Yesterday it was announced that V107.3, the adult album alternative station in Cleveland, was switching back to its previous smooth jazz format after December 16th. Here's the story from Scene Magazine, V 107.3 to return to snooze music format.
There's not much for me to say. I'm not really surprised. I'd written about the station twice. The first was in praise, Cleveland Radio's Salvation Is Here. The second time was in disappointment, About Cleveland Radio's Salvation, I Spoke Too Soon. In re-reading those two stories I make a case for why they failed . In a nutshell, a station that's going against the grain needs to be led with a bold attitude and an ability to avoid flinching.
I suspect another problem with the station was the lack of a sales force who could evangelize properly to potential advertisers. The ratings may not have been there but listeners of a station such as V107.3 are loyal. They voted it the best station in a Scene Magazine poll. Fans like that will support a station's sponsors.
The news brought many comments on Facebook concerning where to turn now for good radio. College radio is great for finding new music but with format shifts every two or three hours and an unpolished sound it's not the kind of station I leave on.
Others spoke of Pandora, the cold and sterile streaming radio service without DJs where music choices are decided by algorithms. Can you tell I'm not a fan.
That leaves the great number of streaming radio stations from around the country and the world. You can listen to these stations in your home, on your stereo, and in your car via your smart phone. If you don't know how to that let me know.
Back to the dilemma at hand though, the lack of a good commercial rock station in Cleveland. We're not alone. There's very few good stations in any city these days. Luckily the ones that are good stream on the net, as I mentioned.
I'm a fraid commercial radio is going to have to all but collapse before it reinvents itself and realizes that it's strengths are localization and creativity. It'll happen but not soon enough.