On Friday CBS radio announced that Tracy Cloherty would be the new Program Director at WXRX, K-Rock, in New York City. This comes shortly after K-Rock changed their format from talk radio back to rock music, calling themselves “The Rock of New York” (a title that used to belong to WNEW). What makes this announcement interesting is that Cloherty has spent almost 20 years programming the music on NYC’s Hot 97, a Hip Hop station famous for on air personalities Wendy Williams and Funkmaster Flex.
Since K-Rock’s return to NYC the station has been nothing but a boring mix of classic rock standards that all the other stations play, plus the standard 90s alt-rock fare that has also been played to death. How could a program director who’s expertise is in programming hip hop music possibly program “The Rock of New York?” What New York City needs is someone that is daring and willing to take chances like the PDs at Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles and GRock Radio in New Jersey. These are stations that are playing music that the other stations are playing, only months before the other stations even hear about it.
While K-Rock continues to play Candlebox, Live, Guns n Roses, Bush, Black Crowes, Nirvana, Tool, Daughtry and Foo Fighters between blocks of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, old Smashing Pumpkins, 90s Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and AC/DC, and figuring out its new direction, I’ll be tuning in to a more diverse selection of rock, that is less repeated on Indie 103.1 and GRock streaming on the web listening to Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Bad Religion, +44, Arctic Monkeys, She Wants Revenge, Kasabian, Muse and the Noisettes mixed in with the Smiths, the Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, the Clash, U2, The Cult, Foo Fighters, They Might Be Giants and Bush.
I’d like to see K-Rock and the new PD succeed at being a new refreshing “The Rock of New York,” rather than the tired old “Rock of New York” that it is now. But I am highly skeptical that the CBS is going to allow that to happen.