I am very pleased to be going back to writing for WNEW in New York, a call sign with a long history in rock.
Here's a news article from DailyNews from April this year that explains how the new WNEW is formatted
WNEW-FM is back. Again.
Only this time it's not on "regular" radio.
As of Monday, it's on the 102.7 FM frequency of HD radio, which requires buying an HD radio receiver. It's also being streamed on the Web at www.wnew.com .
But otherwise, says Norm Winer, CBS Radio vice president of adult rock programming, it is designed to bring back the full WNEW experience, with high-tech 21st-century twists.
The programming is basically rock, as reflected in the revived "Where Rock Lives" slogan. It will go back to 1967, when WNEW-FM signed on with its famous "free-form" style, and continue to the present.
"One reason WNEW had problems in the past," says Winer, "is that it stopped evolving. We want to present the station the way it would have sounded today if it kept to its original philosophy of also looking for great new music - the bands that would have opened at the Fillmore."
New music will be heavily mixed with material from the WNEW-FM archives, which hold thousands of hours of live concerts and interviews by deejays like Scott Muni with artists like John Lennon, Stevie Wonder and the Grateful Dead.
"This material is just amazing," says Winer. "You hear Elton John saying this kid Bruce Springsteen is going to be a star, and he hopes to meet him someday.
"There's a popular phrase in radio, 'unique content.' You can't get any more unique than the WNEW archives."
Winer was also among those who tried to ensure the archives would stay intact when WNEW dropped rock: "I called [Vice President] Scott Herman and told him to be sure he put a lock on the tape library."
The past secured, parent CBS has also designed wnew.com for the interactivity of the future. The station will have no deejays, but Winer says he expects listeners will step in regularly and help guide the station.
"Just like in the old days, we have the room to do some of this by feel. If listeners don't think Arcade Fire works next to Elton John, we want them to tell us.
"Too many radio stations now don't respect or trust their listeners. We're trying not to make that mistake."
I will be presenting a weekly post Titled something like "“Lost in Time: Tales From the History of Rock”, starting next week