Mark Bialczak posts on the Listen Up blog about a new development with WAER radio. On their new HD 2 format, WAER simulcasts Xponential, syndicated out of WXPN in Philadelphia. WXPN is the college radio station at my alma mater The University of Pennsylvania. It has been on the cutting edge of music for a long time.
Of course, this begs the question, why can’t WAER create anything of interest on its own? Criminy, they’re supposedly educating the radio industry of tomorrow, doesn’t anyone there have an ounce of creativity? Why can’t S.U.’s university-owned radio station play anything of interest?
Syracuse radio hates cool music: S.U.’s WAER plays cocktail lounge jazz, SUNY Oswego’s station plays no music–all NPR and old-time radio drama. WJPZ, allegedly owned by Syracuse U. students, plays dance crapola. Commercial radio is all knucklehead morning shows and bland corporate rock. The “community” radio station can only be heard on the radio in Madison County and our “public” radio station is averse to playing anything but classical music (I’m in envious awe of North Country Public Radio’s eclectic mix of programming.)
Most stations consign all the interesting stuff to the Sunday evening time slot, segregating it from all the rest of their fare. Don’t make any plans for Sundays if you want to catch local music, bluegrass, blues and world beat shows. At least WAER’s HD radio program will be free, so we can listen to hip music without paying for satellite radio–where all the rest of the hip stuff has migrated. But we will have to buy new radio receivers.
I guess I’m betraying my boomer roots–there’s never been more easy access to such a wide array of music as we have now via the ‘net. But I still long for the ease of just turning on a radio and hearing some cool tunes and a DJ that actually lives in your town talking up the good stuff.