On Boston radio, after alt rock moves online, electronic dance gets a shot on-air

Paul Maloney
December 21, 2012 - 12:45pm

What began just six weeks ago as iHeartRadio's EDM (electronic dance music) online channel has now taken over a Boston FM frequency Evolution 101.7.

When the EDM stream instantly became iHeartRadio's the most popular digital-only station on the service, Clear Channel execs took notice. At 6pm yesterday the company launched what it calls "the first real EDM station in the country," enlisting legendary British DJ Pete Tong as its voice.

The New York Times wrote today (here), "In what could be interpreted as a bit of symbolism about the tides of the music business, Evolution is taking over the former frequency of WFNX, for decades one of the country’s most influential alternative rock stations. Clear Channel bought the station in May for $14.5 million."

Paul Maloney
December 21, 2012 - 12:45pm

In summer came news that not one, but two, online "heirs apparent" to heritage Boston alternative rocker WFNX would launch (see RAIN here and here). And the similarities between the two are striking.

Each webcaster has sustained the alternative rock format, staffed by well-known local talent, and works to integrate audio programming with that of its parent media.

Both webcasters are operated by Boston newspaper groups. The Boston Globe (its online presence is Boston.com) launched RadioBDC in August (RAIN coverage here). Phoenix Media, which publishes several alternative newspapers (including one in Boston), retained the WFNX call letters and intellectual property after selling the frequency to Clear Channel (that frequency today became a new Electronic Dance Music station). The same month RadioBDC went live, featuring former WFNX air talent hosting new shows and local events, WFNX.com added well-known DJ Kurt St. Thomas to program and create original content.

"(RadioBDC) felt like a really natural extension of what we do every day on the Web," Jeff Moriarty, VP of digital products for Boston.com, told NetNewsCheck.com. "It was just a new way to connect with people in Boston."

Phoenix Media's objective is quite similar: Content that's integrated with what's in its paper and on its website, with the idea to put "it all together and cross promote each other and work in a completely different way," St. Thomas told NetNewsCheck.com.

"Both stations have attracted new sponsors, most notably beer companies, and are working with them to host high-profile events... (often targeting) the city’s many college students," reports the news source.

Read the article here. H/T to Tom Taylor Now.

Paul Maloney
December 21, 2012 - 12:50pm

Clear Channel announced today it's named Rich McLaughlin Director of Digital Music Programming for the CCM+E National Programming Platforms team.

McLaughlin was Digital Program Director for Clear Channel Digital from 2009 to August of last year, when he took a digital programming and marketing position with Merlin Media. Beginning January 2, he is to oversee the Digital Music Programming team and create new iHeartRadio brands.

He'll report to Tim Herbster, VP/Special Programming Projects.