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Thanks for The Memories And You're Fired

5-16-2012

Excluding Jerry Lee of course, life can be difficult for stand-alone stations in major markets when there are clusters up the road that can do more with less and cut expenses and still operate during recessions. Independently owned WFNX has been competing in the Boston market for nearly 30 years. Until yesterday that is, when Stephen Mindich notified his staff he was selling to Clear Channel. He then fired 17 of the 21 employees. Mindich said, "Despite its celebrated history, its cutting edge programming , its tradition of breaking new music, its ardent fans among listeners and advertisers, for some time it has been difficult to sustain the station  -- especially since the start of the Great Recession." Read the entire Mindich memo below.

Clear Channel owns four stations in the Greater Boston area, including WXKS-FM (KISS 108), WJMN-FM, WXKS-AM and WKOX-AM. Clear Channel CEO John Hogan said, "This was a great opportunity to expand our footprint and our listenership in Boston, a key market with millions of fans who love radio as much as we do. We look forward to adding 101.7 to our Boston broadcasting family." The purchase price between the two parties was not announced.

More coverage on the story HERE and HERE

Here is the memo Mindich putting an end to it all at WFNX-FM
Dear Members of the PM/CG Family:

Because this is an emotional announcement to make, let me cut right to the chase. This morning I met with the staff of WFNX  to announce the pending sale of the station to Clear Channel Communications.

Over the years, WFNX has done spectacular things. Since 1983 the station has played an historic role in bringing new music to audiences in and around Boston. We introduced Nirvana and Pearl Jam to wider audiences in 1991. Together with the Boston Phoenix we staged the notorious Green Day concert at the Hatch Shell in 1994. Three years later, FNX and the Phoenix organized a group reading and broadcast of Allen Ginsberg’s controversial poem Howl, featuring talents as varied as rocker Peter Wolf and Poet Lauriat Robert Pinsky, along with civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate and me. We’ve formed creative partnerships with local museums and many other important not-for-profit organizations such as the AIDS Action Committee. In addition, for years we broadcast One In Ten, the only program on a commercial radio station in the nation dedicated to the issues and lifestyles of the GLBT community. And throughout it all, FNX has continued to break new music, most recently the work of Foster the People, Fun, and Gotye -- to name just three. 

Here comes the catch....

Despite its celebrated history, its cutting edge programming , its tradition of breaking new music, its ardent fans among listeners and advertisers, for some time it has been difficult to sustain the station  -- especially since the start of the Great Recession.

And that is why the station is being sold.

The mechanics of the situation are this:

WFNX will the file the paperwork necessary to trigger the license transfer with the Federal Communication Commission later today.

WFNX will remain on the air during the time it takes to complete the FCC process.

Events and concerts -- such as the Best Music Poll (June 13th) and the Seaport Six (June 14th) -- will take place as scheduled. The best place to get news about the last round of FNX happenings will be to stay tuned to the station itself.

In closing, let me salute the scores of immensely talented and dedicated staff who sold the ads, promoted the events, programmed and played the music, and did so many other things that made WFNX a national force in modern rock and -- most important of all -- a force, an outlet, and a sponsor for the music that defined Boston for nearly 30 years. It was a great run and I will miss the station.

Thank you all,

Stephen M. Mindich




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-
(5/22/2012 8:51:03 AM)
Take the money and run. The Steve Miller Band had no idea their hit song would become the theme song for radio station owners nationwide!

- Steve
(5/17/2012 12:14:52 PM)
I can't imagine such a short viewed person. The people on that station made it worth listening to, for those who did. If he had any decency, he would leave the stsation intact, even down to the janitor, as it was turned over to its new owners. Clear Channel would likely given them the boot, but maybe not. Point is, don't wreck it as you turn it over.

'My' station was done that way... Owner died, someone new took over, and got rid of everybody. She had no knowledge of broadcasting, but insisted she knew more than anybody there. The station is not being 'profitable'. But SHE got her way.

- Randy
(5/17/2012 11:23:39 AM)
Don't know the station. Don't know the personalities. Don't know the market. Don't know the owner's circumstances.
I do wonder, however, if the station could deliver some decent Books and how well their ad-clients made out.
I mean, there's nothing like boxcar numbers and deliriously happy advertisers to keep an outfit trundling along quite nicely.

- Ronald T. Robinson

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