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WBCN 104.1, the station that first aired Led Zeppelin, will play LeAnn Rimes starting in August…
No offense to her, but I’m sure one die-hard Toucher & Rich fan who forgot to read the news will turn to 104.1 and drive their car right off Storrow Drive into the Charles.
Mix 98.5 will now take over “The Rock of Boston” and WBCN will relocate to 98.5, but to become a new sports station called “The Hub.” The new station will air live Patriots games and have sports talk 24/7. It will also keep popular shows like Toucher & Rich, but WBCN will only be playing its music live from the internet.
CBS Radio Station pulled the 50 year-old station after ratings had progressively dropped over the past ten years. The only real money coming from the station was from live coverage of the Pats and the Howard Stern show. So it makes sense that the corporation (CBS) would change WBCN to an all Sports station–that’s the only way it was making money.
However, with WBCN going under, it wasn’t out of the blue. As technology evolves, cars are becoming more iPod accessible and Satellite radio is pushing broadcast radio aside. With all the songs you want to listen to on your iPod and with every station imaginable on Satellite, where does the need for broadcast radio even come in?
Well it’s free, but unfortunately for us it’s controlled. For people who go looking for new music, they begin to know what to expect from a station. With ‘BCN, I could anticipate hearing a Nirvana song, probably “In Bloom.” I could bet on hearing some Dropkick Murphys. If I know what to expect, why wouldn’t I just listen to my iPod with the same songs?
Parenteau, a DJ at WBCN for 20 years beginning in 1978, said that before corporate ownership, the station encouraged its on-air talent to be outrageous and play what they wanted.
“We didn’t make a lot of money, but we had a lot of freedom. We could play jazz, comedy, whatever,’’ Parenteau said. “But as we made more money, we had less freedom. It was like a deal with the devil.’’
He went on to say, “The sort of station ’BCN used to be is definitely dead. Radio today is all driven by boards of directors looking at the stock market. They want the sure thing, and they want to play it over and over.’’
The good news is that there’s an FM radio station that will be all Sports Talk. It will be interesting to see how WEEI and “The Hub” will compete with one another and how the two stations may approach sports talk differently.
However, for WBCN and most of broadcast radio today, Sean Ross, a Music Media Researcher best explains the downfall of the once legendary 104.1 by saying, “The ’BCN that most people are going to be sad about losing this afternoon went away a while ago.’’