The End of the End

Beloved alt-rock station is eulogized in locally made film about the state of C-Town radio.

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Michael Wendt still remembers the day in 1999 when Northeast Ohio's alt-rock radio listeners mourned the death of 107.9-FM "the End" WENZ after an ownership shuffle. Because the station repeatedly played the same R.E.M. song for 24 hours before it changed to an urban format, the Cleveland filmmaker has fittingly titled his debut documentary — which is about the state of mass-media programming in Cleveland radio — The End of the World As We Knew It. "I wanted to show the younger generation that it was a pretty cool time in Cleveland radio," says the 25-year-old Wendt. "It was great to have something like that on the mainstream dial before everything went homogenized."Having its silver-screen debut tonight, the hour-long flick features interviews with ex-WENZ jocks like Ric "Rocco the Rock Dog" Bennett and Maria Farina, who reminisce about helping to make rock stars out of the Cranberries and the Barenaked Ladies. "I hope we reach those people who remember it fondly, as well as an audience that maybe never heard of it," says Wendt. "It might make them look differently at the city we live in." Opening credits roll at 9:30 tonight at the Cleveland Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Tickets are $6 to $8. Call 216-421-7450 or visit
Sat., June 14, 9:30 p.m., 2008
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