The Devil Made ’em Do It?!?
When Rock & Roll killed Gospel FM Radio
By now, you’ve probably heard about the changes on the Birmingham radio dial (in the FM spectrum). Andre has generated plenty of observations/comments over on his blog… here, here, and here. While it’s a sad loss that Gospel on FM is gone (for now), the new station fills a different void created by the sudden recent conversion of WRAX from Rock to Talk. This is an odd turn of events too, because once upon a time this general frequency hosted WRAX, of all stations.
To me, this is all remeniscent of when Atlanta’s Power99 changed over to 99X many years ago. There was no advance notice and no DJs for a little while. There were a lot of people upset about loosing their bubble gum pop station in favor of a retro 80’s station (at the time) but eventually everyone found their new homes on the dial (preset or otherwise). In fact, a student at Georgia Tech has done a great job capturing the comings and goings on a page titled “Atlanta Area FM Radio Stations“. In looking for a similar page about Birmingham area FM radio stations, I found this listing of local stations. The BhamWiki also has a great WENN-FM history page. On-air, The Vulcan has said that they are broadcasting from “Hoover/Birmingham” even though BhamWiki reports that they are broadcasting from atop Red Mountain.
The new website is @ www.1055thevulcan.com (captured at the left for posterity). It’s obviously a canned website from the Clear Channel corporate-types. It’s full of junk and standard issue fare and hardly represents Birmingham OR Vulcan himself.
The wildest part of this corporate switchover (IMHO) is the ‘rate your can’ feature of their website. The seemingly obvious tie-in to Vulcan’s “can” is right there on their home page, but a quick check on Google reveals that this is simply one of Clear Channel’s standard issue features, among many lewd choices they provide across their spectrum of radio channels. For instance, their Orlando rock station has the same feature and a quick sampling of the pictures (hey, isn’t this journalism!?!?) shows the SAME photos. So, while The Vulcan is trying to make this seem like a Birmingham thang, it is hardly.
I can’t wait to see what Vulcan Park Foundation does, if anything. I don’t know that the use of the trademarked name VULCAN can be controlled since there’s no use of his likeness on the website. The apparent reference to Vulcan’s “full moon” may only be accidental. We’ll have to keep watching this one (no pun intended).