At 5:00 PM EST yesterday, those of us who tuned to WCBS-FM New York, the reigning metro oldies format radio station (and home to many our favorite WABC disc jockeys from the 1960's like "Cousin" Brucie Morrow and Harry Harrison) were shocked to hear that it had abruptly changed format. CBS-FM is now Jack FM, brandishing the arrogant slogan "Playing What We Want." According to reports, our old friends at Infinity Broadcasting are responsible for this.
While radio stations changing formats mid-stream is nothing new, this move has left a lot of CBS-FM fans traumatized. The station has had this format for approximately three decades. The new Jack FM format appears to be completely automated. The station website continues to broadcast oldies online under the CBS-FM banner, but sans radio personalities. Infinity, take note: we listened to CBS-FM as much for our favorite personalities as for the timeless music.
A sad day in New York radio it was. However, Bruce Morrow has vowed that we have not heard the last of him. Here is his chance to create the ultimate oldies radio station and fill it with the surviving members of the format, in addition to other talented people interested in keeping oldies radio alive.
And Jack FM can remember this: You can play what you want, but we will listen to what we want.