Monday, December 10, 2007

WIBC is changing - but will it be for the better?

WIBC's owners are giving Indiana an early present: 93 days of Christmas music.
It was a fairly warm day in October when I tuned across the FM band to hear ... Christmas music?
I know digital slip ups occur and I thought I was tuning into one. But after the song, a "liner" came on announcing the 93 days of Christmas music on 93.1 FM.
Interesting! Linda and I enjoy Christmas music and 93.1 has been locked into place on our car and truck radios.
Sometime during the month of November, I learned my old friend, Dan Jensen, was no longer with WIBC. He now reads the news during Morning Edition on WFYI, Indianapolis' public radio station.
I have not been able to contact Dan -- his email was through WIBC and I got a fax warble when I tried calling WFYI one morning.
But 93.1 has since been running teaser promos about the new WIBC on FM!
For decades WIBC has been a staple on the AM band at 1070.
It hasn't been consistently good and that may be why the station's owners, Emmis Commnications, are going boldly in a new direction.
I can't put my finger on what was bad about the old WIBC. I think the programmers just assumed too much.
They took it for granted that the 50,000 watt AM signal would dominate radios, regardless of the programming.
The weekend programs have been much better than the Monday-Friday shows. Cooking, car repair and pet care were three programs that kept me tuned in.
On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura , Dave Wilson and Jeff Pigeon just didn't make it. There was too much to be found on other stations, more excitement, more humor.
I think I would characterize the old WIBC as a cross between WGN and public radio -- and not doing well .
So, Dec. 26 will bring a new day to WIBC (as the promos say). Will it be more edgy and less safe? More exciting and less boring? And if Dave Wilson is on the new WIBC-FM, will he fire that annoying idiot who laughs at everything he says?
We will see.
And what will be on WIBC-AM? Even ESPN on the radio would be better than Rush!

NEW! Hear my review of the new WIBC on SplashCast (top, left of this/front page).