WRNO: Rockin' The River and Shaking the Lake
The Day the (commercially repetitive) Music Dies
Starting June 1st, 2006 Metairieans, Chalmettians, Kennerites, and Westwegoans will not hear something that they have heard on the airwaves since 1980: ZEBRA. That's right, WRNO is throwing in the classic rock towel and dressing itself in a bitter conservative talk radio jump suit. This will leave the greater New Orleans area without a big media classic rock station that constantly regurgitates generic Aerosmith rock (as well as some actual rock classics that have had so much play time that even the Clear Channel execs are saying "Fuck, not Another Brick in The Wall!". )
Well, at least the Clear Channel brain trust were smart enough to replace the lone classic rock station in New Orleans with something that has no competitors. Oh wait, Rush Limbaugh and that other nutjob Michael Savage are already on other stations. Although, since Clear Channel's subsidiary Premiere Radio Networks syndicates Rush Limbaugh, I'm sure there wont be a conflict with Sean Hannity on WRNO.
According to Dick Lewis, New Orleans-based regional vice president of Clear Channel: "the switch is a child of the storm." What a fucking load of shit! Dick hardened his stance and said, "In order to be truly important to the city, we needed a news-talk component..." Bullshit. Since when has Clear $hannel ever given a shit about any particular city? Oh and I suppose Sean Hannity is truly important to the citizens of New Orleans. Fucking joke. Thanks, Dick.
I can't say that I'm real upset about the loss of WRNO. I hardly listen to it anymore. But it is and always was a landmark for New Orleans radio. I grew up with it listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rush, and yes even Zebra. And although I'm constantly now listenting to either NPR or WWOZ, every now and then I need to drift back to 99.5 and get my classic rock fix. I'll listen to it for while and then realize that they just repeated a song they played 20 minutes earlier. That's when I go back to WWOZ.
UPDATE: A former DJ of WRNO has some audio aircheck samples from the 1970s and 1980s. Hey, you can buy the new "two footstomping albums" of BTO and The New York Dolls for $3.99 (tapes for $4.99) at Fat City Records on Severn Avenue. Fat City in 1974: WOW.
UPDATE 2, 14 June 2006: WRNO is still on the air, albeit Clear Channel-fied, in a classic rock format. Is 1 July 2006 the real D-DAY?
TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, WRNO, Clear Channel, Commercial Radio