In late December of 2009 WNWV FM changed formats. It was a momentous day for Cleveland radio. There hadn't been a change in music format on any station for about ten years. Previously they were playing a mix of light jazz and R&B. The move was to what is called in the trade, Adult Album Alternative (AAA).
Yeah, I know, many of you are wondering why I'm so late to the party. This is old news.
Here's the truth. In my mind, and blessedly many friends' minds, I should have been on the air at this new station, V107.3 (initially called Boom 107.3 for a short time). Quite frankly I couldn't bring myself to listen to the station for a long time. Of course I applied for a position, going much further than simply sending in an air check and resume. I made creative attempts on a regular basis to make myself known to the powers that be. I enlisted friends in the radio business to speak on my behalf. I even offered to work free for a trial period.
All of this was to no avail. In fact, word was that I was too enthusiastic. That's right. I'm baffled too.
I moved on with my life, concentrating on projects that I have control over. Still, in the back of mind the desire burns on.
I did, however, gain enough distance emotionally to tune in. And now may I sing its praises to the high heavens and tell Cleveland to wake up.
I have rallied for quality radio in this market since the late '80's. Check out some of the clippings in the column on the left there. It has finally arrived. The question is will it survive. With enough listeners it will. Listeners mean higher ratings which mean advertisers are more likely to buy time on their airwaves. So, before I go any further, please, if you've not listened to the station, do so. If you have then spread the word.
I want to be able to pull up to the car next to me and hear the same song that's coming from my radio. That was common back in the day when radio was just about the only beacon for music fans. Well, I fantasize about it happening again right here in Cleveland in 2010. Despite all of the other sources of music available to us.
It's about community. That's something our iPods, iPhones and satellite radios can't give us. And Cleveland, more than ever, is yearning for a sense of community.
Why does V107.3 sound so good? Sure, I can be critical. A little too lightweight at times, I'd say. You know, too many feather voiced female singers and a bit heavy on male troubadours like John Mayer and David Gray. The dayparting (playing certain styles of music at certain times of day) could use some tweaking. Sarah McLachlan at 10pm on a Friday night is questionable.
What can't be denied though, is the amazing and vast library of music to be enjoyed on this station. Earlier this summer some friends and I had a good backyard bonfire going. It was late in the evening on a Friday. As the guy in charge of music (all the time...ha) I cranked up V107.3. We were blown away by the range of music new and old. It ranged from new Widespread Panic to the classic jazz cut Compared To What by Les McCann and Eddie Harris. Don't like those two songs? Wait, there'll be something you like right around the corner. Something that'll make you believe in the power of radio once more.There aren't many commercial stations anywhere in this country playing such an adventurous format. The playlist, at times, harkens back to vintage Buzzard radio due to the consultant work of John Gorman. Add to it indie artists who are making music as good as at any other time in history. There's also a strong commitment to the local scene itself.
Clevelanders, it's here. The station that I've been dreaming about. I so want to help be a part of it. If I can't then at least I can unselfishly promote it. Do your part. Tune in. Enjoy. Feel privileged. And spread the word.