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Is The Tie Dye Era Over?

by Ed Ryan

Radio spun a long overdue two-fer this week. After 87 years on AM, COX's WDBO (Orlando) will start simulcasting on the FM dial Friday and after 25 years, CBS's WIP will make the move September 6th. In both cases the Rock format was sent to the funeral home. Is "The Music You Grew Up With" finally fading away? Well, have you seen Mick Jagger lately? How many 14 minute Pink Floyd songs can you really endure now that you've been clean and sober for 30 years?

Who will be next to make the move? Let's get on with it. And, really, how can you argue with these business decisions? Why bother fighting for pennies with another rock station in town - whatever iteration of rock it is - if you can take one of your proven winners and give it more gusto? Save money, add the sweet sound of crystal clear FM and go after the younger demo.

If as a General Manager you can project an increase in revenue from a simulcast, why wouldn't you do it? The question should be why has it taken so long?  It's much easier and cheaper to simulcast than to try to start anew, ala Merlin. And enough already about listening to a baseball game under your pillow on a transistor radio. That's like saying I want to watch Happy Days on a Black and White TV, and by the way, can you hold those rabbit ears facing west please. People want to hear the crack of Ryan Howard's bat or Brett Favre crying when he gets hit by James Harrison. They don't want to hear the swooshing sound of an AM signal because it brings back memories of Casey Stengal. Bravo CBS. Bravo COX.

CBS will WIP the switch (sorry about that) at 94.1 on September 6th. Rock station WYSP will have to toss all those CD's, cassettes and 8-track's right into the meat grinder. Mail them to P.O. Box Steve Dahl with a book of matches. CBS Senior VP and Market Manager in Philly  Marc Rayfield says "the move to FM is part of a natural evolution weve seen successfully work in several major cities across the nation.  Weve always been a great sports talk radio station now well be located on a much busier corner in a larger neighborhood.  One of the best years in Philadelphia sports has just become better.

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