UPDATE: 1.24.2007 – The Vulcan named their program manager yesterday. Click here to learn more.
UPDATE: Here’s a post from December 21, providing good news for fans of Reg’s Coffee House
NOTE: Here’s a post from Wednesday morning, December 6, about the current buzz taking place around town.
I hopped in the car, shorts and all, knowing that in all likelihood I would not be able to play Kickball yet again due to my wanting to update the home computer making it more usable (at least in my mind). By the way, you may want to know that the game is becoming so popular that Birmingham Magazine sent a photographer out to yesterday’s game. I started surfing through stations and stopped for a bit listening to some music. I really didn’t pay attention to where the seek function on the car radio had stopped. I then heard “You’re listening to 105.5 The Vulcan.”
So Birmingham once again has an alternative music station, one owned by Clear Channel. The result of alternative rock lovers outcry (including mine) over the loss of the X at 100.5 was the loss of Hallelujah FM, a gospel station on the FM dial. Currently, visiting their former site only lets listeners know of the change. I have not necessarily stumbled across another FM signal for gospel music, meaning that fans will have to rely on the AM side of the dial for their fix. It may make some wonder about the changing demographics or tastes of the metropolitan area. Hallelujah FM consistently ranked in the top 10 of the local Arbitron ratings, the number that usually matters most for broadcasters. Unfortunately in this battle for radio supremacy, listener groups always suffer the most. It was interesting that many people, save the ones that listened to Hallelujah FM faithfully, did not know of the station’s launch unless they stumbled across it like I did (or receive Britney Kidd’s bulletin on MySpace yesterday). I’m sure that it was similar to the way that the guys at the X found out about their future.
I hope that this new venture is successful. The company recently announced plans to sell off stations that were located outside of the top 100 markets. Alabama had two casualties, Montgomery and Gadsden. I suppose that they feel that they can try out some more ideas with less to handle.
I have only one question; Will the guys at corporate let this station truly be an alternative music source for the region, perhaps allowing a local program manager to do as their title suggests, or will the station simply be another outlet for the corporate model applied to most stations nowadays where decisions on the songs played come from outside of the area? Maybe if they become the local vehicle for Reg’s Coffee House, they may be able to take some of the music featured and inject it into the playlist. It still makes you wonder where the outcry will be for those that enjoyed their gospel.
Not to say that it’s not already starting. I noticed several people stumble across a post that talks about an old, non-functioning neon sign in the city’s Civil Rights district. It used to be called “The People’s Station.” The call letters should be familiar to listeners of the X in the old days, WENN. It’s the same letters now associated with The Vulcan. I know that not everyone can be satisfied all of the time, but the current search should tell people that they may want to find out what we truly and really want around here, all of us.
For the new station, let’s see if we can bring back Vulcan doing the weather in Vulcan degrees. Let’s also hope that they listen to their listeners. People don’t have to vote with their wallets on this one; only with their preset buttons on the radio. Otherwise I know of some people who’d really love to hear some gospel on FM…