Friday, April 27, 2012


I was shocked and dismayed yesterday to find out that one of my favorite radio stations was going off the air, and totally floored to find out that it was merging with its arch rival.
Growing up in and around NYC, I was an avid listener of Urban Radio. For whatever reason (and who can really define these things?) I have always loved the sound of black music; from smooth R&B to bodacious Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul and New Jack Swing...I've loved it. All of it. I am a self-professed encyclopedia on who sung what when, and I have seen some of the biggest R&B acts live in concert: Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, Stephanie Mills, et al.
After 30 years on the dial playing everything from Eric Benet to Erykah Badu, R&B radio station 98.7 KISS-FM is hanging up its ruby red lipstick logo and going off the air for good.
Listeners woke up to the news yesterday morning after discovering that the station’s programming was being simulcast on rival radio station WBLS.
That’s because the two stations — longtime competitors in the wide-ranging R&B market — are merging under the WBLS banner at the 107.5 spot on the dial.
Replacing KISS-FM, at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning, will be ESPN sports radio, which has long-coveted a New York FM dial slot and will move from 1050 AM.

I am bummed. There's no other way to put it; I've always liked both stations, as each had a little something different to offer. You guys outside of the NYC area ever heard of Wendy Williams? Sure, she's on TV now, but she was one of the HOTTEST DJ's on Kiss-FM growing up. When she moved over to WBLS years later, the entire R&B community was in an uproar. I was in my car, going to work, just being about my day, when the radio station began announcing this yesterday. Wow. I thought about the flavor of each station and what would be lost: programming like Kissing After Dark...and then I thought about the various radio personalities I was going to miss...because a merger tends to always bring one thing: someone's gotta go.
Just last year, a couple of towns in my County merged with the County Police Force. The lawmakers in our county said that it make economical sense, and that it would be "tax neutral" for the county residents, while helping out struggling towns. I'm not sure I agree with this measure, and time will bear out whatever statistics come out to support the change or not. I'm sure some people lost jobs. I'm sure in this instance that there were personalities that people would miss as well.
It appears that this is the wave of the future; the writing's on the wall. From the Radio to the Police, the landscape of the country is changing. The question is: is it for the best?

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