.

New York Loses Biggest Rock Radio Station (Again): K-Rock Shifts to Top 40

March 10, 2009 12:53 PM ET

New York rock radio station 92.3 WXRK "K-Rock" — the former home of Howard Stern in the Big Apple — will reportedly go off the air as of 5 p.m. EST Wednesday, March 11th, and be replaced by WNOW, a Top 40 format (morning jocks Opie & Anthony were fired and won't be along for the ride). The change marks the second time New York City has lost K-Rock, its biggest rock radio station: after Stern departed for satellite radio, it relaunched in December 2005 as Free-FM, which featured a mostly talk format with rock on the weekends, and briefly, David Lee Roth as a morning-show host. In May 2007, K-Rock returned as a rock station, but shifted its focus from new music to Nineties alternative and classic rock. This week's change leaves the tri-state area with 101.9 WRXP — "The New York Rock Experience" — as the region's dominant rock station. WRXP launched its current format in February 2008, and plays classic alternative as well as newer artists.

According to the New York Times, K-Rock's listenership had fallen to 21st in New York's Arbitron rankings in the important Age 12-and-above demographic for the month of January. The CBS-owned WNOW, or NOW FM as 92.3 will be known as of tomorrow, will face off against a giant in New York radio in Z100, a Clear Channel-owned Top 40 radio station that's been around since 1983 and represents the Number Two radio station in the region. CBS Radio has made it a habit in challenging Clear Channel's Top 40 domination of late, as CBS turned Los Angeles station KLSX into Top 40 to compete against Clear Channel's KIIS two weeks ago.

The shift to Top 40 represents the direction the entire music industry is heading: While music sales are slumping and radio stations are suffering through their worst years since the 1950s, sales of digital singles have gone through the roof. Top 40 radio caters to that crowd. To promote the new format, NOW FM will reportedly play 10,000 songs in a row of limited commercial interruption, the NYT reports.

Related Stories:

Los Angeles Rock Station Indie 103 Going Web-Only, Quits "Corporate Radio Game"
Radio Suffering Through Worst Year Since 1954
According To New Study, Traditional Radio Gaining Popularity

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com