New 'NEW?

September 3, 2002

Since cancelling Opie and Anthony last month, WNEW, has suffered from a lack original programming. How bad is it? The station's "shock-talk" format was created around Opie and Anthony's show, which pulled in high drive-time ratings, prompting the station's wholesale format change (and a quick dive in ratings.) Already, the station had a programming gap that was being filled by reruns of the Ron and Fez show. Now, besides a set of interchangeable "Sports Guys" in the morning, the only original programming that NEW has is Ron and Fez. They've got to be thinking "format change" at 102.7.

I think it's time for the station to return to its freeform roots. It's never going to happen with the corporate radio mentality, but it would be great to see, and would build on the only programming asset the station has left, as Ron & Fez are essentially a freeform talk show. Bringing in some strong on-air personalities to create a diverse lineup with deep playlists crossing into multiple genres and spotlighting local music, like Ron & Fez did for some unsigned NYC area bands at their recent "Festival of Rock and Ribs," would bring much-needed creativity to the NY radio market. I would think that this format would be successful, as it is what Americans want on the radio.

However, I doubt that a freeform format would be adopted by a corporate radio station, as their interests seem to be in keeping costs down, playlists short and DJ's bland, little-known, interchangeable and inexpensive. The personality-driven, not-focus group tested naturects of inventive, creative radio is what makes interesting listening. Yet, those are the same features that radio's new corporate masters find unappealing.

Posted by Andrew Raff at September 3, 2002 12:06 AM
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I was sickened by WNEW's format change. Ron and Fez and O n A were the best. They had me on the show and were very nice to me. They plug my book all the time in D. C and I am very happy that they do. Thanks Ron and Fez. No shameless plugs here just surf the web and you will find me. Oh and yes the rumors about my demizzze are greatly eggzzagerated but my breasts are not, there real.
Shadow L. Parker

Posted by: Sharon L. Parker on July 19, 2003 01:41 PM