Monday, January 19, 2009

WHTG is dead, long live Indie 103

Right on the heels of the KDLE flip, WHTG throws in the towel and drops Alternative for CHR/Pop. The new brand is "Jersey's Hit Music Connection - Hits 106." It's not their own recipe, it's just a feed from Dial Global. In other words, there are no DJs.

It's interesting that the only two sets of simulcasting alternative stations flipped really at the same time. KDLE simulcast on KDLD and WHTG simulcasts on WBBO. Of course neither station really acheived heritage status. WHTG only had it's last shake up in 2007 as G-Rock radio. Before that in 2005 they retooled again dropped the G-106.3 brand in February 2005 to become G-Rock in the first place. Furthermore, that wasn't long-lived either, that format was only born out of the Press Communications buy out in 2000. Press bought WHTG in 2000, dropped the modern rock format and had retooled the playlist for a female leaning alt-rock.
WHTG seemed determined to tweak their playlist into a working rock format. It just never happened. KDLD by comparison was outright volatile. Their indie 103 playlist was born in December of 2003 droping a flaccid dance format in the process. But that dance format hadn't been around even a full year. The previous january it had ditched "Super Estrella" a Spanish Con brand that ironicly was just retired permanently by Entravision in favor of "Jose FM."

The last song they played was "Le Disko" by Shiny Toy Gun. The song ended with an unexpected flip much like the Indie 103 approach. It's very very breif. But I understand why. There's nearly no hope of taking for audience with you. The demographics are very different. So there's little cause for playlist evolution, or any sort of gentle segue. It's like pulling off a band aid, except you also fire all the airstaff.