Every day when my wife drives home from work (here in San Diego) she tunes in to radio station Star 100.7 to listen to a show called 'The Daily Dirt' (which is basically entertainment gossip). Today she was surprised to discover that the station had abruptly switched to a 'classic rock' format that randomly plays songs from the 80's, 90's, and the present. Plus, it was no longer Star 100.7. It was now Jack 100.7
. Even the DJs were different. She thought it might be some kind of belated April Fool's Day prank. But when she got home we did some research and learned it was no prank.
Apparently this is happening to radio stations across the country
(and in Canada). Suddenly the management will fire all the staff, rename the station something like Jack or Bob or Doug FM (it's always a guy's name), and switch to a random-play format. Audiences aren't given any warning, so they often think it's a prank.
I think this is a scheme cooked up by marketers to maximize profits. The management tries to spin the random-play thing as them being daring enough to 'play whatever they want', but in reality they're just saving money by having a computer in shuffle-mode pick the songs. Then they fire all the staff (except for the morning show usually), and replace them with lower-paid substitutes who mumble phrases from a corporate script in between the songs.
I never listened to Star 100.7 that much, so the change won't affect me in any way. But it does seem strange that all these stations are being renamed Jack or Bob or Doug and transformed into glorified iPods on shuffle mode. I figure that it must be one company behind it all, but I don't know who it is.