s morning show when the change is implemented in mid-August, just in time for the Patriots’ preseason.
The station will live online, and presumably on the aforementioned iPhone app.