New CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason is making his mark in New York. The company yesterday blew up the "Free FM" talk format on 92.3 after the Opie & Anthony morning show and brought back K-Rock at 5:00 pm. The WFNY calls are also being jettisoned, with the WXRK call letters, which have been warehoused in Cleveland, returning as well. O&A will continue in morning drive, but the rest of the air staff is gone, with new Rock DJs to be introduced after the station runs jockless through the Memorial Day weekend.
""Moving forward, you can expect the station to cater to its diverse audience through the use of interactive digital applications, local and national events and collaborations with some of the top names in the music industry. This is a station that made history in the past, and will write it once again," said VP/GM Tom Chiusano in his official announcement.
Kevin Weatherly, Senior Vice President of Programming, CBS RADIO and Program Director of Los Angeles's KROQ-FM, the nation's leading rock station, is overseeing the launch of the station, with a new PD yet to be named to succeed Free FM PD John Manelli. Newly unemployed "Radiochick" Leslie Gold is taking the change in stride. "I was fired twice before from radio jobs, and getting fired always landed me an even better job someplace else," she said in a statement sent to RBR.
RBR observation: The more things change, the more they stay the same. David Lee Roth was a disaster as Howard Stern's replacement, but CBS eventually found that O&A weren't as awful bad boys as they thought when the company previously fired them. But the attempt at hip, young-skewing talk all day long didn't work out either. So now we are back to pushing the envelope, almost raunchy, but staying within the FCC's (ever-changing) limits in morning drive and DJs playing rock the rest of the time. Hey, it only worked before for about 20 years.