A Great BIG Change

A few weeks ago, WBIG, the Washington area’s “oldies” station fired their on-air talent for an immediate revamp and retooled their style for their current “Greatest Rock of All Time” format.

I’ve done my fair share of being down on DC radio, but I am truly all about the new WBIG 100.3 FM format. Daily I scan by there for a little Who, Seger, Stones, and Steve Miller Band. It is, of course, not something I want to stop the dial on, but the playlist satisfies a void that the DC radio market was begging to be filled.

Now if they could just do something about that pesky Jack Diamond…

7 Comments so far

  1. Skip (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 10:04 am

    My only complaint with the “new” classic rock station in D.C. is that they play the same bands EVERY HOUR. Now I happen to really enjoy those bands, but I swear…every time I tune in to listen, I hear Elton John and his tiny dancers. Same with the Who and Stones (which is a gazillion times better than Elton).

    Now I have always listened to 94.7, which is D.C. TRUE Classic Rock station and my favorite. I will continue to switch back and forth between the 2 stations but seriously, they need to get a bigger playlist. The Corporate Suits running the station need to open up the vault and find something other than the Rocket Man to play every hour.

    All in all, this station is good and SOOOO MUCH better than the other crap out there. But if it wants to succeed in the long run, it needs to diversify a little bit.

    Classic Rock is more than just 4 bands. (Elton, Stones, Who, Seger).

  2. jen m. (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    this is my theory about the new format: the playlist on 94.7 is constantly changing, because their idea of “classic rock” goes right up until about ten years ago. seriously, i’ve heard the smashing pumpkins and the beastie boys on 94.7. this blows my mind. the classic rock i grew up with is early rolling stones, led zepplin, the who… the stuff that 100.3 plays.

    once you get over the fact that nirvana and the smashing pumpkins are “classic rock”, 94.7 is the better station — FOR NOW. clearly, its playlist is more diverse, with rock music from the 80s and 90s thrown in with “real” classic rock. but the problem is that popular rock music started to suck after about 1996. what are we going to do when lifehouse becomes “classic rock”? clearly, 94.7 will no longer have the appeal that it has now.

    this is where 100.3 comes in – it’s CLASSIC classic rock. it plays what us old timers think of as REAL classic rock. i’m sure they’ll add new songs over the years, but only after they’ve been established as CLASSIC classic rock. i.e., they aren’t going to be playing lifehouse. so, while 100.3 may be boring with only the same 5 songs right NOW, in a couple of years we will all appreciate having 100.3 there to flip to when crappy songs from 1999 come on 94.7. eventually, those of us born before 1980 will all be listening to 100.3 for our version of classic rock and those born after 1980 will be listening to 94.7 for THEIR version of “classic” rock.

    in theory, it’s a brilliant idea.

  3. Don (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    Personally I’d love it if all classic rock would just jump in the lake. As Skip mentions, nobody ever digs into the back catalog and it really should be called Yesterday’s Top 40. I’m pretty sure that if any station ever played a Beatles b-side the universe would come to a screeching halt.

    Aside from all that, I just don’t get the appeal of radio that plays old familiar stuff. Don’t we all have old cassettes and CDs? I already have a mechanism for listening to the same things over and over again. I need other people to introduce me to NEW things.

  4. Stacey (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

    Jen, I’m kind of on board with you on this one. I could see that happening.

    Overall, I RARELY listen to the radio at all – but I’m just saying that when I do, I’m MUCH happier with the New 100.3 FM than I was with the old one. Don, I’m so with you on needing variety and not the same old thing – that being said, sometimes radio is the only alternative and I when I feel like some tunes, it’s going to a station like 100.3 or 94.7. So, while nothing is perfect (or in this case close to it), it’s much better than what it was.

    Also, I have a hard time listening to 94.7 when I heard BON JOVI regularly on it. I heart JBJ, it’s just not classic rock.

  5. jen m. (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

    nice idea in theory, don, but what radio station is going to introduce you to good new music? yeah, i heard the new nick lachey song on 99.5 the other day, and guess what? i’d rather listen to the who. most of the new music on commercial radio sucks. and dc is sorely lacking in alternative radio. wherever people in dc are finding out about good new music, it isn’t on the radio.

  6. Don (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    I hear stuff I have never heard before on XM sometimes and when I lived in Miami I used to hear new things on WVUM all the time. Radio doesn’t HAVE to suck, it just usually does. Sorta like politicians. So I have XM and WAMU.

  7. jen m. (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 4:48 pm

    i meant FM (i.e. free) radio. and WAMU is great for news, talk, or traditional music, but it doesn’t play new music as far as i am aware.

    of course FM doesn’t HAVE to suck. i’ve lived in other places with good alternative radio too. we just don’t have it here. the point is, looking at the limited options available to us here, i think 94.7 is one of the better stations.

    oh, and they do actually play lesser known songs sometimes. i really like the eclectic lunch show. also, i’m sure beatles b-sides get played during “breakfast with the beatles” — a syndicated beatles show the stations airs. it’s also interesting when they do special programming like a whole weekend of just cover songs. i’m telling you, it’s probably the best commercial FM radio station we have in dc.

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