Back in May, Cleveland airwaves were graced with the launch of 99.1, a "new" rock station that sounded a lot like the old rock stations. You want Nickelback? We got your Nickelback.
It plays the usual rotation of radio rock, from the Black Keys to Pearl Jam to Smashing Pumpkins. Yawn. Toss it in with the forgettable and indistinguishable options spread over the rest of the dial.
Longtime radio vet Tom Wilson will be adding yet another rock option to your dial, 87.7 FM, come late July, and, at least in some ways, it promises to be different. How so?
Mr. Wilson says the station will work to sound Cleveland. He has planned a rock and entertainment talk format driven by a team of about a dozen people who will take to the streets of Cleveland and put Clevelanders on the air. (What kind of rock is still up in the air, and yes, he's open to involving local artists.)
“We just see a need in the market,” Mr. Wilson said. “Radio has become so homogenized and corporate throughout the country that the localism has vanished. What we're doing is bringing that back.”
The goal is to hire local personalities and immerse them at rib cook-offs, county fairs and the like, Mr. Wilson said. He's in talks with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about promotions, too.
“We just can't play music because anybody can go anywhere to pick up music,” he said. “Our whole thrust will be music and entertaining talk. Pandora (Internet radio) and Sirius (satellite radio) don't blend those two together, and they're certainly not local.
“We want to be a station that everybody talks about at Starbucks in the morning because of our programming — because it's different, it's entertaining and it's fun,” he added.
Um, who talks about radio stations at Starbucks?