It’s A Blog, No It’s A Radio Station, Wait It’s Something Altogther New

CBS Radio re-launched their legendary NY rock radio station WNEW recently. It’s a group blog about music, it’s a last.fm group (built by the combined scrobbling history of all of the group members), it’s an internet radio station, and it’s available over the air on HD2 at 102.7 (you need an HD radio to get it).

Let’s start with the music. I’ve been listening for the past 20 minutes and this is what I’ve heard so far.

Cowboy Junkies covering Sweet Jane
Van Morrison live at the Bottom Line in 1970
Jack Johnson – Upside Down
B52s – Love Shack
Led Zepplin – Kashmir
more live Van Morrison
John Mayer
Talking Heads – Naive Melody (i love that song)

One cool thing is this station is going to play lots of their live archives:

Perhaps the most
unique aspect of WNEW.com is our incredible
audio archives, featuring historic
concerts and live performances from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, as well as
timeless interviews with a remarkable roster of rock immortals. We’ve
gathered and digitized hundreds of
amazing moments from the airwaves of some of America’s great rock radio
stations, most notably our namesake WNEW-FM, which ruled the airwaves
in New York City for four decades. On-air visits were
commonplace by members of the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, the
Who, the
Dead and virtually every superstar you could imagine.

I’ve talked at length about radio on this blog over the years and I always get comments from readers who think that radio is clueless and will never get it’s magic back. Maybe the golden years of the 70s and 80s are long over, due to the iPod and other forms of portable music and the changing dynamics of the music industry. But I think radio does understand what it has to do in order to hang onto its audience and bring new listeners (younger more technologically inclined) into the fold.

Full disclosure, I know the team at CBS Radio who launched the new WNEW and I am big fans of them. I am also an investor in iBiquity, the company that makes the underlying technology for HD Radio. I am also an investor in Targetspot, the company that will sell a lot of the audio spots that run on WNEW. So I am vested in the radio industry and it’s future. And stuff like this new WNEW makes me quite bullish on it.