First, HFS threw in the towel. Last week, Radio One shut down Y100 in Philly. And now rumors are swirling about the fate of WXRK/New York in the post-Stern universe.
So, of course, this is going to fan the flames of concern about Alternative – yet again. I spoke with former Y100 PD, Jim McGuinn, about the reactions to the demise of the station. You can see the grassroots protest site that’s gone up at www.y100rocks.com. The interesting thing about this listener-driven activity is that it’s been organic.
It’s reminiscent of a new book called Brand Hijack: Marketing without Marketing by Alex Wipperfurth. It talks about how brands don’t really belong to companies, but how they belong to consumers. It’s the story about how various brands – like Red Bull or even Howard Dean – took off without any conventional marketing efforts. This may be some of the best marketing Y100 never did.
And it supports the notion that Alternative has a vital audience out there, hampered by Arbitron’s inability to adequately sample young listeners, now aggravated by the “cell phone only M.I.A.s.” It will be a shame if archaic audience measurement conspires to damage a format that is now witnessing yet another infusion of strong new music. And as Philly advertising sources will tell you, Y100 was having a solid financial year.