Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The two main radio stations from my past are Boston's WBCN and WFNX. These were the two that my radio generally was set to. Sure there were times when I would dial over to AAF or ZLX and even earlier there was COZ when it still played rock, but BCN and FNX were the two go-to stations. WFNX was the college rock indie kid on the block and WBCN was the gold standard rock station that played classic mixed with newer stuff. They weren't an oldies station, they weren't a new rock station, they just played music that they seemed to like.

Well, WBCN is finished now it seems. I haven't been in the area enough in the last decade to really know how these two stations have been doing. When I am home for holidays and what not, I sometimes tune in. It seems like no matter what time it is and which station I listen to, I hear Jane's Addiction.

Anyway, like so many artistic things in my life, this station is now being pre-empted by sports.

Here's what The Globe has to say:
By James Reed and Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / July 15, 2009

It was more than 40 years ago, on a March night in 1968, when WBCN-FM (104.1) decided to break from its classical music format. Instead of Bach, listeners that evening heard “I Feel Free,’’ by the Eric Clapton-led rock band Cream, and right then Boston’s local music scene was transformed.

Yesterday, it was upended yet again, by the same station.

CBS Radio Boston, which owns WBCN, announced it would pull the plug on the station, which helped make household names of some of the biggest musical acts to come out of Boston, so it could accommodate other changes in local radio.

Next month, a sports talk radio station, The Sports Hub, will replace the music station WBMX, or Mix 98.5 FM, adding a third sports radio show in a town that seems to have an insatiable appetite for all things sports. Mix 98.5 will then take its “modern rock, conservative format’’ to WBCN’s slot.

And WBCN, whose slogan, “The Rock of Boston,’’ had become as seminal as some of the performers the station championed early on - including Aerosmith, The Cars, J. Geils Band, U2, and Elvis Costello - will morph into an online-only station available at

New sports talk station will take on WEEI.

It was stunning news for generations of Boston music fans, who grew up with the station at a crucial time in rock music’s evolution, and for local bands, who had come to rely on WBCN as the one place that might land them their big break. WBCN came of age with some of rock’s pivotal figures, from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix, and its disappearance from the dial is as much a signal of the changing musical scene as it is of drastically changed listening habits. (One word: iPod.)

“Once their ratings started going down the tubes, I thought to myself, ‘Somebody’s not getting it in corporate,’ ’’ Charles Laquidara, one of WBCN’s quintessential personalities from 1969 to 1996, said from his home in Hawaii. On his Facebook page, he addressed WBCN’s fans: “It was a great station. It was also a great time in radio history. I know we can never go back to that, but there will be something someday.’’

Mark Hannon, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Boston, said in an interview yesterday it is a “sad moment to see a station with 40-plus years of heritage coming out of format.’’ But, he said, “the rock genre in this marketplace is extremely crowded, and ’BCN has struggled in the past few years to stay competitive.’’ more...
An end of an era I guess.

I'll B C N ya.

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