Monday, July 16, 2007

Oldies Are Back in NYC Radio as Jack Hits the Road

It wasn't too many years ago that radio programmers thought that the "Jack" or "Bob" music format would be the magic bullet that would lift sagging ratings. The format, which often calls itself an iPod replacement (playing many types of pop hits without regard for genre or continuity between songs) and sometimes replaced human DJs, has succeeded in some markets but suffered a big blow in the Big Apple.

Just two years after Jack FM replaced beloved oldies station WCBS-FM at 101.1 on the radio dial, the station announced it was booting Jack and returning to the previous oldies programming. The change took place last Thursday, July 12, amid jubilation from some of the returning DJs and many messages of support received from fans (and from the likes of Franki Valli and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys).

The new WCBS-FM has more of a focus on newer music than the old version. While the original station played tunes from the 1950s through the 1970s, the latest incarnation covers the 1960s through the 1980s (but not the entire decade; it seems to play music as late as 1985 or so).

While I sometimes listened to Jack FM, I'm glad to have WCBS-FM back.

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