WMGX Portland to Flip Formats

John J. Francini francini@mac.com
Fri Mar 10 01:48:53 EST 2006

Well, I guess I am one of the few.

I also guess it's somewhat weird in these days of Coasting with Frank 
down to the Shorline Sound(s) to visit with Mike in his Mill that I'd 
much rather remember the station by its legal ID -- the one used at 
the top of the hour -- and not by whatever drivel the marketing 
consultant has dreamt up this season.  Somehow, radio and TV stations 
managed to market themselves just fine before the current epidemic of 
"burying" the call letters.

At 18:57 -0800 3/9/06, Rob Trovato wrote:

>When you pick up laundry detergent in aisle 7, it
>doesn't say "Amonia nitrate sulfer poweder", does it?
>It says, "Tide"....or "Whisk"...and thats how people
>know it.

And it also says the magic word "DETERGENT", which is a concise 
definition of what it is. Truth-in-advertising laws require that it 
actually says what it is. It's a detergent.  The word "detergent" is 
the call-letters for the product.

>Or by dial position  "I always have 98.5 on in the

Yup. Wasn't always that way.  Call-letter bouncing is another stupid 
fad. 98.5 used to be WROR-FM. When it flipped some years back to a 
"Mix" moniker, they also flipped the calls to WBMX-FM. The WROR calls 
were dead, but were later exhumed by someone else who slapped them on 
105.7 WVBF, er, WKLB, er, WROR-FM.

I'd like to see call letters tied to a specific frequency in a 
specific market, much the way some states (not in New England) tie a 
number plate to a particular vehicle for its lifetime, not just while 
it's held by a particular owner.

>So...why not just call it by the name people are using
>for it?
>>>  --not some stupid "Frank",
>>  "Mike", "Coast", or
>>  other drivel that will last for only a few months or
>>  years.
>Like KOST (Coast) in LA?  For 20+ years?

Those are real call letters. No problem.

>Like Oldies 103 in Boston, 20-ish years?

Which I know as WODS-FM, which used to be WEEI-FM 103.3, and probably 
something else before that.

And "KISS-108 FM" (WXKS-FM 107.9), which is probably the oldest 
non-legal-name moniker out there these days, dating back to the 70s, 
I think; before that they were WWEL, I believe.

>Magic 106.7...forever, it seems!

WMJX. Formerly WBZ-FM, before Westinghouse dumped it.

Then there's 94.5 -- originally WHDH-FM, then WCOZ (beatiful music, 
then rock), now WJMN "Jammin".

>>  Will WMGX-93.1 change its calls to WCST-FM 93.1 or
>>  something along 
>>  those lines,
>>  so that their *legal id* matches their pseudonym?
>Why not?
>In a way, I'm playing devil's advocate...I sort of
>like when call letters aren't changed every 2-3 years.

Again, call letters should be like ordinary number plates.  They 
shouldn't change for (at least) the life of a given signal's 
ownership by a particular entity, no matter what ephemeral format 
changes may come and go.

>However, on another note, if you took a Rolex and
>wrote Timex on it...it would still run the same.

No; however, it'd be defaced. Just like some asshat idiot who thinks 
he's creating "art" when he paints graffiti on what was a perfectly 
fine white wall.

>The "name" of a station *IS* marketing...like Tide,
>Whisk, Clorox, etc.
>A station can sound good or bad with whatever name
>they use...it's incidental....and only important when
>it comes time for people to recall.

Probably true.  Sigh.

John Francini <mailto:francini@mac.com>
| "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; |
|  that two are called a law firm; and that three or more become a Congress.|
|  And by God I have had _this_ Congress!"                                  |
|                                                       -- John Adams       |

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