Radio Ga-Ga

Posted by Jim on Nov 1st, 2007
Nov 1

When I first heard about WCLZ being released from Citadel Communications, I wasn’t too concerned. Over the past few years (ever since I moved to Portland), I’ve been listening to the station less and less. It seemed to me they were playing more of the Jamie Cullum/John Mayer brand of watered down rock and pop and less of the music that I enjoy. Plus I could now listen to WMPG any time I wanted, so WCLZ went from the default setting on my radio to a second (or third or fourth) string back-up.

The one thing on WCLZ that remained consistently strong was Greetings From Area Code 207. Last night was the last episode of the local music show on CLZ, and I’m very upset that I missed it. At least the show will go on, as it has been picked up by WBLM.

But that was yesterday. Today is a different story. According to the comments on the CLZ blog, today was the change over to the new owners. After reading this, I tuned in to CLZ, and the change was obvious. The Rolling Stones? On CLZ? That doesn’t add up. There is no way they can be considered AAA. Yet the very next song was an Indigo Girls tune, a CLZ staple. But the on air staff is different. Earlier today I saw Rock Bergeron’s name on the website; he’s a DJ on WMPG. Now there’s some guy named Rick Johnson; I have no idea who he is. So I’m not exactly sure what is going on with the new owners. They’re still using the “Different By Design” slogan, and as I type this, they are playing an Acoustic Coffee Break, another mainstay from the Citadel days. I hope they don’t start mixing classic rock into the playlist. We have too much classic rock in Portland as it is.

I guess the point of this post is for me to say even though I didn’t listen to CLZ that much anymore, and Nissa and I would constantly make fun of the DJs, I still appreciated the place it held in Portland’s radio scene. And now it seems that the CLZ that I knew and (perhaps still) loved may be no more. Oh well. Another reason for me to go get satellite radio.

A silver lining: I discovered through this blog post that because of the new ownership taking control of WCLZ, the simulcast on WCYI is no more. That station is currently playing a blues format. Quite interesting.

Also, the Senate will soon be voting on a bill that would expand the number of low power FM stations in the country (link via WFMU). I know that a number of groups were vying for the one station allocated to the Portland market. If the Senate does the good thing and passes the bill, maybe there will be a few more independent spots on our radio dials in the coming years.