First WBCN, now WFNX.
All the rock stations I listened to as a kid are either dead or a shell of what they once were. Sign of the times though as more people listen to iPods, SiriusXM, and streaming radio than ever before minimizing the once massive impact that local rock radio had.
WFNX was a station that was worth taking your earbuds out to listen to. When I was in high school, when MP3s were just taking off, I always felt like FNX, as it was affectionately known, was the cool station when compared to WAAF or WBCN. (Even their call letters were cool. F! N! X!) They had a hipper vibe even though their signal was total garbage. They were the first station I heard The Killers on and they were how I found out about Arcade Fire. Plus, you could always count on WFNX to organize some of the coolest rock shows in town.
WFNX's likely departure from the Boston airwaves is a blow to local music fans as it is the only remaining commercial alternative rock station in the city that has real live DJs. Yeah, DJs may be annoying to some but I always liked it when Julie Kramer would dish some background on the song she just played.
They played their share of predictable 90s hits that many of us are tired of but they managed to sprinkle in plenty of local and current tunes. For every overplayed Red Hot Chili Peppers song they played as much, if not more, from Passion Pit and Airborn Toxic Event. Their programming was always ahead of the curve because they were an independent rock station that answered to nobody. Playing new, unheard music does not lead to ratings though and they suffered because of it.
In recent years the station seemed scatterbrained in the wake of WBCN's shuttering. The cancellation of their popular morning show, The Sandbox, angered many loyal listeners and even led to a Facebook campaign to bring the show back. When WFNX started intermittently hosting Freeform Fridays where DJs could play anything (anything!) they wanted on air during their shifts I thought the station was finally steadying itself again but now this.
Thanks for the memories, 101.7.
Full disclosure: I host a show on Saturday, and occasionally fill-in during the week, at Entercom owned WRKO. Entercom owns WAAF.
The author is solely responsible for the content.