this summer Howard Stern, the king of all media, had the following
discussion on his Sirius satellite radio show:
If I was them (CBS Radio) tomorrow I'd put on the old CBS-FM
Oldies and make $30 million a year and not have to deal with any
nonsense...Let me tell you something. You talk about an error
and destroying a radio station. If you've got a moneymaker like
CBS-FM which is a no-brainer to run, why mess with it? It makes
$30 million a year. Granted, it used to make $40 million a year.
So maybe profits were on the downswing.
Robin: Still, that's a considerable
amount of money.
Howard: That is a considerable
amount of money. And then when it stops making money, you change
it. But there were a lot of people who'd support it.
Artie: Every construction
site I ever worked on, the only thing the young guys and the old
guys could agree on, radio-wise, was CBS-FM. They'd just throw
that on all day. The young guys could deal with the music; the
old guys could deal with the music. Just put CBS-FM on.
Howard: I gotta tell you something.
I couldn't listen to CBS-FM for three minutes.
Artie: I like a lot of the
Howard: Well, good. It would
torture me. My point is, when I see the bottom line, it made $30
million. I'd sit and put my feet up on the desk and have fun.
If I was the head of the company, I'd say, today I'll have lunch
with my buddy while I'm making $30 million for doing nothing.
I'd stop trying to re-invent the wheel...And if the format starts
to show some cracks, maybe update the music a little. Move it
to the 60s and 70s as opposed to that 50s b.s.
somebody at CBS Headquarters must still be a Howard fan because
on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 1:01 PM (the station's spot on the
dial) they went to the very format Howard laid out on his show
with music from the 60's, 70's and 80's (as "opposed to that
50's b.s.") The first song: The Beach Boys' "Do It Again."
In the station's official press release they stopped short of
calling it an "oldies" station. It read: "Programming
to feature the greatest hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s, an array
of classics from the CBS-FM archive vault, and highlights from
the station's Hall of Fame."
Pretty close to Howard's format, right?
The release went on to say: "Beginning with songs from the
Beatles, Motown and the Beach Boys, and continuing through the
late 80s, CBS-FM will feature hit music from artists such as Billy
Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Earth Wind & Fire, Rod Stewart, the
Bee Gees, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Frankie
Valli, and John Mellencamp, among many others."
DJ Bob Shannon kicked things off and guess what? He sounded great!
So did all the jingles and production. This is serious and more
than a radio station. Like The Yankees, The Rockettes, and the
Statue of Liberty, this is part of the big town
City! Broadway Bill Lee was on next doin' his thing during the
fling while the singers sing. Tune in during afternoon drive to
understand that jive!
And what did they play on the very first day?
GREAT, GREAT, STUFF that you just don't hear on the radio too
much these days like: Earth, Wind & Fire: "Sing A Song"
Glenn Frey: "The Heat Is On"
& The Supremes: "Someday We'll Be Together"
Dobie Gray: "Drift Away"
Donna Summer: "Last
George Benson: "On Broadway"
Elton John: "Honky Cat"
Argent: "Hold Your
First Class: "Beach Baby"
Frankie Valli: "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"
Payne: "Band Of Gold"
Fontella Bass: "Rescue
Donovan: "Mellow Yellow"
Overdrive: "Takin' Care Of Business" and on and on and
The station never sounded better. You can analyze it to death
and some will complain because they're not hearing "In The
Still of the Night," but it's 2007 and this is going to be
a very very big success.
I will listen often.
said, in the few years the since they abandoned the oldies format
I have sampled several satellite channels and have found what has
become one of my all time favorites, THE 60's on XM 6.
It is "Music Pow Pow Power;" Top 6 countdowns: Beatles
at the top of each hour and the DJ's are sensational guys
like Phlash Phelps and Terry Young, and classic lost Wolfman Jack.
The PD Pat Clarke has put together a channel that not only features
the great Top 40 hits of the 60's, but also has the spirit, sound,
and presentation of one of those great stations. For me, when I
listen I'm right back in high school listening to the WMCA Good
Guys. You can check it out free at AOL Radio.
doo-wop and more modern efforts from groups of that era
Moonglows, Johnny Maestro, The Earls etc
there's the Rock and
Roll Revival Show with Johnny Z, Sunday nights at www.wfasfm.com
Johnny is a personable and knowledgeable DJ who really knows and
loves the music. It is a good time.