Friday, February 8, 2008

New NYC commercial Radio Station Claims to Allow DJs some Programming Freedom

Kind of crazy...there's a new commercial rock radio station in NYC as of February 5th that says that DJs may actually have a say in programming decisions. According to the press release about 101.9 WRXP, "The New York Rock Experience":

"'On-air personalities will play a direct part in choosing the music,' announced...Program Director Blake Lawrence. 'It's unheard of in radio these days, but 101.9 RXP is about the music and not so much the music business--we're merging rock styles and generations into a singular community that we call The New York Rock Experience.'"

Now, I'm not entirely sure how a commercial radio station can say it isn't about the "music business," but it's a noble effort. They say that they came up with this new hybrid format (which doesn't sound very radical) after extensive research. I guess it's reassuring that radio stations are finally starting to think about broadening their playlists, even if it's still fairly conservative. What's potentially different is their claim that it's a "unique & custom radio station," especially since so many stations across the country utilize the same exact formats, meaning that the majority of radio stations sound the same.

They plan to feature rock music from different eras including Velvet Underground (the first song played when the station premiered was Lou Reed/Velvet Underground), The Who, Nirvana, R.E.M., Oasis, and Bruce Springsteen in addition to music by local NY artists (Nada Surf, White Rabbits, Santogold). It will be very interesting to see how listeners react and if, indeed, DJs have much control over what they play. Here's The Infinite Dial's commentary on the first few hours of programming, including the playlist. Earbender also has a 45 minute sample that you can tune in to. Nice mix of music for commercial radio, although still fairly mainstream.

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