Posted by: Jeff | March 28, 2010

Open Letter to WIAD 94.7 “Fresh FM”

Dear 94.7 Fresh FM,

Your tagline is inaccurate.  You can’t call yourself “Fresh FM” and then play (in order) Collective Soul’s “The World I Know”, Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like A Bird”, The Fray’s “Over My Head”, and Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun”. Those songs have not been fresh since 2003.  Calling these songs fresh in 2010 is an affront to bald-faced lying.

It pains me to write this open letter and post it on an anonymous blog because I used to love your station.  When 94.7 was known as “The Globe” it was hands-down the best radio station in the world.  I do not listen to radio if I can at all help it (i.e. remember my iPod for trips in the car).  But I always made an exception for “The Globe.”  I’m not sure of the exact stylistic format label, but you played the best rarely played music of the eighties, nineties, and today.  And I’m not talking about Duran Duran, Oasis, and the Counting Crows.  I’m talking about vintage Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, Kaiser Chiefs, and Pavement.  Deep cuts too – not just the obvious and best-known tracks from each band.  The really good stuff that nobody else plays.  You had a niche!

Even your listener-submitted playlists were almost as good as your programming!  Truly, you were a diverse, eclectic, and inevitably interesting listen.  Music Director Schelby Sweeney knew her stuff!  And then you forced her out.

I don’t know the reasons behind the format change – perhaps your parent company, CBS, forced you to do it.  Perhaps your advertisers somehow thought ex-top 40 blech is more marketable or desired.

But I feel like we lost a giant of the radio world – up there with Minnesota’s “The Current” or San Francisco’s “Radio Alice”!  And for what?  Tracks that lie in the unfortunate limbo between actual freshness and nostalgia?  That limbo area can be more precisely labeled “songs that were overplayed and as a result have now lost all listening appeal.”

Well, congratulations.  Because you, 94.7 “Fresh AM” completely dominate the “music everyone is sick of hearing” format.  Just know that I won’t be listening.

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