WCBS has all eyes back on radio


Just like we told 'ya first: CBS-FM NY is coming back this week (7/5/07 MBR)….and with the format we imagined ("We estimate the format will be a bit updated – maybe hits and deeper cuts from the 60's, 70s and 80's").
A little over two years since the station's format was changed to JACK FM/adult hits, CBS-FM's legendary sound will mark its return beginning on Thursday, July 12 at 1:01PM, ET (JACK FM will be now available on-air on CBS-FM's HD 2 channel as well as streamed online).

This news has caused a tremendous rumble inside NYC-even more than when it was blown up for Jack FM. The anticipation factor gleaned phenomenal press. As CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason noted to RBR, the headlines were big, and could be found in The New York Times, The NY Daily News, The NY Post, Crain's NY Business, Forbes, etc.: "When is the last time you've seen 1-ft headlines on a NY paper?"

Our opinion: Dan and CBS Radio now have the opportunity (sitting at the media hub of the entire world) with Wall Street and the agency/client community to show the revitalization and rebirth of good radio. To put and keep radio on the front page.

For that same reason, CBS Radio also has a great opportunity to bring an Indie Rock format to WNEW-FM. Remember the old WNEW with its Progressive Rock format? These DJs broke new music and could talk about the artists-from A to Z. That was passion and Indie Rock is today's equivalent. Let's bring that back to The Big Apple for other formats, as well as WCBS 101.

But remember, part of the reason WCBS-FM went through some hard times under the Hollander era was because the SMs and AEs didn't have a passion for the Jack format. As well, if you don't have management down through the sales force that has passion for this station, pounding the streets with a smile on their face bringing the power of the CBS-FM message, they won't be showing the revenues.

The WCBS format is going to be very conducive to the PPM, because of the mobility. It skews to the male audience (one that has trouble writing things down in diaries). 35 years ago the Beautiful Music formats were phenomenal for the diaries because of in-office listening. But when MediaStat came along with their Mediatrend rating service, it showed a tremendous difference in audience listening, especially the CHR and AOR formats. The unaided recall phone calling method showed much higher response for males.

On the programming side, Mason tells us the station's upcoming "Let's get on with the show" tagline will bring back a lot of show business into the format. On the production level, there will be liners produced in-house dealing with show biz. This will be able to mix the music with heavy production. They will draw upon liners and production archived from the CBS line of stations over the years. You might find a production piece with James Bond movie montages leading into a James Bond movie record. This will help revitalize the format and help set the stage for this music. We just don't have the talent we used to that can set the stage for a station, with hours of pre-production done before going into a show.

But not to worry-the station has brought back what it could in great talent. Dan Taylor has been named as the station's new morning show host (6:00-10:00AM), along with contributors Mr. G (weather) and Al Meredith (news headlines).  Bob Shannon also marks his return to the station as host of middays (10:00AM-3:00PM), and is joined on-air by market staple Broadway Bill Lee who will host afternoon drive (3:00-7:00PM).

More programming highlights:

Hall of Fame: thousands of digitally re-mastered cuts highlighting artists that have historical significance in New York and are not featured in the station's day to day playlist;

CBS-FM Vault of Classics: rare artist interviews, live concert tracks and specialty shows previously broadcast on the station;

www.wcbsfm.com: a fully interactive website featuring video, live audio streaming, and "Decades on Demand" where listeners will have the ability to hear music just from the 60s, 70s, 80s or the CBS Hall of Fame;

Mobile Messaging: listeners can receive text messages, or have their own personal dedication sent to a family member or friend, prior to their requested song being played.