Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Fate of WHFS

Editor and Publisher has an article about how The New York Times is considering charging for more of its online content. Though the Wall Street Journal already charges online readers a yearly rate to access its content, other papers are studying what rates they can charge before readers turn to other sources.

Tuned into 99.1 in the car yesterday and was surprised to hear Spanish music. Later a friend informed me that the conversion had happened awhile ago, back in January, something about how alternative music was no longer profitable. The Washington Post covered it in an article here. Marc Fisher, Washington Post Metro Columnist, also wrote about it in an article titled "In a Way, WHFS Was Already Gone."

"What's going to happen to the HFStival?" I asked my friend. I still remember going, the day after senior prom, just a few days before graduation from high school. It was the first time I'd gone to an arena-size concert, and I still marvel that I heard some of the acts that I did. [Okay, this is where I would have named some of the bands that I saw, but I can't seem to find a lineup online, and the only band I remember seeing, without a doubt, was Goldfinger because its single was on rotation on WHFS at the time of the festival. Apparently No Doubt also performed at HFStival in '96 (according to a photo I found online), maybe Primus? maybe the Smashing Pumpkins? maybe Cypress Hill?]

Anyway, even back then, when alternative seemed to be at its height, I sensed that WHFS wasn't where it was at. I knew, even without being really familiar with the music, that DC101 was the station that played "authentic" rock, like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, stuff that was too "hard" (and out of date) for WHFS and many of the other stations people my age were listening to. Maybe it shouldn't be suprising then that WHFS ultimately crashed, not just because of the music but also because the station was too attuned to what was popular at the time and not what was enduring.

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