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Why WFNX Mattered

Posted by Garrett Quinn, Less is More  May 17, 2012 12:56 PM

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A couple hours after it was announced that WFNX was sold to Clear Channel Boston Phoenix editor Carly Carioli posted this photo to his Twitter account:


That poster sums up why the station mattered but, as Donna Halper writes, it was not enough to save the station from struggling financially.

I was getting my car repaired, and I got into a conversation with the 20-something guy who was waiting on me. I told him I had written a book about Boston radio, and I asked him what his favorite station was.

“I never listen to radio,” he said, “but my mother still does.”

I’d like to say I was shocked, but it’s a comment I’ve heard from other young adults, including many of my students at Lesley University. Today, they can easily download their favorite songs without having to sit through endless commercial interruptions. Few of these kids have any emotional connection to radio.

Why would Halper be shocked? Music radio has been debased to the point where my generation barely listens to it anymore. We've grown to accept the fact that commercial stations are pretty much the same in every city and are devoid of any local or unique personality. So we tune out and listen to our iPods, Pandora, and whatever else provides music tailor-made for the listener, often commercial free.

WFNX was an exception to that uniform mediocrity as they were locally owned and operated, they fought the good fight to put out a decent product that stood out in an industry known for cranking out cookie cutter ear bleeding garbage but, by 2012, so many of us were already off the radio dial that hardly anyone noticed.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Garrett Quinn began writing for newspapers at age 17 with CNC in his native South Shore. He has been published in BlueMassGroup, RedMassGroup, Pioneer Investigates, and Wonkette. He is a More »

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