The death of radio. No, really!

From an e-mail exchange between me and Dave:

C: At one point [approx. 10:30 a.m.], while listening to the radio in the car, I heard “Just What I Needed” by the Cars on both the classic rock station WCSX and 93.9 The River, the Canadian station that purportedly plays a wide variety of rock. WCSX is my preset #2, and The River is #8, which means they’re the same button on my radio. That means that one of them could’ve been completely off the air for all the good it did. Gah.

D: At 2:45 this afternoon, classic rock station WSFR was playing Manfred Mann’s cover of Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light”, a track that I always loathed. (I don’t even like the original.) So I turned over to *our* 93.9, Classic Hits … and they were playing Manfred Mann’s cover of Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light.” … So it ain’t just you.

I’ve heard one station play a song, and then another play the same song a few minutes later, but this is the first time I’ve heard two stations play the same song simultaneously. In the last few years, I figured that each radio station employed someone who listened to other stations so they can keep up with competition. This may have just been confirmed, or worse: It’s the same programmer on several stations all at once.

You realize, we are but a hair’s breadth away from hearing Van Morrison’s “Moondance” on every FM station at the same time, don’t you? Then FM radio will probably implode and disappear from the air completely.

Realize, I hate all three songs mentioned in this post. Something about each of them being played approximately 3.5 billion times more than necessary in the last forty years. I might feel differently if it had been a Mozart piano concerto or a song by Richard Shindell, Stan Rogers, or Jo Serrapere. But, probably not.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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6 Responses to The death of radio. No, really!

  1. hellmutt says:

    That used to happen to me quite often; I’d turn on 97.5 Rock FM (which is not rock, just commercial pop) and switch to Key 103.0 and there’d be the EXACT SAME SONG and I would think “WHAT.”

    Then I realised they were both broadcasting the same syndicated chart show…

    (“Rock FM” is the biggest misnomer in history, incidentally. Luckily a REAL classic rock station opened in Manchester a year or so ago and is all kinds of goodly.)

    • songdogmi says:

      The thing is, these were supposed to completely different programs. We don’t really have chart shows here much anymore, so they can’t use that excuse.

      “Rock” apparently means anything to whoever uses it. (Cf: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.)

      It’s not that I hate all “classic rock,” it’s just that there’s so much more out there that the one station could be playing, but a few months ago they refigured their format to include much more of what the station next door was playing.

  2. hellmutt says:

    Drive-by happy birthday Charlie! *zoom*

    • songdogmi says:

      Aw, thank you! I usually write something in LJ on my birthday, but I don’t really have anything to say except “It’s my birthday!” so I didn’t bother. I was too busy having a birthday to stop and write about it, I guess. 🙂

      • hellmutt says:

        Generally a good sign! You don’t want to end up like this…

        Did you get cake?

      • songdogmi says:

        You just made me read about 30 more XKCDs. 🙂

        Cake… we had cake at work on Thursday. I think I get cake from family next Sunday when we have a big family dinner (which also happens to be Easter, but my cake better not have bunnies on it).

        (I won’t care about the bunnies, actually.)

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